Nashville: (Still) Music City
Nashville has nothing to be jealous of anymore. This town can BRING it!
Now, you'll have to excuse me…. In terms of blogging ability, I'm certainly no ATC 1, and well… I was way too drunk to take any notes. So, we'll just focus on the highlights of the show.
The show was held at the Rutledge, which is a pretty cool music venue. The stage is nicely sized, and it has a really cool seating area in the back….. where most of the audience hung out. So…. competing in Nashville sort of felt like playing to an empty house with a laugh/clap track being piped in. When the judges spoke (they were also seated in the back and were unlit) it kinda felt like God was talking…. a really sort of stupid God that didn't know anything about air guitar or how to judge a show.
So…. the show started late - why? Because we were all waiting for Van Dammage (Luke Sevcik) to drag his hot ass from Atlanta. Apparently there was a lot of traffic outside of Bumfuck or Chattanooga or some shit like that. Either way, it's not like we had anything better to do - and the Rutledge folks were nice enough to provide us with a HUGE COOLER OF BEER to drink. For free. (US AIR GUITAR…. ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION????) They also provided a huge plate of meat…. and who doesn't like meat with their beer? (That's what she said)
Now here's where things will start getting a bit hazy. Shorty McShred (Brian Wood), the first competitor of the night, was awesome. First time competitor. And yes, he was really was short - and he sure did bring the heat! And sex appeal. And neon lighted rings. I don't know what Nashville has in their water - but this dude was probably the best 1st time competitor I've seen live in a long while. Airness out the wazoo. That said - the judges, not completely understanding the scoring system, gave him stunningly crappy scores of 4.7, 4.9, and 4.7. Egads.
T Slaypool (Tom Dempsey), made the trek down from DC and really got the event and crowd going, with his sexy "Kool" pants…. which might have come unintentionally unbuttoned/unzipped mid-performance. Still, he tore the place apart, but unfortunately was also a victim of crappy judging and averaged a 5.4.
Next up? Newcomer Little Miss Iron Miss (Talia Van Doran), who was mentored by none other than Nordic Thunder! This chick brought it all - sex appeal, grit, patriotism, a seemingly 3 foot tall immoveable mohawk, and a huge screaming band of groupies. I would comment on her performance, but my face melted the moment I laid eyes on her…. and I passed out from the sheer euphoria that came over me during those 60 glorious seconds. This chick truly killed it, scoring a 6.0, 6.0, 5.9. Comments from the judges included "Holy fucking shit! You are hot!" (from one of the female judges) and "I woulda definitely given you a 6 if you took your shirt off!" (Also from one of the female judges). Needless to say, she was pretty fucking good.
Following her? Van Dammage! Love. Sex. Roses. Salsa. Chips. Guacamole. Fajitas. Margaritas. Those are all the things I had for lunch on Thursday. On a related note, Van Dammage packages most of those same things into the sexiest air guitar performance east of Tony Tap. I've seen VD's video from Chicago, and I gotta say, this was better. Standing a mere 5 feet from him, I might have gotten a little bit wet in my undies while watching him…. along with every other screaming female in the joint. Scores? 6.0 6.0 5.9!
Another newcomer, Betty Rampage (Marsha Currence) followed (she's also a Nashville Rollergirl!) and definitely amped up the sex appeal. I would write more about her performance, but after watching the previous 2, I had to be placed in a medically induced coma to handle the blood imbalance in my body. I don't remember what she scored…. but it was good enough to get her into a tie with T Slaypool! Bam!
Doug "The Thunder" Stroock, brought up the rear of the show (insert butt jokes here). The philosophy for his performance was to stun the audience/judges into submission with a really bad hat/wig combo and sparkly pants (with dessert being a view of his manly pecs). Apparently that philosophy worked, and he scored a solid 6.0, 6.0, and 5.8 (from the dude judge, who apparently didn't like his pecs) which moved him into 2nd place.
On to the 2nd round we go! The compulsory song? Motley Crue's Kickstart My Heart - the 1st minute, completely unadulterated and unedited. Betty Rampage, T Slaypool, Thunder Stroock, Van Dammage, and Iron Miss- in that order.
Let's just get to the dirty little details. Betty brought the sex. Slaypool shotgunned a beer and tried to light his chest hair on fire (he finally got it flaming post-performance during the judges commentary. Mmmm such a wondrous smell that Slaypool burnt chest hair is…. kinda like a combination of sex, cigarettes, and dog shit). Scores were high all around, but leaving room for the top. Thunder Stroock was up next… Shockingly (or not), he ripped his shirt off mid-performance, and then channelling '09 Stryker, pulled the double beer can slam/shotgun move. Apparently, the sight of his naked torso wet with Pabst was too much for the judges, who gave him straight 6.0's!
How would Van Dammage respond? The answer? Quickly…..
By getting on his knees and cleaning up Thunder's mess with remnants of torn off shirts. Air Guitarist by day, janitor by night. But I digress. Van Dammage brought it, and completely nailed the performance - a sexy shredfest that included showing off his "VD" chest hair (which the judges totally didn't get) and running through the audience and laying across the bannister leading up to the judges table without missing a single chord. Apparently the judges were not paying attention, and gave him scores that were waaaaay below what he deserved, thus putting him out of the running. Our final contestant Iron Miss - brought it, and left the judges drooling and speechless. 6.0 6.0 5.9!
But wait! Where does that leave us?
Thunder Stroock vs Iron Miss. Pecs vs Sex.
The song? Cult of Personality - again - an unadulterated/unedited cut that started mid-song. Tough.
Iron Miss up first rips off her denim vest mid-performance, garnering her 5.9's across the board.
Thunder Stroock followed with an inspired performance, pecs still gleaming from the earlier onslaught of Pabst, stole the hearts of the judges, and scored a 5.9, 5.9, 6.0!
Winner winner chicken dinner!
To finish off the evening, Nashville had all the air guitar contestants return to the stage for an inspired finale to…… Bon Jovi?!?
Oh well…. the evening wasn't perfect, but the talent (not all of which was mentioned here, but was first class all around) and the crowd were awesome.
With the 2012 Air Guitar Regional under its belt, the city that has more there-guitars per-capita than any other city on earth (I made that up) can again stand tall. Nashville's reputation as THE Music City is still intact.
1. This post was written by celebrity guest blogger DOUG THE THUNDER STROOCK (Doug Stroock), who most certainly shares the same blogging ability, memory deficits, and blood alcohol content as ATC.