Moshing is Fun
Moshing can be a joyful, rewarding experience. Moshing allows the music to enter your very being so that you become part of the total musical experience. A mass passion enters the crowd so that the crowd becomes as one in a highly energized yet transcendent state.
If you decide you are going to mosh, be prepared. Understand that you will probably get hurt, usually bruised. Someone will bump or crash into you. Someone may step on your foot.
Moshing in an intense aerobic workout. If you are a couch potato, you may not enjoy the experience. Jumping around like a maniac for an hour and a half takes a lot of energy so you want to be in shape. Don't forget to hydrate before hand as you will sweat copiously.
Maybe they wore those skimpy outfits that I warned you about.
Mosh - Dress for Success
If you are going to a concert with the intention of entering a mosh pit, if there is even the slimmest chance you might enter the mosh pit, there a few things you can to to make your mosh a safe and enjoyable event. Dress for success - dress to mosh.
- Don't wear skimpy clothing - you don't want to get arrested for indecent exposure when the little strappy thing rips.
- Don't wear your absolute favorite outfit. Damage is possible even among the nicest and most fun-loving crowd.
- Do not wear expensive or open-backed shoes, sandals, high heels, clogs,flip-flops, or bedroom slippers. If you kick out your foot in unbridled enthusiasm, your shoe could fly off into the crowd never to be seen again. You can't expect the mob to all stop because you've just lost your favorite shoes.
- Do wear sturdy footwear. A good pair of running shoes helps you get a good bounce going. You might want to wear a pair of sturdy work boots for protection. Someone might step on your foot. If a fight breaks out, sturdy boots are great for kicking people. I'd advise you to steer clear of potentially violent mosh pits, and am not actually suggesting that you do kick people.
- Do not wear loose or long dresses or robe-like garments. You can become entangled in your own clothing, tear or rip the outfit, or fall down.
- Do not carry a purse or wear a long scarf or necklace around your neck. Think about it.
- Do not wear large or dangly earrings. Torn earlobes are not cool and head wounds bleed copiously, making a mess of your outfit. Plus blood stains.
- Remove your rings. Jumping around and dancing for an hour and a half makes you sweat like crazy. Sweat slicked fingers can cause rings to sail off into the crowd.
- Wear a good belt. Don't wear pants that are too large or loose at the waist. If your pants fall down, you may become entangled and fall. Plus you'll look like a jackass.
- Don't have a lot of loose stuff in your pocket. Wear pants with a pocket that zips or snaps shut - you don't want to lose your keys.
- Tie up long hair, you'll be more comfortable and your sweaty locks won't whip around and hit that big drunk guy in the face. If a fight breaks out, long hair gives them something to grab onto so they can whip you up over their head and spin you like a lariat.
Hydrate - Make Sure You Drink Water Before Moshing
Mosh Prep - Prepare Ahead of Time
Moshing is quite the workout. Your heart rate rises dramatically, you sweat copiously and your muscles will get used. Get yourself in good physical shape ahead of time. Dance wildly at home to your favorite music turned up real loud. You can fast-walk, jog, or run at your local track. You want your muscles to be conditioned for an extreme work out.
If you are not in shape, you may run out of energy early on in an intense mosh pit. You can pull a muscle or suffer muscle cramps. Or, the next morning, you may find yourself in considerable pain. Torn muscles can torment you for quite some time.
Think about it. You would not enter a foot race without first getting in shape.
Hydrate - Drink plenty of fluid before moshing starting from the moment you get up in the morning. A little Gatorade wouldn't hurt. Eat some bananas for potassium. Drink some fruit juice. You will sweat a lot a lose a lot of fluid so you want to be hydrated.
If you want to drink alcohol before moshing, don't overdo it. You don't want to puke all over your fellow moshers. Vomiting is not cool.There may be repercussions. Drink a cocktail with fruit juice. The fruit is nutritious and will give you a carbo boost. Chase it with a glass of water even if it costs $4.00. Beer causes you to blow up with gas. You don't want to be all bloated when you mosh. Don't add to the general stench with your beer belches and farts.
Protein - Get some protein into your system. Protein strengthens muscle tone and promotes endurance. Eat good, nutritional food for several days before moshing. Of course, you should always eat properly. Have a couple of nice, big, green salads. Spinach has iron for strength and endurance. Salads provide the fiber that eliminates bulky waste material from your system.
Don't eat a heavy meal within 5 or 6 hours of moshing. 2 - 3 hours before moshing, eat a light meal with carbohydrates and fruit for energy.
In the pit at a Flogging Molly Concert, Coachella '08
In the Mosh Pit
- When you are in the mosh pit, before it becomes packed like sardines, take a good look around. Locate the nearest exit.
- Avoid standing beside very large people.
- Avoid the big drunk guy who is pinwheeling his arms or spinning like a whirling dervish. If you stand next to that guy, you will be punched in the head. He can't help it.
- Keep an eye out for the little people. Small people can get into trouble in a mosh pit. There's just less air down there. If you see a little person, or any person for that matter, who seems to be in trouble, give her a boost up high. She can crowd surf to safety.
- If someone near you falls down, make a big noise to attract attention, bend down and quickly grab them under the arm pits and yank them back to their feet. You will probably have help. If you fall, helpful hand should set you back on your feet.
- If you can't take it - if black spots appear before your eyes, if you develop tunnel vision or feel faint - crowd surf your way to the edges where a very large man will lift you free of the crowd. Go get yourself a drink of water. Drink slowly and calm down. Fond a spot when you can safely bend, lower your head and rise again very slowly.
- If you don't want to crowd surf your way out, bend your arms at the elbow, hands in front of your face, and wiggle your way out to the closest edge.
- Do not climb up on the stage. This time, the big man might become a bit rough. You may be thrown out.
- Mosh with a buddy or a group of friends, especially if you've never moshed before.
- Do not drink or smoke. Your cigarette could burn someone. You could spill your drink and create a dangerous, slippery surface.
- If you accidentally hit someone, apologize immediately with a handshake or a shoulder pat.
- If you are targeted by an obnoxious or aggressive mosher, do not indulge his violent tendencies. Move away.
- Do not maul or lay inappropriate hands on females. Or males, for that matter. It is not proper mosh etiquette. Plus that big drunk guy might be her boyfriend and knock your block off. If you are molested by a mosher masher, inform your biddies or the large bouncers - let them take care of the creep. Or you can kick him in the groin with your Doc Martins.
- Keep your arms up, bent at the elbow so taht they don't get pinned to your side in a crush. Free arms come in handy for facial protection and in case of a fall.
Mosh Pit of Antiquity
Go With the Push
Moshing can be a thrill and a great way to get into the music. Remember that moshing can be dangerous. Smashing Pumpkins took a firm stance against moshing when 17 year old Bernadette O'Brien was crushed during a 1996 show in Dublin, Ireland and later died of her injuries. Other deaths and serious injuries have occurred.
Moshing is not for the feint of heart and some mosh pits do get violent. Consider the music. Hardcore metal and bands that use the word 'death' in their titles may produce violent outbursts.
Keep your eye out for trouble. That can be hard to do when you are deeply involved in the scene - so avoid potentially hazardous mosh pits altogether.
Head banging is not a good idea. Hitting and kicking is not real popular with the people you hit or kick.
Jumping up and down, bouncing is pretty cool to do and watch. The bounce is sometimes referred to as pogo, though some folks call moshing pogo. Slam-dancing means that you throw yourself around willy-nilly, crashing into people. Or you hope to crash into people. Either that or you fall on your face.
And remember, when the crowd surges, go with the push. You are the music.
Halfway through this video, the crowd goes into a great bounce
Ode to a Mosh Pit
anticipation tunes the strings of your spirit
and from that first strum
the sound you love
that speaks to you as
it speaks to all pressed in
around you then
the crowd moves as one
in rhythm and the
floor reverberates with it
your chest is a percussive instrument
and the drumbeat is your heart
all hearts beat as one
bodies slick with sweat
the hypnotic trance of bounce and stink and
jump and sway and push flows
through the crowd in currents
and song wells up
unrefined barbaric chant
crowd seethes, it ripples
mass movement then
one lifts up to
the surface of the music
gently passed from hand to hand
floats above the crowd who moves on
you are the music