There was spandex. There was chest hair. There were windmills galore. But at the U.S. Air Guitar Championships, held Saturday night at Metro, there were no actual axes in sight. Twenty-two competitors from across the nation convened for a shot at faux-rock glory, but it was Chicago’s own three-time regional winner, the sweat- and leather-clad Justin “Nordic Thunder” Howard, who took home the title belt and a chance to shred at the world championships in Finland later this year. Browse our photos below.


Photography: Joshua Longbrake