We have seen them everywhere and we all use them. The hand gesture is a universal sign that connects the crowd to the DJ, finding it's place alongside impassioned warrior cries and frenzied dance moves.
Whether you're a candy-stomper, jump-stepper or casual tecktonik dancer—you still find time to to raise your hands and salute the DJs.
Use this quick guide to catapult your rave knowledge above the mob and learn which iconic hand gesture will best convey your message in a certain crowd context.
The Daft Punk Pyramid
How Daft Punk have continued to remain relevant despite a blatant absence from the tour circuit is a mystery to me. But, the duo's staying power is nothing to mock. Their self-coined hand pyramid has made appearances at shows, festivals and raves—even when the robots are not in attendance.
Use this sign: When you want to display your reverence for your robot overlords.
The PLUR Heart
Often accompanied by Molly and Kandi, the PLUR heart can be an effective way to transcend the barrier between performer and crowd. It is most frequently found at the flashiest raves, especially amongst the trance and progressive house genres, where lasers, confetti and fog machines are standard issue.
Some DJs despise it as cliche, but others—from Guetta to Kaskade—embrace the PLUR heart and project it to their doting crowds.
Use this sign: When you want to send your love from the back of the crowd.
The Hands to the Heavens
This sign is all about hand placement and the angle of your arms. If you're palms face up in the form of a V, you are releasing some sort of inner divine nature. Harnessing the energy of the impending drop, 'Hands to the Heavens' users adopt a euphoric smile and lean their head back to take in the cosmic rise and drop in all its glory.
Use this sign: After reaching a spiritual breakthrough through the music.
If the V-angle becomes more like 2 lower-case Ls, you are a rabid fan trying to own the DJ. You are not content simply dancing to the music. You would rush the stage like a professional linebacker if you could—for the ultimate touchdown.
Fans of 'The Touchdown' can be found leaning over the gate, fondling the security men between them and their DJ obsession. Some attempt the two handed touchdown, but one hand must also guard against other fans jockeying for their front position.
Use this sign: When you are 20 feet from the DJ and can see the pores of their skin.
This sign proves that a simple hand rotation can make a big difference. If you go for Hands to the Heavens, but you palms face down, you are preaching the EDM gospel. You're not trying to calm the crowd down, and you're not asking for their confession. You are taking in all their love and devotion. You are the crowd conductor.
Use this sign: When mixing a euphoric sermon for your loyal subjects.
Bird is the word, but is the bird a bad word? In recent years, the middle finger has almost reversed its connotation, especially for EDM fans.
Flipping the bird has become an endearing sign to describe all 'sick' beats and mind altering drops, a thank you to the DJ for effectively blowing up the crowd with an insane frequency change.
Use this sign: When the bass rattles you to your core. Otherwise you look like a jerk.
The fist pump has become associated with all things bro-tastic. Find it's users full of Red Bull, or something far more effective than caffeine, sporting their favorite tank top and knock off Ray-bans.
A concentration of fist pumpers is often a good forecast for a mosh pit, so if energy levels start to rise past your comfort level, look for your PLUR hearts.
Use this sign: When you're in the club, trying to attract the closest guido or guidette.
The Number 1
Whether it's used to claim the number one position or to demand more volume, this iconic index finger is a DJ favorite.
The Number 1 is used by everyone from Armin van Buuren to Boys Noize, often interchangeably with the PLUR heart, but more respect is given to DJs who use this sign because they keep one hand on the controls at all times.
Use this sign: When you have reached that multi-millionaire status. Or, for those with hearing problems, as a signal to the sound guy to raise the volume.