Des Moines preview and air guitar advice from a pro!

The following post is from 2012 Minneapolis #usairguitar champ and 2013 Des Moines Qualifier organizer Flying Finn! guest-blog-series


On Wednesday night June 19 at The Point, Des Moines will be transformed from the capitol of Iowa to the Capitol of Rock & Roll as US Air Guitar descends upon the city! I know, a lot of people from outside of Iowa are thinking, “Des Moines? What does Des Moines have to do with rock and roll?!”




Well, first, it's pronounced “Des Moines,” and for the rock and roll connection? Ozzy and his delicious bat head. In 1982, the Prince of Darkness bit the head off a delicious rabid bat here in Des Moines, spent the night in the hospital, and then caused local laws to be amended to prevent that kind of thing ever happening again. Lucky for us, our venue lies outside of the Des Moines city limits, and so those laws don't apply!* Well, maybe we should keep raw animal eating to a minimum during the show.



Des Moines has grown up a lot since 1982: breweries and bars are popping up all over the place here, and there's even a festival devoted to bacon! When you add beer & bacon and Air Guitar, and it's like heaven!



US Air Guitar last came here in 2008 when Rocktopuss Air Pooped in one judge's cowboy hat, and whether a similar feat will be recorded this year is entirely up to the maniacs who will will be competing in a week to claim the title.


Since it has been five long years since any heavy-shredding has been done on stage in this fine city, the talent pool is rich, but unfertilized. So to you newcomers to the world of competitive air guitar, I give you this advice:


  • Feel your song. Air guitar is only partially played with your hands - it is played with your face, your body, and every fiber of your being (but don't forget your hands – you may get docked points if you forget to use them)!

  • Air Guitar is fun, so enjoy it. You will only be on stage for 60 seconds, and it doesn't last long [insert editor's joke here][thanks, but no thanks - ed.]. Luckily, the feeling of shredding an entire audience lasts a lifetime.

  • You are a rock star for a night, so act like it. When you get home, glue all of your furniture to the ceiling and throw your TV out the window. You won't be able to get away with that on a regular day.

  • Leave it all on stage. Adrenaline will fuel you for the rest of the night, and into the next morning (maybe coffee the next morning would help)!

  • Don't pout. Someone has to win. Someone has to not win. It's a competition. That's how it works. I've seen a few air guitarists miss out on a night of fun and partying with excellent people because they are upset they didn't win. The entire point of air guitar is to promote world peace, and it's tough to do that while sad or angry or jealous.


So with fires in our bellies & lightning in our hands, let's put Des Moines back on the rock and roll map! Let's inhale beer and exhale venom! Let's carry the torch of US Air Guitar, melt some socks and rock some faces off! Let's give this city a night to remember (if they're not black-out wasted)!


US Air Guitar 2013 Qualifier – Des Moines Wednesday, June 19 The Point Clive, IA ENTER NOW Competitor check-in 8pm, show later


*This may or may not be true - I'm not a lawyer.


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