Minneapolis: Minnie me
Presales for USAG regionals are often misleadingly low because, we assume, it can be seem shameful to dole out dough to watch, well, nothing. But then one’s friends get all, “I’ll go if you go,” and before you know it you and your pals are standing in line in 100+ heat with 98% humidity before the show wishing you’d just bought the tickets in advance. Such is how Minneapolis went this year, but just when you think Minnie is gonna be a mini show…BAM.
To date this was the highest level of talent on one stage this season. With Airisol and Aireola out of the race the shredders-in-wait made sure Minneapolis remained an air guitar powerhouse. Newcomer and supreme gentleman Duracell (Doug Leonard) offered to go first and declared, “I’m not here to win, I just want to have a good time!” Success on both counts. Gas Pump (Shawn Rickett), another newcomer, showed well for agreeing to perform at the same time others were standing outside to buy tickets. Legally – and romantically –bound Cleoplectra and Van Damage (Nicole and Luke Sevcik, respectively) not only gave a helluva show by making it to the 2nd round but they also BROUGHT EVERYBODY WISCONSIN’S FAMOUS SPOTTED COWMBEER. How generous, friendly and Midwest is that?
The Cabooze has a long-standing disdain for that Fancy Feast carrying feisty-fiend Danzig that dates back to Danzig’s on-site canceling of a show. The Cabooze retaliated by doing this:
before Danzig even had his bus out of the parking lot. The club also forbade any artist to ever perform a Danzig song inside their venue. We found this out last year after a wildcard chose a Danzig song and the venue staff flipped out. This year a Macy’s catalog of a man, also a wildcard, chose Danzig’s song “Mother” as a tribute to judge panelist, 4-time Minneapolis air guitar champ, and 38 WEEKS PREGNANT Airisol (Cami Phillippi). We could sense the walls closing in around us as the song bounced around the room. Security and doormen alike mobilized to initiate Operation Kick Those Fucksticks Out. However, as soon as that long, long, long 60-seconds ended we were quick to point out to the audience and venue that few things could upset Danzig more than a guy in a teal polo shirt, plaid shorts, braided belt, and Teva’s air guitaring to one of his songs. Tensions were eased, Round 1 concluded and we were ready to unveil the mighty compulsory round finalists. Not surprisingly it included our favorite Pettyphile, The Lost Heartbreaker (Rob Nechanicky), seriously skinny Mr. Serious (Lee Barats), Old Glory himself (Colin Bach) and the very Weird Wallace (Thomas Kelly).
Nordic Thunder (Justin Howard) sat in on the judges table alongside the smoky and smooth voice of veteran judge Brian Oake (Brian Oake). Before them lay the near impossible task of grading whose talents deserved to be rewarded with a trip to Denver. Would it be VD’s searing samba style? Heartbreakers “I’ll fucking air guitar to anything” enthusiasm? Weird Wallace’s, er, weirdness? In the end they chose the coincidentally named Flying Finn (Andrew Finn) whom reader(s?) might remember as the guy who makes those hilarious air guitar movie poster sendups. We remember him as the guy who comes back year after year and gets better and better and wears more and more yellow. He is also a standup guy and a fellow worthy of carrying on Minneapolis’es’s’z’ history of stellar air talent (even though he’s from Chicago).
This post brought to you by celebrity blogger Hot Lixx Hulahan. All photos taken by some other guy.