I love mosh pits. Truly, some of the best times of my life have been contained within them. Unfortunate to admit that some of the less pleasant ones as well. It depends more upon the crowd than the band (This might have something to do with my refusal to go to bands I dislike. Maybe.) and such a thing can make-or-break the fun for everyone involved. Of course, I've also observed some mosh pits which I avoided and they'll get due slogging here as well.
So here's a run-down on some of my experiences and what not to do when in a mosh pit.
Rage Against The Machine: Big Day Out 2008 or Don't Be A Cancerous, Sexist Prick
I like RATM. They're a fun band for listening and parties for all the music becomes rather samey after a while. In this case I was there for the band and hoping that maybe, just maybe, my low expectations for the mosh pit would be some way surpassed. The Anti-flag pit earlier in the day had been a lot of fun. Just a bunch of people hurling themselves around in a Circle.
Rage, unfortunately, was different.
By the time that the band made it to stage (Silverchair had previously been booed off to much personal appreciation.) it was late in the evening and all the alcohol consumed by various people throughout the day was starting to show. A few had even lit up joints in the pit to get the spirit flowing. Bad mark on the record number one. Don't do this, please. Smoking in pits is just asking for greater difficulty when people wish to breathe. Lung cancer does not mix well with tight spaces and sweaty, stinking bodies. I tried to ignored it, moving a little bit away from these people and finding myself a few rows forward. of where I had been. That's where the trouble started.
It's a terminally bad move to say "What's a chick doin' in here?" around female metal heads. Even worse is the dick move of "You're female, you can't take the pressure. Here, let me help you out of the danger zone with my hand on your arse for good measure." That kind of attitude will get people hurt. In this case it got the guy in question's face mashed with a solid fist. Alas that the impression didn't last, as within a little while the very same group were chanting "tits are for the boys" at two women who were lifted above the pit on their friends' shoulders. If these girls hadn't succumb to the pressure and flashed the crowd. It would have been so much better for all involved. These stupid women do nothing to help stem the flow of men who think we're naught but tits and arse. They deserve to be smacked around as much as the people who were screaming "show us ya tits, you slut!"
This is the crux of many problems for shows such as Big Day Out. Too many drunk people with idiotic approaches to others often ends with self-righteous chauvinism and the general annoyance of anyone like me in the vicinity. Not smart, oh drunken yobbo masses.
Rock Eisteddfod: 2008 Rehersal Day "Mosh Pit" or Teeny Boppers Shouldn't Mosh
I wasn't involved in this pit, I observed with an expression of arrogant, metalhead disgust from the back of the hall alongside others from my Backstage crew.
What was going on below was laughable. Highschool students bopping up and down to the beat of some mainstream shit with a woman singing about how she's so very attractive and deserves all the attention in the world. My ears were next to bleeding with the sheer sound of filth, and the screaming, girly masses were no help. There is no way you could call that moshing. It was nothing short of a competition to see which teenybopper could shake her tail the most for the closest guy. Boy did they love it too. Ugh.
Shoot the teenyboppers. Save us all a headache and turn off that fucking music.
Opeth: 2008 Big Top or Don't Drink In Pits, You Twit
I was front-and-centre barrier for this pit before I got a rib cracked. What annoyed me about it was the beer which some idiot spilt down my leg about half way through the first song. The rest of it was spectacular with an awesome band and a great pit (despite the injury) but seriously guys. Don't bring fucking sticky alcoholic drinks into mosh pits. The guys at the front have water bottles for those they can reach.
Alcohol and mosh pits don't mix anyway in my view. You're better off being sober so you can get yourself smashed around and still know when to get out. Spilling drinks down my leg is a good way to get smacked.
It's funny when I look back upon these and remember the adrenal rush at the time. The Rage pit was huge, hence it's intensity. Just served to make me angrier when there were stupid people around.