I’ll never forget when I started going to local shows in Jersey. Every weekend, friends and friends of friends would gather in a number of different VFW or American Legion Halls to see their favorite local bands or check out new and upcoming ones. From punk to metal, hardcore to just straight up rock, the bigger the crowd, the more energy would emanate from the venue. New Jersey used to be that stop for touring bands to throw down and know they were playing to a crowd that cared. But it’s not the same anymore.
I really don’t know when things ended up changing. All of a sudden it stopped being about the music and shows became a hang out spot. People would sit down or huddle in a crowd and talk amongst friends during a band’s set. Nowadays, venues that once thrived barely bring 50 people on a weekend night. I remember when there were so many people at a show, you had to work to start a moshpit. Now all you need is a breakdown and a few spastic, overweight adolescents in basketball shorts. Moshing has essentially become organized, domestic bum fights.
Believe it or not, moshing used to serve a purpose. People who don’t understand the music think its about beating the ever-living piss out of the people around you. But what it actually is, is the ultimate tribute to the band you’re there to see. You pay homage and attempt to rock out harder than those on the stage. There are no fists flying. There aren’t people kicking each other. It is literally a giant group of human energy all bouncing all over the place. But somewhere moshing transformed. It’s no longer about that energy or paying tribute.
It became a contest to see who’s the toughest kid in the crowd.
And it’s because of this tough guy mentality that so many assholes bring with them to concerts, venue after venue is being shut down due to fighting. Sure, there will be some of you reading this saying “if you don’t wanna get hurt, stay out of the pit.” But it’s become more than that. I’ve been to shows over the past year where people in the pit have gone after others in the crowd. And seriously, what the fuck is hardcore dancing? Flailing your arms and legs around like an autistic kid throwing a temper tantrum doesn’t look or make you the cool kid at shows. It makes you a giant bag of dicks. You’re actually ruining the show for the rest of everyone there.
So, the next time you’re at a show, just take a look at what’s going on around you. While the breakdown starts and a handful of kids start to swing their arms and legs around like deaf synchronized swimmers, remember that it wasn’t always like this. There wasn’t always that angry, insecure asshat saying “come see me in the pit” like the concert suddenly became a remake of Beyond Thunderdome. It was a place to enjoy music, release energy and you didn’t have to worry about potentially dying just to enjoy some awesome tunage.
Seriously what the fuck is crabcore?,