Saturday, November 10, 2012
Went to a concert last night and decided to get in on the crowd action rather than watching from the wings or balcony...now, the bands playing included Hatebreed, In Flames and Lamb of God, so the point of getting into the crowd was, in addition to having fun, to get what I call the heavy metal workout.
Even if you're unfamiliar with the metal crowd, you've probably heard of the moshpit, which is essentially human pinball. One flavor is the circle pit, where participants are running in the same direction, bouncing and getting shoved by the people on the edge of the circle. In addition to this localized action, the area in front of the stage is often a seething mass of humanity, propelled to and fro by people pushing and shoving, often in an attempt to gain better position, whether in terms of getting closer to the stage, or frankly, just stay upright. Now, there are a few rules, even in that scrum, cardinal among them the fact that if someone falls to the ground, you help them up. But past that? A ton of anything goes.
Honestly, it can be a lot of fun, trying to maneuver within that mass to get to where you want to go, or to deny some young punk from getting to where they want to go (ie take your hard earned spot). Given the fluidity of the crowd, and the fact that you don't always have a choice in which way you're heading, your relative position changes often, and in that fight to keep upright, and going where you want to go, well, let's just say it's a very sweaty endeavour. A good workout, if you can deal with a lot of hairy sweaty dudes around you, and the near certainty that you'll be going home with a few bruises.
The damage started early yesterday, with my first foray into the pit resulting in a busted lip courtesy of a guy's elbow. Giving Angelina Jolie a run for her money today, though fortunately all the visible damage is on the inside of the lip. Later on, there was the kick below the belt from a guy jumping up to go crowd surfing, the head butt in the pitt that oppened near where I was trying to get OUT of the crowd, and the mystery Charley horse that I hadn't even realized I had until I tried climbing down the stairs and found myself clinging to the barrister. Adrenaline, I suppose.
As suspected, I did emerge from the show with a good few bruises, in addition to the Charley horse and busted lip.and that's in spite of not making it all the way through Lamb of God's set. Four songs on, I bailed for the safety of the balcony. I made it through Hatebreed and In Flames in decent shape, but the crowd took things to a new level as we waited for Lamb of God. This crowd was moving and pulsing 10-15 minutes before the band appeared on stage. After a few songs, I had to escape. Maybe I'd just had my fill, or perhaps it was more brutal in there than during the opening bands. Don't know, really, but it was the first time in many years that I felt compelled by something other than the desire to watch the show to get out of the scrum.
Had a lot of fun, but paying for it in soreness today, and I suspect the next couple of days as well.