Wednesday, June 13, 2007

One step closer to Finland: McNallica wins!

Published in the Portland Phoenix

Well, obviously.

Portland-based karaoke star McNallica won the regional competition in the US Air Guitar championship series, held last Friday at Boston's Harper’s Ferry. Next stop, the Fillmore at Irving Plaza in New York City on August 16. Then, if she beats the 13 contenders there, she’ll head to Finland for the world title in early September.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. McNallica, operations manager at a local mortgage company, creamed the local competition at Portland's SPACE back in April. Last week down in Allston, Bjorn Turoque, one of the world’s greatest air-guitarists, gave her perfect scores in both rounds, and called her “the future of air guitar.”

Perhaps the best part (other than that level of praise) came the moment she and the four other finalists heard the song they would perform in the compulsory round: “Metal Health,” the title track off the 1983 Quiet Riot album. While she hadn’t worked up a routine for it, she knew the song, and spent the few minutes she had before going on stage planning a kick-ass routine.

“The whole left side of my body hurts from doing all the windmills,” she said Monday.

McNallica beat — among others — a woman who had flown in from Colorado, a guy who drove up from Washington DC, and Boston hometown favorite Mike “Godfather of Air” Torpey, who won that city's regional competition last year. She now has her eyes on beating Andrew “William Ocean” Litz, two-time New York regional champ, who will be among the most experienced air-guitarists in the national competition.

We’ll keep you posted on the dates, the other challengers, and vicious rumors about the personal lives of air-guitarists near and far, so keep checking back.