I’m not sure if this is me getting old and longing for the days of my glorious youth (Not actually that old, just 32) but I would like to explain a few things to those who are younger than me, or those who behave a lot younger than me about how to behave in a mosh pit.
I’ve noticed a lot in the past few years that mosh pits are getting meaner and nastier than I ever imagined. I was actually knocked down a few years ago (I’m a big girl and it takes A LOT to knock me to the floor!) at a gig and that had only ever happened once before, and it freaked me out that the people in the mosh pit let it happen and didn’t help me up. I had to crawl to the side to get out. It was pretty scary; particularly for a gig I didn’t expect that to happen at (Korpiklaani – Finnish metal band). When I was regularly going to metal gigs and found myself in the pit there was a sense of everyone was there for one another – even whilst we were pushing each other around. I don’t get that feeling anymore.
On Saturday night I was in a mosh pit and even I got pushed on to the stage. Naturally I was having none of that, and got proper shouty and angry. I don’t think the men around me expected that to be fair, and I was actually watching out for some women to my side as they were much smaller than me and I didn’t want them to get hurt. Apparently some of the men in the pit have something of a reputation for just getting in to the pit to beat people up and generally be dicks. The music just gives them a reason to be there, not to actually listen, but they know it’s going to go off and there will be some mosh pit action.
I remember many years ago being knocked down in the mosh pit for a Slipknot gig. It was one of their first shows in the UK, so the place was sold out (Manchester Academy if I recall correctly) and even though the pit was basically the whole damn venue, when the crowd surged and took me with it, the next thing I knew, someone lifted me up and got me right back in to it. There doesn’t feel to be that camaraderie anymore. It’s all about hurting other people. My friend Oli said that it’s totally possible to dance aggressively, you just have to be aware of those around you, and I think it’s the awareness that is missing. People are in it for the violence, and that’s a big concern. The music you are likely hearing in a mosh pit is stuff that makes you move, makes you feel something, makes you shout and just generally raise hell, but a little awareness whilst you get in to the situation wouldn’t be a terrible thing.
I guess what I would like is a mosh pit to be a fun experience for everyone. They’re dirty, sweaty, filthy, aggressive places to be, but they can be huge fun, and if you’re in to heavy music (regardless of gender) you should be able to experience that without fear of getting badly hurt – I say badly as if you don’t get out of a mosh pit without bruises then you’re doing it wrong 🙂 – or subjected to any behaviour that isn’t right. Watch out for your fellow man, be aware, and quite possibly, you’ll have an awesome time and you will get out of it alive, if a little battered around the edges. A mosh pit isn’t an excuse to be a dick and push people around who didn’t ask for it, it’s an excuse to get in to a space with an amazing band and to let the music move you, and that should be enjoyed by everyone.