When Dying Fetus, a death metal act not exactly known for catering to female tastes, recently came to New York City, the Gramercy Theatre was — shock of shocks — populated with plenty of beautiful ladies. As a frequenter of such concerts for over a dozen years, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Death metal events are known to be…how do I put this…”vaginally-challenged.”
Is this Dying Fetus crowd a new trend at hardcore and heavy metal shows? And if so, why are so many hot ladies now showing up?
My opportunity to get to the bottom of this came when Brooklyn Vegan and Red Bull announced a surprise Pig Destroyer performance at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar. Once again, my experience-based assumptions were wrong, as neither chaos nor sausage were in excessive abundance at the door. Within a minute of entering the club, I met Sarabeth and Noa, two cute women who were also quick to support my hypothesis: “Oh, I definitely think the [girl-to-guy] ratio is evening out,” said Noa.
The change isn’t lost on the bands, either. Pig Destroyer bassist John Jarvis told me that while working at the Summer Slaughter Tour (featuring The Dillinger Escape Plan and Cattle Decapitation), he “never saw so many beautiful women before,” also noting happily that “side boob seemed to be a popular theme.”
Even Jeff, a bouncer at Saint Vitus, has noticed a change in crowd composition in just the two years he’s worked there. “There are more and more women at these shows. Especially more single women in groups. In fact, I’m trying to get laid tonight.”
Lila and Lyndsay, two attractive female metal vets who have been going to hardcore shows “since Merauder played CBGB” also confirmed an increasing number of girls at these types of shows. I asked them why they thought this might be happening.
“Because they wanna meet dudes?” joked Lyndsay.
Joke or not, metal and hardcore music no longer solely appeals to angry misanthropic males with poor social skills. The guys in the Pig Destroyer pit looked pretty mainstream to me. Ultimately, shows aren’t as scary as they were 20 or even 10 years ago, back when “mosh pit” was defined as “place to punch / get punched in the face.”
Bouncer Jeff has noticed that these days, “When someone falls, everybody picks ‘em up.” Punk rock seems to now tolerate a much more supportive vibe. In fact, I twice witnessed Pig Destroyer vocalist J. R. Hayes ask the crowd to give the front row some breathing room, a request which would have been mocked in most hardcore rooms of the ’80s and ’90s.
The internet has helped demystify extreme music, making it more accessible and less intimidating. A girl can watch clips from a Napalm Death concert and see that it’s not so scary after all, which makes her much more likely to attend. And plenty of studies have shown that women are more apt to share photos or videos online than men are, thus creating a quicker spread of the news amongst themselves.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter why cute girls are there — they’re there. So get your ass to a metal, punk or hardcore show. It can be easy to pick up a woman at such a concert if you follow a few quick preparation tips:
Dress Slightly Better Than Everyone Else
If you own anything nicer than a Cannibal Corpse shirt and torn jeans, you already have an advantage over your competition. But for God’s sake, it’s still a metal show: Leave the chiffon sweater at home.
Bring A Wingman (Or, Bonus Points, Wingwoman)
Single metal girls often travel in packs, and it’s easier to approach such a crew with a pal in tow. Plus, it’ll help mask your ulterior motives, you head-bobbing lurker, you.
Get There Early
The show is going to be loud as hell, and you won’t be able to talk to anyone when the music starts playing. Early arrival will help you get a lay of the land, a feel for who’s there and the ability to talk to a woman without screaming at her like the vocalist for a powerviolence band.
Bring Extra Pairs Of Earplugs
Offering them to a lady is a great icebreaker, and she’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness. Protecting your ears doesn’t make you less of a man — it demonstrates your caring, paternal instincts. (WARNING: May cause imminent pregnancy.)
Know Your Sh*t
Noa even offered me a tip of her own: “Don’t assume that [any girl] is there because a guy dragged her there by the hair,” she said. “Assume that she’s into the music. Talk to her like you would talk to any other fan.” A dude into metal or hardcore can fare pretty well at any show.
Photo credit: Getty Images, AFP/Getty, Dani Devine