The king of Kansas City air guitar lives on. Eric "Mean" Melin shredded his way to a third U.S. Air Guitar regional championship (he's two-for-two in Kansas City) at Crosstown Station last night (click here to relive all the debauchery in photos).
Melin was the favorite, and he lived up to the hype, killing his first performance -- a 60-second rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" (yes, it's possible, and it was fucking amazing). Melin came out in a red cape, Freddie Mercury mustache, and white vest and pants, which he eventually ripped off to reveal a red devil T-shirt and pants, proving that he's more than a air-metal guitarist. Melin's performance set a high bar for the rest of the competition -- and there was stiff competition in 2011. Peter "Stiff" Dickens, the CorpAIRation, the Manther and Thunderball all advanced to the second round (read more about them in "Air Metal").
Stiff Dickens played his air guitar for all of two seconds, but he proved that he had airness by just being his weird self. Hell, in round two, he accidentally slid knees-first off the stage and managed not to hurt himself.
The CorpAIRation -- one of my all-time favorite gimmicks -- rained fake $100 bills and business cards (the firm of "Bateman, Gekko, & DiBiase L.L.C.") on the audience before unleashing a brutal metal assault. He took second on the night.
The Manther looked like a bloated Nikki Sixx, but damn if he didn't nail the highest splits of a man his size that I have ever seen. And he may really have been bleeding
from the mouth.
And Thunderball proved that he was the most wiry competitor. But the night once again belonged to Melin. (The quality of this video is really poor, but it gives you a slight idea of the greatness of his first-round routine.)
For round two, Melin shaved his 'stache and even did a trust fall into the crowd, only to emerge on the plank. And it was all over.
I was on the three-judge panel, and I can't express the true awesomeness of every competitor. Every one of them. From Union Jack and his wet pants playing my favorite AC/DC song ("Kicked in the Teeth") to Rabid Dong and her Spandex to the jiggling dick doos of Pork Sword, Jef Leppard and another guy who I have no hope of remembering how to spell his name (sorry, too many PBR tall boys). I also have to mention Glory Wholesome, who may have the greatest air-guitar name I've ever heard.
Next up, Melin reps KC against the best air guitarists in the nation at
July's national championship in Chicago.