Justin Howard, known as “Nordic Thunder,” shredded his way to first place at the Air Guitar World Championships on Friday. Dressed as a Viking in a short leather tunic, Howard narrowly edged out fellow American competitor Matt “Aristotle” Burns. Howard was the U.S. Champion in 2011, but failed to take home the crown that year in the global contest. “I feel amazing, I feel loved, I feel like crying and laughing and hugging,” Howard said after his victory.
Held every year since 1996 in the city of Oulu in Northern Finland, the aim of the Air Guitar World Championships is to promote world peace, says the event’s website: “According to Air Guitar ideology, wars will end, climate change stops and all bad things disappear if all the people in the world play the Air Guitar.”