Welcome To Metalopolis

By Gina Roberts

If you’ve never been to a metal show and are thinking of attending one, this guide will give you insight into the kind of people you may encounter. Of course, there are typical Metalheads: black clothing, long hair, piercings or tattoos (or both). But here, we’re looking at Metalhead sub-species that stand out.

Let’s begin our journey into the wilderness with The Hot Chick. You might be saying to yourself, “There’s always Hot Chicks. Why would this one be different?” Well that’s why you’re here, so shush. She stands out from the crowd, so much so, that one can turn to someone and say “Did you see that chick?” and they will immediately know who you are talking about. This can occur even at large events, but usually it’s because she has done something to stand out. Notice I said usually—there are cases where it’s not as obvious. This is because the Hot Chick ranges based on attire. Sometimes she’s scantily clad and sometimes she's well dressed. Either way, she’s attracting eyeballs. She is always into metal and may have a boyfriend.

This next one is the Irregular Joe. It's obvious this person does not frequent shows. The Irregular Joe (or Jane) can be compared to someone in dark green camouflage standing in a snowbank by the side of a road—they just stick out. This is because they are colourfully dressed in a sea of black band shirts. The males are also usually wearing a cap, which is detrimental to headbanging. However, if he is not wearing a cap, he will over-compensate for his headbanging inexperience, and end up looking like a bobble head. I know I've mainly addressed males here and that’s because Irregular Janes are usually Somebody’s Girlfriend.

Somebody’s Girlfriend has similar traits to the Irregular Joe, but is only there because her boyfriend is a Metalhead. Like the Irregular Joe, she wears clothing different from the female Metalhead, and often mistakenly, flats or sandals. Poor shoe choices at a metal show can end in having your feet crushed or bruised, especially when unknowingly standing next to or in the mosh pit area. Somebody’s Girlfriend is generally displeased to be at the event; whether it’s the music or atmosphere is unknown. If she is moderately interested, she may fall under the category of Disinterested Danny.

The Disinterested Danny is stoic. There are always attendees who stand at the back—but they are NOT to be confused with the Disinterested Danny. He or she is almost exclusively (with the exception of Somebody’s Girlfriend) at the front of the stage among headbanging attendees. They will seem unimpressed, yet still want to be near the excitement, suggesting they enjoy themselves. It is a mystery yet to be solved.

The Extreme Mosher offsets the previous two species by being overzealous. At a metal show, you will see people pushing and shoving in the mosh pit, but you can tell the Extreme Mosher apart by the amount and ferocity with which he (rarely she) moshes. By going overboard, he sometimes bothers those around him and is usually the culprit of mosh pit pockets at larger events. Occasionally this person is a jerk, but usually only when combined with the Smashed Guy.

You probably know who I’m referring to. The majority of show attendees consume alcohol. The Smashed Guy goes overboard and by the end of the night often becomes the Extreme Mosher. This can lead to folly, like being kicked out of a smaller venue or bothering the wrong person. In extreme cases, Smashed Guy will end the night in injury—from falls or hits in the mosh pit resulting in blood spilled, or from dehydration during outdoor shows. Aside from these cases, it’s funny to watch.

This concludes our look at some of the unique sub-species of Metalhead you may encounter at your first show. It might seem like a crazy world in there, but you’ll make it through with the proper footwear.