How to Behave in Mosh Pits: Focus on the Music, Not Hurting People

Categories: Music Etiquette

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Mike Brooks
Apparently the youth of today can sometimes be found in "pits" and within these pits it is agreed upon that they will "mosh," a word that covers a variety of bodily gyrations and movements. While in Britain obviously we call them "polite sections" where everyone vigorously shakes hands and nods gently in time to the music, I've been here long enough now that I've seen a thing or two.*

See also:
-Music Etiquette archives
-Songs That Have Hidden Messages When Played in Reverse

• Here's the most important thing - venues that discourage said pits down the front by the stage are the worst. Leave it out guys; people are just moving up and down very rapidly, it's not the beaches at Normandy. If they are indeed not douche enough to pay heed to the following tips, then we are all perfectly capable of having a good time without stopping things. I think I'm biased, mind you - the first gig I ever played got stopped mid-song by the sound guy after a moshpit started encroaching on the stage. In the unlikely event you're reading this, sound guy from a now defunct bar in Cardiff, you are worse than herpes.

• IF SOMEONE FALLS OVER, STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND HELP THEM UP. Seriously. That's how people get hurt. One of the scariest things I've ever seen is someone in a pit at Reading Festival going into an epileptic fit, which resulted in him writhing around while about five people tried to hold back a crowd of thousands. One lone hero carried him all the way out over his shoulder.

• The aim of a mosh pit is not to smash into other people as hard as you possibly can. If you think charging at someone shoulder-first, especially if they're not expecting it, is a good idea then please remove yourself from the venue and retreat to an underground bunker to await the apocalypse that douches like yourself will surely one day bring on. Also, forcefully pushing people back into the ring of non-moshing people is really, really, really annoying. Grow up.

• There's no "best at moshing." Just have a good time. Forget about what people around you are doing. On the edge of a moshpit and people are smashing into you? Yeah, that's going to happen, due to the douches from the previous step.

• However, if there are shoulder-barging douches around you in the pit, and they are too drunk to reason with, it might be best to leave the pit. Security should be on any pit that gets out of control. That's the thing - moshpits are an excellent time, and should be encouraged by venues, however there is a thin line between exuberant happiness at music and overwhelming idiocy. That line is crossed when people stop focusing on the live music and start focusing on hurting people. STOP. IT.

• High heels? Really? You're going to wear high heels?

*Still, much of the advice here comes from Rachael, whose loud music shenanigans are without equal.

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31 comments
JustSaying
JustSaying

You need to add a "no girls in the pit" rule. I mean, if they want to hop in the "pit" at a Foo Fighters show that is fine. A pit at a Lamb of God show is a whole different story.

I was sitting in the 3rd row of seats (like a boss) when the Pantera/Slayer Extreme Steel played at whatever the fuck the Starplex was called then. This girl and her friend sitting behind me said that they wanted to get in the pit for Slayer. I told her 100 pound 5'2 ass that it was a horrible idea. "Oh, Ive been in pits before" she told me. Less than a minute into Slayers set I saw her speed walking up the aisle with her nose just totally flattened. It looked like someone had pulled her nose off and stuck it back on sideways. Ive seen bone breaks and dislocations before but nothing made me cringe like seeing that once cute chick go flying past me with a completely destroyed nose.

MBM99
MBM99

Whatever you do, don't be that guy that just flails about throwing elbows everywhere and kicking like Elaine Benez dances.  Everyone hates that douche.

And if you show up wearing a PIT BOSS shirt, you are failing at life.

That being said, moshing is a great way to work off the angst of my 8-5 job at a desk...

cmacemm
cmacemm

I need to never post while drunk again. But this article still sucks

grndybmt
grndybmt

I think you're using a pseudonym and your real name is Gavin Rossdale

cmacemm
cmacemm

There's nothing more pathetic than no nothing losers writing on topics they have no idea about. How was the last seether show you attended??

cmacemm
cmacemm

Shut up and stay out of hardcore

cmacemm
cmacemm

Go listen to phish or something you loser hippies

rachael.elward
rachael.elward

Mosh pits are happy places where happy people freak out about the awesome sounds that are melting their face. They jump around and collide with each-other in happiness and exuberance. 

It's not the shoving event at the dickless olympics. 

cmacemm
cmacemm

Is this serious?!? Please just shut up

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

Another funny occurance was during a Slipknot set at Ozzfest from about the same time. It was 3:30-4:00 or so and they were tearing it up at Starplex. A "pit", if you will, started up on the center of the lawn not too far from the bottom of the hill. About 75 guys or so. It eventually turned to a lunatic circle after a few t-shirts were lit on fire and the mobbed circled them. All of the sudden someone took the lead and off they went down the center aisle to crash the pit in the front of the stage. The song ended and about two minutes later here came the whole lot of them back up the aisle.

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

Cut to Tarrant County Convention Center. Metallica in the round tour late 90's or early 00's. There was some big burly dude that was trying to win the Best At Moshing award. The moshing ended after about two minutes with a few normal sized bodies on the floor. Nobody wanted to enter the ring while the bull was loose.

HOLYGHOSTOFHARDCORE
HOLYGHOSTOFHARDCORE

There's no "best at moshing." Just have a good time.

WRONG.  ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH A MAN BY THE NAME OF JAY CHARY?

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

@cmacemmyou are 12 a sip of moms wine cooler don't count, hurry go fill it back up with water I hear your mom coming back.

GavinCleaver
GavinCleaver

@cmacemm Not as good as that Creed show I saw a few years back. Those guys know how to ROCK.

JaimesonPaul
JaimesonPaul

@cmacemm There's nothing more hardcore then 1 sentence rebuttals. 7 out of 10.

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

Oh man, the pit at a Creed show is crazy.

grndybmt
grndybmt

@GavinCleaver @cmacemm Hey moron, that "9-point rebuttal" is still up, and it wasn't posted by @cmacemm.  Learn to read you retard.

STOPWRITING
STOPWRITING

@JaimesonPaul Well, I would hate to be associated with that delusional egomaniac. I can't figure out if she's really that stupid and self-involved or just a man in drag completely intent on undoing feminism one stupid rap article at a time.

GavinCleaver
GavinCleaver

@grndybmt Sorry "grndybmt", this is the last time I confuse you with "cmacemm." I've made a note in my drawing book and everything, with my favorite red crayon.

JaimesonPaul
JaimesonPaul

@STOPWRITING I would like to point out that Vanessa is thoughtful and marvelous writer who provides serious insight into a subject that many are ignorant on. If you take issue with how she does that, that's fine, but this weak attempt at attacking her through looks, intelligence and genre only serves to diminish the validity of your opinion. 

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