For the purposes of this discussion, we’re defining mosh pits as the more modern, laid-back version — wherein there is not much actual moshing. It’s the kind of pit you find at alternative and indie shows with harder-edge bands, with people crushing together near the foot of the stage. There’s some general mayhem, people pushing and shoving and jumping, some crowd surfing; but there’s not much of the old-time “get a running start and slam into someone as hard as you can” moshing. I’m sure that kind of pit still exists at punk and hardcore shows, and more power to them I guess. But I’m old, so we’ll be dealing with the less intense version of the mosh pit.
So more like this:
And less like this:
These are the worst people you’ll find there.
1. The Guy Trying To Record Video of the Entire Show On His Phone
This guy is the devil. He plants himself near the front of the pit and holds his phone high above his head. He tries to stay in one place so that the video isn’t extra-shaky. Yeah, buddy, I’m sure you’re recording an all-time classic. What cinematography! Permission is granted to “accidentally” slam into this guy from behind hard enough that he drops and breaks his expensive smart phone. Permission is also granted to “accidentally” fling beer or water directly at said smart phone.
2. The Perpetual Crowd-Surfer
What’s that, guy? You want a boost up so you can crowd surf? Sure. Cool. Here you go. Wheee! Looks like a fun ride.
/three minutes later
What’s that, guy? Another boost. Uh, sure. There you go. Just try not to kick me in the head this time.
/three minutes later
/three minutes later
Jesus fucking Christ. You’re not a bird. You can’t fly. You’ve had your airborne fun, now fucking stay down here like a polite member of society.
3. The Energizer Bunny
There’s a rhythmic ebb and flow to every pit and every crowd. Even when bands play upbeat song after upbeat song, no one has endless energy. The crowd collectively decides to rest for a song, or a couple verses. But there’s always one asshole who is not content to rest and take it easy for a couple minutes. He chooses the exact time when everyone is chilling out to go careening like a pinball through the pit, bouncing off poor unsuspecting suckers that just want to catch their breath. He’s playing dirty pool, and I don’t believe he’s too dumb to read the crowd. I believe he just wants to start trouble and draw attention to himself.
4. The Conversationalist
Singer: Hey, how’s everybody doing?
The Conversationalist: Awesome! How are you guys? Fuck yeah!
Singer: Who was at our show at the Uptown Club back in March?
The Conversationalist: Yeah! And at your show at the Johnstown Ballroom in January! And when you played the street festival last summer! And…
Singer: This is a new song, it’s called…
The Conversationalist: Oh, this better be “Boys Club”! I heard that song on a bootleg last week…
5. The Guy Who’s Overprotective of his Girlfriend
I have nothing but respect for the girls who brave the pit. It’s impressive that they’re willing to get jostled around and get sweaty and everything else. They’re great. But there’s always one girl there with her boyfriend, and the boyfriend always tries to keep everyone else from touching her. Which is impossible. Because it’s a mosh pit. But he’ll try to shield her, and he’ll shove people away from her, and he’ll occasionally yell something ridiculous like “Watch it, man, there are girls here!” To every girl dating a guy who does that: break up with him.
6. The Guy Whose Hair is So Sweaty It Flings Sweat On You Whenever He Moves
No further comment necessary.
Even the gentler, more relaxed mosh pits of today are fairly physical places. As such, being big is an advantage. Being smaller of stature myself, I pride myself in holding my own in the pit and not getting knocked over by some behemoth who gets shoved into me. But a lot of littler dudes have chips on their shoulders, and they take it out on everyone in the crowd. In an effort to prove something to themselves and those around them, they’re always the most violent and inappropriate guys at the show. Relax, little guy. It’s OK. You’re never going to be 6’4″. But you’re you, and isn’t that wonderful too? Isn’t that enough?