SACRAMENTO -- They play nothing and it sure is something.
Backstage at the U.S. Air Guitar Regionals, the performers were getting some final notes. There were around 20 competitors, some experienced shredders and some newcomers.
"I don’t know if I’m good, I just know I like it," said Paul Peterson, who goes by the name "Sonny."
With names like “Chew-Rocka” and “Whitenoise,” they braved the bright lights up on stage armed with nothing but attitude.
Kate Rose, or "Kit Kat," the reigning Sacramento champion, was there. If anyone else wanted the crown, they would have to go through her.
Competitive air guitar doesn’t have much to do with actual musical talent. Instead, it has everything to do with energy. Watching the competitors in the moments before their show is a study in how to psych yourself up.
They each get 60 seconds from the song of their choice to rock. Performers are judged in three categories, the first being stage presence.
Next, the judges look at technical execution.
"You want to make sure that you have technicality, that it looks like you are playing a guitar," Rose said.
Finally, judges will look for what they simply call "air-ness."
Kit Kat got some perfect 6’s from the judges for other competitors to overcome. By the time the reverb from the last wailing note faded, she was crowned champion once again. That’s two years in a row Kate Rose can claim the title of best air guitar player in Northern California.