Rock out with your “airness” out

Practice rocking out - no guitar necessary - with the Las Vegas Air Guitar Association’s local competitions.
Courtesy photo

The perfect outlet for people who think Rock Band requires too many real guitar skills finally has arrived in our beloved city.

The folks from Resodence, best known for showcasing the talent of local musicians who play real instruments, have created the Las Vegas Air Guitar Association. Linked to the U.S. Air Guitar Championship, LVAGA is determined to find the Slash of air guitarists right here in Vegas through a series of monthly competitions dedicated art of playing invisible instruments.

Mastering the air guitar takes a lot — just not an actual instrument. Competitors are judged in three categories, including technical merit, because the more your invisible fretwork matches to the music, the more you might be able to convince people you're actually playing an invisible guitar, not an air guitar. (Call it the emperor's new Fender.) Not surprisingly, stage presence matters, because, well, it's all you've got. More intriguingly, the last category in judging is termed "airness" and is explained as "how much the performance was an object of art by itself, not only a simulation of playing a guitar."

"It's very similar to figure skating," explains Chris Lose of LVAGA, referring to that pesky "presentation" category in the Olympic sport. Before you scoff at the comparison, remember that rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline are recognized Olympic events.

Air guitar has made an appearance in Las Vegas before, setting up shop at Carnival Court outside of Harrah's. Unfortunately, the prime Strip locale made for heavy tourist traffic, which meant it was mostly boring mom and pops from Kansas vying for the title.


LVAGA's first event will be catered to locals, who unequivocally rock more than tourists, February 13 at Tommy Rocker's. Judges for the event will be the joint's namesake (Tommy Rocker), the Weekly's own Xania Woodman and Lauralie Ezra of The Sin City Socialites. Contestants will have 60 seconds to show off their "airness" in hopes of moving on to the next round. Also up for grabs are hundreds of dollars in cash and prizes, including Sam Ash gift certificates. Who knows? Someone might feel compelled to put the earnings toward a real guitar.

LVAGA will continue to hold one event per month leading up to the arrival of the U.S. Air Guitar Competition Regional Finals, scheduled for Memorial Day weekend at Diablo's Cantina. The winner of the regional finals will be flown to New York City to compete for the U.S. title, which earns them a spot to compete in Finland for the world title of master air guitarist.

America has air power-slid into the world championship spot two years in a row. Those who think they have what it takes to fill those giant invisible shoes can sign up at lvaga.com.


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