So, I’m on my way to this “Shred-4-Your-Life” gig, the ultimate guitarist showdown, and all I can picture is your run-of-the-mill Staten Island 80’s-metal fan with the unwashed Slayer t-shirt along with his tatted up girlfriend who’s half asleep with a cigarette in her mouth. I also had a vision of some Tiny Tim style thrash metal ukuleleist (oh, it’s a word), but that might have just been something I ate, but I digress.
The evening was hosted by a jovial Andrew WK, who described guitar playing as, “a series of shapes and colors,” which I’m sure anyone alive in the late 60’s would agree with. After a kick-off performance by the band BYC (whose 15-year old frontman, Dylan Brenner, just happened to be a contestant himself), the show was underway.
As the competition was underway, guitarists were pitted against every sort of variable imaginable: they were blindfolded and told to play, told to play with a live band without conferring on the music first, and only playing for 20 seconds to show stuff.
The final battle of this unkempt hair and dated t-shirts contest came down to a 15-year old boy and a female jazz guitarist. Just as I had envisioned. Er…
Dylan Brenner, a 15 year old from Brooklyn came face to face with semi-professional jazz guitarist Lily Maase. While both wowed and dazzled the crowd (so much so that they had to have two final showdowns), it was time for the judges to make their decision. The audience choice was Mr. Brenner, who even made Andrew WK weep with his soloing, but Ms. Lily Maase walked away victorious with the Shred-4-Your-Life trophy.
Congratulations on beating a 15-year old, Lily. This will truly catapult you into rock greatness.