San Diego Recap: The End Times Cometh
The following is a guest post from Lt. Facemelter. A HUGE thanks go out to Nicole Ravida for the amazing pictures, to Nate Briles for the recap video, and to J.D. Franklin for the individual performance videos. *Pro-tip* – click on the name of each air guitarist for video of their routine! Hot damn, San Diego. You done did it again. This was another year to remember. And that's saying a lot, considering how much I don't remember from 12-2am.
Coming off a record-breaking year in 2013, the bar was set as high as last year's lanky champion. Though San Diego was not to be shaken, as we saw a new record of 16 competitors grace the stage, complete with two wildcards who were suckered into making fools of themselves for a pair of Zubaz I probably wore last week.
After that, things got real with D. Flute Air Mouse - a name I consistently butchered from the moment I introduced him, and had me calling him DJ Shit Mouse by the end of the night. Technically perfect from start to finish, he might have won had he not played air flute for the entire routine. In another act of "he might have won had he not purposely tried to lose", Lt. Facemolester showed up and completely ripped off my routine from last year's finals. I was honored, I was desecrated and I damn near pissed myself laughing.
Round 1 continued to see all sorts of action, complete with intro tracks this year, which allowed competitors up to 30 seconds of additional music as they took the stage. We were basically a few pyrotechnics and a heel interview short of WWE production here. We even had the first Mother-Son combo in US Air Guitar history! Kingslayer and Air-O-Dynamic should have been put in a cage with a 12 foot ladder and a folding chair, but instead they competed over who had to clean the bathroom when they got home.
San Diego also saw it's fair share of rookies in 2014. The pirate fuck-yous of P.B.Argh, the swift MJ moves of The Fobinator, the sexed up superhero rock of The A-Train, and the 120 decibel reminder that "It's not a tooomaaaa" from Optimus Shred were all on top of their game in their first year debut. But it was AIRiel RipChord who stormed out of the gates with a Disney lawsuit hot on her heels, shredding to Frozen's "Let it Go" to solidify the San Diego Rookie of the Year award that I just made up as I type this. But hey - if you can get a 6.0 the first time you ever take the stage, I call that shit well deserved.
Returning veterans also impressed, including the Christmas styling and free wrapped cans of beer from Jolly St. Licks, and the "we're not from San Diego, but we're San Diego veterans" crew of Sweetness, Arora Nasty and Andres SegoviAIR, the latter of which took 3rd place and will be heading to the LA Semifinals.
But the real competition came down to two men. Or rather one fucking GIANT and a kid who probably had to miss his 8th grade Washington trip to be at the show. Jolly Green Shredding Machine and Tyranicus, Lord of the End Times are creating a Magic Johnson Vs. Larry Bird-like rivalry, as this was the second straight year they closed out Round 1 where either one could take the title. Shit got real when they entered Round 2, tied with a score of 17.8.
In another new twist to 2014, Round 2 competitors had the option to roll the Die of Doom, giving them a new song in place of any song played before them, with the caveat that they couldn't hear it first. High risk, high reward. High-larious results - especially when Jolly Green elected the crowd to take his roll, causing the 24" cube to be thrown into the house lights and onto the stage, all while my venue deposit flashed before my eyes.
Both Jolly Green and Tyranicus manned up and let the air guitar gods decide their fate, and when it was all said and done, only 0.1 points were the difference. Both will move onto theLA Semifinals, but the San Diego crown falls atop the head of Tyranicus, Lord of the End Times and the inevitable leader of our dystopian future. Bow before him and beg that your demise be swift. Or I don't know, maybe give him a ride to the mall and buy him an Orange Julius.
Thank you again, San Diego. I'm already looking forward to next year.