RED DEER TO THE RESCUE – First-Ever Championships Delivers the Goods
Event Re-Cap By: Tyler Gardner
Photos & Video by: Stephanie Kartzmark
June 18th, 2016 – Have you ever been somewhere and you could sense that something amazing was about to happen? Maybe it was the energy, the vibe, the tension, but you just knew you were in the right place for that moment that would undoubtedly go down in history. That is how I felt as I strolled into Fratters Speakeasy that night in Red Deer, Alberta.
Fratters, already a place rich with its history of music and performance was filling up with a new injection of electricity, accumulating in the air. As is always the case with such phenomena, it would inevitably find a way to discharge and unleash its full power all at once, and it did… all over the stage. Fratters is easily one of the classiest joints in town and by far the classiest place an Air Guitar Competition has ever been hosted at, or at least it was before we rolled in. This is the kind of place where a weirdo can be weird and a person can be themselves without being afraid of what others think (perfect for air guitar right?), and for one high flying, sock rocking night it was home… because as we all know, home is where you hang your Air Guitar.
It turns out that Red Deer was not to be the exception to the unstoppable wave of female Air Guitarists that have been sweeping Canada – proving without any doubt that Air Guitar is not just for the boys. Kaje Annihilatrix AKA: Sista’ Fista’ shredded through the night like a twista and made history as Red Deer’s first-ever ‘official’ Air Guitar Champion. When she hit the stage you immediately knew things were going to get crazy. While there were challengers and the scores were tight, once the dust had settled she remained standing tall… the Red Deer Champion.
Drawing first assignment was LT. Windhammer. Combining the names of two veteran US Air Guitarists LT. Facemelter and Windhammer. LT Windhammer defined what it means to be a Brave Soul; Having never even heard of competitive Air Guitar before this night he pulled out a pretty decent “Kickstart My Heart”.
5.1 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 5.2
Next up Maritime Sweetness showed us how sweet he really is, easily winning the award for best head banging of the night. He was head banging to “Shallow Grave” by Annihilator so hard he almost ended up in the drum kit!
5.8 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.5
Our only returning competitor from last year Hand Solo hit the stage next dressed in an Adam West style Batman suit… which makes sense. Walking out onto some vacant tables the Dark Night melted faces with his over the top performance with “Enter the Hall” by Revocation. He also impressed judges with the first Power Slide of the night!
5.8 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.8
Goldwin Massacre was next living up to his name as he laid waste to the stage showing exactly how its done! At one point he rode his Air Guitar like a skate board in tribute to the fact that the venue used to be an indoor skate park! He shredded to DRI’s “I Don’t Need Society” harder then it’s ever been shredded.. which is saying something if you know DRI. Rock N Roll is alive and well…. Gene!
5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.7
Keeping things old school was The Black Heart! Who, dressed in all black rocked out barefoot to Joan Jett’s classic anthem “I Love Rock N Roll” earning herself the night’s first 6.0
5.9 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.3
Then out of nowhere last minute entry Zorba hit the stage looking like a being from a far away Galaxy of Rock and Metal. What followed was an Air Guitar clinic as he bounded through a medley of tracks including Journey – “Separate Ways”,
Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock”.
5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.9
Sista’ Fista’ was next to try her shot at the invisible axe. As a Brave Soul she was going into this having never heard the edit of the song she chose, just picked from a list and killed it!! Thats what Air Guitar is all about! She also had some of the best Rock faces of the night! Her effort earned her the highest individual score of the night with nearly a perfect score!
5.9 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.0
Closing out the night was Jordy Bryce who rocked out to arguably one of the best Air Guitar Songs out there, “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath. And Jordy did not disappoint!
5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.5
During half time organizer, national medalist, all around good guy Tyler “Cat Friday” Gardner (also the writer of this recap) gave the competitors a taste of what Nationals will be like. An official welcoming to the Air Guitar Canada family; theres nothing like a little family rivalry.
In the Compulsory round competitors had to Air Guitar to a mystery song unbeknownst to them. The audience voted through secret ballots and overwhelmingly chose a Heavy Metal Cover of “Gangnam Style”. After hearing the song once the top five from the first round, one by one performed the song. They went in reverse order based off of their previous scores.
5.6 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.6
The Black Heart
5.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.4
5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3
5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0
5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8
In the end after a hard fought night of battling Air Guitars only one can stand champion, that champion is Kaje Annihilatrix, or as she will be known hence fourth… Sista’ Fista’.
After wrapping things up with the traditional mass playing of “Keep on Rocking in the Free World” by Neil Young, Diesel May closed out the night. I couldn’t possibly think of a better way to conclude a night of Rock then with more Rock. No one does it better, or Rocks harder than Diesel May.
Congratulations to all of the competitors for making history at the first ever Red Deer Air Guitar Championships. Huge thank you to Fratters Speakeasy for being the coolest bar with the best staff in town. A thanks as well to our sponsors at Steam Whistle, 106.7 The Drive, Pango pizza, and Banger Bingo!!
See you in Toronto!
Tyler “Cat Friday” Gardner