Inevitably, during every rock show the audience chants some phrase or chorus in unison. Our show was no different. Halfway through the first song, I found myself chanting “Metal on Metal.” I didn’t do it with the gusto of most people, but I did garner enough enthusiasm for the ritual.
In front, the metal heads gave the band the devil sign and everybody else either pumped their fist in unison or followed suit with the metal heads. I was a different story, though. There was some since of misguided pride or age appropriate behavior that stopped me from raising my hands with the horns. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to do it, I wanted to be part of this moment, but I was now exposed in the crowd, away from the safety of the wall and what confidence I had was slowly leaking.
Not wanting to be one of those idiots at concerts that show no emotion while a band is playing, I decided to pump my fist, moving my wrist back and forth, like I was knocking on a door. This failed miserably. My fist hung over the heads of the audience, not like a monument to metal, but more like I was physically challenged. At the last minute, I decided to give the horns; however, I was once again non-committal, so it looked more like I was signing (ASL) or I had Cerebral Palsy. It looked like a fay, limp wrist.
A non-descript man in front of me, next to two 60 plus, white haired, albino guys that looked like a mixture of Kris Kristofferson and the Nelson twins, was also exploring new rock hand techniques. However, he seems more confident and practiced in his rogue hand gesture.
It could only be described as a nod to a goat’s hoof: the 3 middle fingers and thumb of his hand slightly bent, looking like a twisted 4-prong pitch fork, with his pinkie tucked under his ring finger. His hand violently pierced the air, aimed at the band. His face was contorted and demonic. Given that we were at a metal show and metal and goats unfortunately go together, it had to be a goat’s hoof. It was beyond me, but I liked it and embraced his commitment.
2 songs later there was a fight in the middle of the floor, where the obligatory mosh pit waged. Security grabbed the fighter by the back of his neck and arms and walked him to the side of the stage and out the backstage door. Trailing the fighter and security was the goat guy, giving the goat symbol with a demonic smile. It was unclear whether he was part of the fight or not. Either way, he followed them through the backstage door, giving the staff and fighter “the goat” the whole way.
A few minutes later security returned sans the goat guy and the fighter. Even though it appeared that the goat guy was not part of the fight, they did themselves a favor and tossed him with the fighter. He wasn’t long for the show.