To Mosh or not to Mosh

Just imagine being up front and center at a rock concert. Standing right in front of the band. The music starts and masses of people starting from the first row going all the way back a few hundred people, begin jumping around haphazardly and slamming into each other. Others around you have been tossed up on top of the swarm to go crowd surfing and the average concertgoers find themselves fighting to keep afloat in the heap of chaos.

Moshing and crowd surfing are common activities associated with rock concerts. According to several Web sites for mosh-pit enthusiasts, no harm or malevolence is intended by moshers and crowed surfers. It is merely a form of expression in response to the music that is being played. But sometimes moshing is referred to as an aggressive form of dancing.

Moshing began in the late 1970s and early 80s. It started as a simple pogo where concertgoers would simply jump up and down in one spot. As time went by, different techniques developed, such as the circle pit, in which moshers move around in a circular motion, pushing and shoving one another.

What is so enthralling about a bunch of people pushing, shoving and body-slamming into each other? Some students say moshing and crowd-surfing add to the energy and ambience of a concert. Moshers absorb the vibes that are given off by the performers onstage and act upon the energy. Others think mosh pits and crowd-surfing hinder the concert experience.

It’s a style, sophomore Joe Cope said. That is how certain types of people who go to shows react to the music. Other people are going to sit in a corner all drugged out and that is all they do. It all depends on how different people like to enjoy the music.

Cope entered a mosh pit at a recent Godsmack concert. As Cope tried to exit the pit, one of the security guards threw him back in, Cope said. Cope was punched in the face by another person in the mosh pit, but nevertheless recalls it as an enjoyable experience overall.

Sophomore Karen Malovrh said moshing is a way for people to have fun and have some sort of release. She fears the lack of maturity that some concertgoers have, and said sometimes they can go too far with their aggression.

According to senior Sheila Ashdown, the moshing craze can get a little overboard.

You can have a good time without slamming into people, senior Sheila Ashdown said.

Ashdown said she has seen people get hurt at concerts from mosh pits and thinks moshing can get very dangerous and sometimes hinder the concert experience. Ashdown said she has unwillingly crowd-surfed before.

A rather large man just picked me up and basically threw me on top of the crowd, she said.

It was scary to be manhandled by a lot of strangers and it eventually took her away from her friends, Ashdown said.

Senior Chris Loayza said he has never been to a rock concert and does not think he would participate in a mosh pit or crowd-surf if he ever attended one.

I see my sister come back from some of those shows and she comes back with bruises and stuff, Loayza said.

Whatever a student’s preference, to mosh or not to mosh, caution should be employed, and consideration taken for others who may not want to be in the pit.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.