At the ripe age of 17 in early 2008, his mother drove him from their latchkey apartment in New York City down to Philadelphia, because it was the only all ages show on our tour. Everyone present that night knew they were witnessing the future of competitive air guitar blossom before their eyes, like a caterpillar becoming a new caterpillar with different colored eyes. Barely a flyweight, the teen was so thin and pale he was nearly translucent. But even at 17 he was already six feet tall, with every inch screaming “nerd.” Obviously, the kid was a natural, and born for this sport.
Thursday night, Burns apparently demonstrated good "airness," as defined by judge Ben Wizner.
"We look at skill, we look at preparation, we look at accuracy," Wizner said, "but what we're really looking for is the quality we call "airness." The French have a term for that, it's "je ne sais quoi." You know it when you see it."
Burns can hopefully maintain the "je ne sais quoi" in July when he competes against 11 other regional champions this July in Denver in the US Air Guitar Championship.
Last year, Justin "Nordic Thunder" Howard, of Chicago, won the national competition: