Fear and Loathing at AirBand

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Phil Cerroni
Contributing Writer

I took my seat in Lynch 15 minutes prior to the start of AirBand with a sinking feeling in my stomach.  Every year I cry my way through AirBand, a show of ill-thought-out routines. But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The routines are fun. The entertainers gather around an idea that makes them laugh, and they want to share it with the rest of us.

As the emcees, Nate McCormick and Luke Hollomon, were setting up, I was reminded of a revelation about Charity Week that I had last year: Babies love cash. The emcees, who re-created the opening scene from “The Princess Bride”, brought the audience back to the movie most of us saw as kids. Instead of opening with the novel, the grandfather read “Air Band: An Anthology,” Trans. Richmond Lattimore.

The first act brought with it the inevitable glitter thrown around the stage, and, not so inevitably, Rose Healy sporting war paint and wearing a cape.  After the act was finished, the grandson swallowed some helium from the balloons floating over his bed. From this we were given the first taste of the banter we were to expect from the emcees. Hollomon joked, “Japan, that’s where people stand on their heads because they’re upside down?”  I didn’t get the jest until I saw the second act: Hello Kitty doing No Theater.  Apparently the grandson didn’t particularly like it because afterwards he took another generous hit of helium.  Poor kid, it seemed like he had a habit.

The next band took me completely by surprise.  It was a real AirBand replete with air guitars, wardrobe malfunctions and Bon Jovi!  It didn’t matter that they hadn’t really choreographed it: They were having fun, and it was infections. The grandfather’s comments after their performance explained his laissez faire policy towards his grandson’s helium addiction: “If you remember the sixties, you weren’t there.”

After the next routine, I began wondering if it would compromise my journalistic integrity if I didn’t stay for the entire affair and finished my article from the comfort of my apartment.  I also realized that the emcees were probably the best part of the event. They weren’t Abbot and Costello, but they were witty and kept the audience engaged.

The Resident Assistant’s performed their yearly “RAreband,” causing fits of laughter from the entire audience as they revealed a day in the life of an RA.

Last but not least, what would Air Band be without a bunch of students dressed up like gangsters? The evening wrapped up with the grandson finally OD-ing on helium and passing out, and I really hoped the Catholic Charities representative in attendance was going to come take the poor child away from his abusive grandfather.

On the whole, Air Band was probably a little better than last year.  Beneath the silliness, Air Band can be described as that awkward friend you have, who learned everything she knows about life from her big sister, the Tower Film Festival, who is more self-conscious and only a little better at doing her makeup. Make sure to catch the winner of AirBand on Friday at the Male Auction.

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