Mosh Pit Etiquette

Mosh pits may seem like total chaos, and for the most part they are! But mosh pits can also be lot of fun. Moshing is a good way to let loose, if you know how to behave. Behind the flailing flesh and dancing denizens of the pit is a set of guidelines which are in place to make sure everyone has a good time while throwing their bodies around. Hopefully, this guide will get you started on the right path so you can enjoy the most popular form of consensual violence.

It’s your choice to get in the pit

Don’t shove people into the pit. Putting a person in a mosh pit is signing them up for something without their consent, which is uncool. Once you’re in a pit it can be difficult to get out, so make sure everyone in the mosh pit wants to be there.

If someone doesn’t want to be there, they won’t go all out. This is less fun for everyone because they’ll get thrown around but won’t return what you’ve given them. Don’t feel like you have to put yourself in a mosh pit unless you want to match the kind of movement of the pit. Once you’re in, keep giving it everything you got and whatever happens, good or bad, know you’re there because you chose to be.

Help one another

Just because someone is in a mosh pit doesn’t mean they’re there to hurt each other.

Josh Sisk – Special to the Baltimore Sun

Sometimes, someone drops their glasses or phone, or falls over themselves. When something like this happens, you need to help that person get up or get their items off of the ground. Nothing ruins a mosh pit like someone losing their sight or literally getting stomped on. If someone calls out after losing their phone/wallet/keys/glasses, help them look! The sooner they have their things the sooner you can get back to moshing. If someone falls, make some room! It’s hard to get back up with thrashing bodies all over you.

Mosh with everyone

Hitting people can be fine, but don’t start fights. Moshing is about connecting with others. If someone hits you don’t single them out. Everyone is equal in the pit, and equally deserving of bumps and hits! If someone pushes you, maybe change where you’re being pushed so you run into somebody else. If it goes right, that motion gets amplified and energizes the pit even more!

There are several kinds of mosh pits. You’ll find them at everything from EDM festivals to metal concerts. Some are so crowded that all you can do is pogo. Other pits (like circle pits) have more space for you to throw yourself into others, and vice versa, giving everyone more room to be reckless and let loose. The point is to embrace it, and be considerate of others. Remember, you want to get along after all that moshing!

Ted Van Pelt – Flickr

A Night of Metal: The Exodus Kick-off Tour

Despite what you may have heard, the metal genre of music is no stranger to Salt Lake.  There’s an overflowing line up of local thrash metal bands with a strict metalhead following, including some SLC’s favorites: Visigoth, Deathblow, and Necrowolf along with several others who frequent the regular venues downtown on what seems to be a monthly, if not a weekly basis. There’s also a little black metal thrown into the mix with the band Darklord, and some progressive metal from Deathrone the Sovereign. Then there’s Silence of Mortuary headbanging their way from a faraway land called Moab. These are just to name a few of the many metal bands playing Utah’s local metal scene.

Even if you wouldn’t necessarily classify yourself as a metal fan, I still recommend you catch a show or two if you’re in the mood for a little hardcore headbanging fun. However, most of these bands are still considered relatively ‘new metal’ The metal genre has been going strong for the last 40-something years and this is worth noting because what is considered old metal has helped shape each facet of the genre today.

Speaking of metal that’s been around forever, I was unexpectedly put on the guest list for the first show of the Exodus tour. The show took place at Music Metro Hall and I was excited to see a band whose career spans over the last 30 years.

The night was a fun one with Deathblow and Villain getting the metal heads hyped before the main act took the stage. As the show began, I noticed that there was a shift in the proximity of the audience from the stage. Some people were taking several steps back almost retreating as far back as the bar located on the other side of the venue. Trusting my intuition, I followed suit and I was glad that I did. Frequenting the amount of punk rock shows that I do, I am no stranger to the ways of the mosh pit, but for some reason, I didn’t really understand what that meant when one is attending an actual headbanger show. And with that, Exodus stepped out on stage and in an instant, they were bringing all the headbanging energy beginning the set with fast guitar riffs strummed in sync with flailing waist-length hair as the crowd moshed with the same intensity.  

As each song finished, the singer Steve Souza riled up the audience by appealing to their metal obsession and yelling out “You’re all just a bunch of rowdy metalheads, aren’t you?” Which of course produced a heightened reaction with said metalheads bumping shoulders and yelling their allegiance back to the metal gods. The band went on to play numerous songs from what seemed like a sampling from every album put out during their 30-year discography. I even witnessed Souza asking the audience which album they had not gotten to yet. And by the end of the show, I realized this was a fan based band- one that plays solely for its fans. One that tours for decades off the same songs that propelled their success in the first place. They understand who makes a rough metal head tour life worth every show played, and of course- it’s the fans.

 

Bite Back: Not a Saint or a Savior

Chalk full of barrowing guitar tones and existential dread that plummet nose first into your ear canals, this EP from the San Diego based hardcore outfit Bite Back is a brutal encounter. Five blistering songs fill this EP with lyrics of having to cope with nihilism, depression, and anxiety complimented with pounding guitars and breakdowns reminiscent of the mental beatings such a mind deals with—it isn’t pretty.
The songs on this album are very grim—they cater to a very esoteric demographic with Austin Bolechowski’s straightforward vocal and lyrical delivery that paints the band for who they are. The EP opens with “Day By Day”—it starts with an intense buildup of guitars and drums over the closing monologue from the character Patrick Bateman from the film American Psycho. It all gives way to Josh Orellana’s high velocity drumming then the rest of the band jumps into the sea of despair with Bolechowski’s opening lyrics, “Always struggling day by day, can’t ever think of what to say, trying to keep my head held high, but I just count my failures every night.”
The EP continues on with hints of groove, thrash, and sludge metal built in on their hardcore foundation all while keeping on the themes of mental anguish. “Sinner” hurtles a plethora of riffs with alternating vocals that range from controlled yells to high pitched screams with hair-raising lyrics like “I’ve been thinking thoughts that’d make the devil want to kill himself!” “Stray Dog” (appropriate for the band’s name) delves into the isolation side of depression with reoccurring lyrics like “I’ll live on my own, I’ll die on my own, these motherfuckers couldn’t spend a god damn night all alone,” and “I’m a mutt with rotting teeth, decayed like my fathers’ before me!” but the most tumultuous lyrics are sung during the breakdown—“What the fuck do you know about pain? You never lost anything!”
The EP takes a two-and-a-half minute breather with “Lull”—a sluggish, more somber number with more melodious vocals that still doesn’t steer the album off course. After a brief pause it traverses into the closing track with Bolechowski bellowing its moniker “Numb!” “Numb” pummels to a close with a beatdown of everything in Bite Back’s musical arsenal with the final lyrics “No puedo ser fuerte, lo que me mata es mi mente!” (“I cannot be strong, what kills me is my mind!”)
Bite Back’s Not a Saint or a Savior is destructive and incredibly brutally honest—these boys don’t hesitate to wear their hearts on their sleeves. The lyrics sum up a lot of key themes with depression and anxiety and the music is the perfect match, stimulating feelings of a mind at war with itself.