The Adventure of the Moshing Men
March 4, 2013 2:44 PM   Subscribe

You read the paper Collective Motion of Moshers at Heavy Metal Concerts, watched mesmerizing moshing gifs and finally decided to simulate the pit yourself.
posted by Foci for Analysis (15 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Inaccurate without smells.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:00 PM on March 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

If you change the speed to "0" it turns into a simulation of being on a Toronto bus.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:12 PM on March 4, 2013 [5 favorites]

My first concert, and first pit, was at the State Theater in Kalamazoo. Kalapalooza, two nights, fourteen bands. I'd never encountered anything like it, but I was in love from the first moment. Of course, over the course of the first night, the exact same spot on my shin got kicked something like ten times. I went back to the second night, jumped into the pit, then promptly got a kick to the same spot again, at which point I decided it was time to sit down and enjoy the show.

After months of going to shows at the State, I saw Nirvana at the local minor league hockey arena, where I learned the vast difference between small theater pits and stadium floor pits. Instead of a giant mass of people jostling and mostly holding each other up, I knew I had made a mistake when I saw a giant open spaced in the midst of the crowd with about ten or fifteen guys charging each other at full speed. Give me the small theater show any day. Fewer assholes.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:23 PM on March 4, 2013

The simulation is awesome!
posted by ph00dz at 3:42 PM on March 4, 2013

Yeah that looks about right. Except there should be one huge sweaty shirtless red dot tromping around in an inexorable circle trying to smash all the smaller dots and generally detracting from everyone's experience.
posted by TheRedArmy at 3:43 PM on March 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

Does it simulate me getting my nose broken right as Mike yells ITS A SUICIDAL ARMY and then I miss all the ST show and half of Megadeth? I loved noshing but that pretty much ruined it for me.
posted by waraw at 3:56 PM on March 4, 2013

I loved Moshing. Nothing has altered my love of noshing.
posted by waraw at 3:57 PM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

That simulator is strangly soothing to watch.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:08 PM on March 4, 2013

ok, turn on "force chains" in the simulator and watch one red dot be an asshole to everybody.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 4:26 PM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Does it have a 'still state'?

e.g. when one of the really horrid local Black Metal opening bands cries out for a 'CIRCLE PIT! CIRCLE PIT!!!', and everybody just stands stock still instead, arms crossed, angry because they came to see the headlining band, and not Nocturnal Satanic Huskies Ov DÖÖM drone on for 20 minutes?
posted by spinifex23 at 5:19 PM on March 4, 2013

Overview of Silverberg et al paper from previous post
posted by morganw at 7:21 PM on March 4, 2013

[It looks like we had another post with an article about this research a couple weeks ago, but since this one links to the paper and other new good stuff, it seems okay to keep.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:27 PM on March 4, 2013

Oh my, makes me miss the pit! Watching those made me tingle all over with excitement and eagerness. I'm too old and frail now, the last pit I experienced was AMAZING, though. For her birthday in 1992, I was taking my 14 year old to see the final band I was in a pit with as a teen, while I had been six months pregnant with her. (People get real weird about moshers around pregnancy. Super angry hardcore people start turning into fluffy bunny people.) Dead Kennedy's were having a retro-tour and I wasn't missing it. My newest little punk rawker, educated on moms' more angry side of the musical spectrum after her tween bout with pop-punk, couldn't believe her luck and she, for a while, crowed that I was the best mom ever.

That pit ended up being everyone in the venue (600+) from the bar at the back to the stage (including the band). We destroyed that place before DK even played; the club nearly stopped the show but the impending riot put the show back on, and the pit got wilder. And my 14 daughter was thrilled to be part of it... the next day quite proudly showed off the back bruise that appeared to be from size 7 Doc Martins, preserved quite well right between her shoulder blades which discovered as she was helping me wash other people's blood out of my mohawk the next morning (we didn't sleep all night).

I had no intention of joining in, the initial slam of my head against the monitor at my I'm-old-enough-to-be-bringing-my-own-teenager years had me musing for the location of First Aid at first. When it started to get rough, band security* pulled me up on stage to get me out of the crowd. When it got crazy, I gave in, got caught up in it and had an awesome time. Later, my daughter and I got invited to the after party, where we both got to sit talking with punk icons we admired - not quite the craziness after shows in the 80s. *Band security ended up being punk icons too, a few folk from OC bands.

My daughter, of course, again thinks I'm a loser but, for years, I got to hear about how all her classmates at school thought she had the coolest mom ever!
posted by _paegan_ at 10:09 AM on March 5, 2013

Also, at some of our larger venues, we had "circle watchers", moshers on the edge providing security for those NOT in the circle... sometimes you're too close and get grabbed into it unwillingly. I've been spun out of the pit by these kind folk after the pit wandered over to the area I had previously been safe in.

I've talked to others outside of our local area and learned this is not a common practice.
posted by _paegan_ at 10:19 AM on March 5, 2013

This takes me back to when I was a kid.

Reading research papers I mean.
posted by mazola at 10:47 AM on March 5, 2013

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