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- Posted on Apr 18th 2010 12:00PM by Emily Tan
W.K., along with Jaleel Bunton of TV on the Radio and Les Savy Fav's Seth Jabour, watched and critiqued guitarists from all over the Big Apple to see who had the hottest licks and fastest fingers of the night. Complete with head-banging, long unwashed hair and holey attire, guitarists of all ages had 60 seconds to wow the judges -- either backed by the house band or solo.
After two preliminary rounds, 15-year-old Rusty Goldbaum of Brooklyn; 2008 Shred for Your Life champ Damien Paris of Brooklyn-based band the Giraffes; jazz guitarist and rocker Lily Maase; and 15-year-old guitar player Dylan Brenner, whose band BYS opened the night's festivities, prevailed over the other competitors. Brenner was 2009's Shred for Your Life runner-up and also one of the night's favorites. W.K. couldn't even hold back his emotion at how this kid shredded. "You made me cry," he said. "That was one of the greatest guitar solos I ever heard."
While the guitar players showed they had the chops, their skills were tested when they had to spin the "Wheel of Destiny" that determined whether they had to play for only 20 seconds; strum blindfolded; play along with the house band without conferring first; or a combination of all three dubbed as "gulag." It came to no surprise when all four ended up playing "gulag" style. And while the judges unanimously deemed Masse the winner of her round against Paris, it got a little more difficult to choose between the two teens, since the judges all agreed the two received energy from something bigger than themselves. "To play electric guitar, you have to be channeling God," W.K. said," and these kids have done that and will live every happy lives."
However, Brenner took the round and had to face Maase, the night's only female competitor, in the final shred-off. After playing 90 seconds each, Bunton felt like the judges "didn't have enough to eat" and wanted more. So the two had to face off again with the house band playing the rhythm section. They had two 30-second rounds of play, and although the evening's young guitar-god-in-training was the crowd's choice pick, Maase was named the winner of this year's guitar battle.
Andrew W.K. on AOL Music