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Moshing, The Commercialization Of

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The other night while up with Baby Girl, I caught a VH1MTV special on trends in concerts. There was a whole segment on the practice of Moshing. I can honestly say that I have never moshed at a concert so I have no idea why people like to do it. It probably comes from the same impulse that “Fight Club” comes from.

But, the funny thing was they had these guys on there talking about the death of moshing through commercialization.

First off, can you commercialize moshing? The cool kids were pointing to a Miller Light Ad that had two guys crowd surfing around. Now, maybe I missed the explanation of how crowd surfing = moshing. Two different activities, in my own non-cool music mind.

AH HA!!!! Frat Guys. That is who, in all seriousness, the cool kids were pointing to as bringing about the death of moshing.

Set aside the fact that the “original moshers” (OE) probably were afraid to mosh with Frat Guys because well . . . go to a concert sometime and you can see what I mean. Most of the OE’s probably weigh a 125 pounds, and that is including the weight of the Dickies they are wearing.

Silly little Oklahoma me, but I figured Moshing died out because ummm . . . people got hurt.

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  • Eric Olsen

    Fascinating subject – I watched moshing evolve from the punk clubs of LA in the early ’80s to the frats (where I was DJing) to dance clubs in Cleveland in the ’90s. You’re right about the weight differential – it died because it became too common – any remotely “alternative” or hard rock song becamefair game for moshing – do people need to slam to the Smiths? Seems a bit of an oxymoron.

  • http://www.flyovercountry.blogspot.com Chris

    I just had a vision of a large group of poorly dressed kids trying to slam to “There is Light That Never Goes Out.” Genius comment Eric.

  • Big Al

    If you guys think moshing (slamming) has died out, you need to get your info from something other than VH1. Try going to a local hardcore show, and you’ll some of the craziest, and most stupid slamming, windmilling, floorpunching, “moshing” and other hilarity you could ever imagine. Like everything else, moshing/slam dancing was co-opted by the mainstream, evolving to the current crop of frat jockos in white t-shirts and khaki shorts moshing it up at the Creed concert. But it has been passe for so long, I’m surprised VH1 even commented on it-oh, wait, no I’m not surprised. When I saw REM in 1987, Michael Stipe was chastising people for moshing/crowd surfing at an arena show.

  • Sean Murray

    like the comments on moshing.

    Would anyone like to comment on the idea that moshing is cathartic, a sort of dramatized and ritualized play fighting that expresses anger while getting as close to violence while not being violent?

    Thanks,
    Sean

  • The Prince of Sorrow

    Moshing is a beautiful thing. It’s damn near impossible to bring the true feeling it provides to words. The sheer joy of being there with the band you came to see, playing the songs you love to hear, all the while enjoying it with people that share the same love (why else would they be there?). Fellowship. Now, anytime you’re out in public having a good time there’s gonna be a jerk or five. Those of you who are at all familiar with club life or public drinking in general, you know who these people are right off the bat… the ones that always have too much to drink and end up starting trouble for no reason. On occasion, a pit of vets (frequent mosher miles collectors) will be able to spot these fools and weed them out by killing their morale. It’s very easy to feel out of place in such an environment. When one see what a bumbling fool they are in a sea of graceful rage they tend to get a little embarrassed and turn tail from time to time. A mosh pit is, after all, a stage all it’s own. A stage for artists to express their rawest feelings of pain, anger, and sometimes even joy set to music that brings these emotions out. I support moshing whole-heartedly… it’s much healthier than plugging random people in public places to let out some steam. I think, like most things that catch a lot of negative attention, it’s greatly misunderstood. There are unspoken rules… a whole social structure that goes by a silent code. That said, it’s a given that one cannot possibly learn all there is know about moshing from one show/set. I’ve been going to concerts since ’98 and i STILL see things that are new to me. Many things, like the wall of death, are obviously dangerous… but all participants are well aware of the risks. It’s an adrenaline rush unlike any other, and emerging from this melee unscathed is a feat to be proud of. Go to a high energy show and get in a pit… if you like it, great. If not, find another “scene” and leave moshers alone.

    The Prince of Sorrow

    p.s. Crowd surfing and stage diving are NOT forms of slamdancing/moshing by any means. Anybody can jump off of a platform and be thrown about… but to fly around a circle pit and keep your footing requires effort and grace.

  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    Slam dancing, moshing, and crowd surfing are making a comeback.

    I saw it at two different shows recently after not having seen it in years. For a long time, I’ve seen “no moshing/stage diving allowed” written on my Ticketmaster tickets. I think that’s still on there, but I saw crowd surfers at Social Distortion and a full-on violent mosh pit and crowd surfers at Weezer/Foo Fighters the other night. Well, actually only moshing during the Foo. Weezer’s too geek chic/chick friendly to mosh to, although they did play “Song 2″ by Blur and cover “Big Me” by the Foo.

    Dave Grohl had to stop in the middle of a song because a guy got kicked out for fighting in the pit. It got so bad that he lectured the crowd to “take care of each other” and stop beating each other up. It might have had something to do with drunk young idiot guys in a college town, but he had to slow the whole set down with the intro to “Everlong” so people would calm down. He really seemed unhappy with the whole moshing thing — it reminded me of being back at an old Nirvana show or a concert in the 1990s when things like that would happen.

    That is all.

  • Metalhead Notna

    Well 1st of all you are full of shit mate moshing is not dead and the whole point of a mosh pit is to get hurt you dumb fuck thats why i go in them i love walls of death better coz that does more dammageand the music gets you on a frenzy that makes ya feel that you have to mosh and moshing didnt evolve from punks in A DIRTY HORIBLE YANK LAND CALLED AMERICA it started in england in the 70’s when such metal bands like Manowar/Mototrhead/Iron Maiden etc etc came out in 1979 and 1980 upwards now you can try and be smart but the reason you dont mosh at gigs is coz your a scene kid/emo fag and gettin hurt would ruin your hair doo well i dont care moshing isnt dying nor will it die MTV is full of shit and you have to be a complete poser to listen to MTV anyway hope you learn from this post if you dont know the REAL facts of something dont open your mouth and talk shit ok thank you [Personal attack deleted]