SOCIAL CONDUCT AT GIGS IS AN ODD ONE. IT’S THE CROWD THAT MAKES A CONCERT. NO MATTER HOW GOOD THE ACT, IF THE CROWD IS DEAD, THE NIGHT DIES WITH IT.
Imagine being in the Maccy D’s queue and suddenly deciding to aggressively haul your entire body weight into the person in front of you, because the excitement of chicken nuggets just got the better of you. It’s safe to say you’d be the subject of some very colourful language to say the very least, and quite possibly be given a caution for anti-social behaviour. But somehow this is deemed perfectly acceptable, if not, what’s expected at gigs.
No matter how gentle natured you are, how timid or non-confrontational you may be, in the presence of a couple of electric guitars, a drum kit and 4×10 amps, all morals seem to go out the window.
If you’re not a regular gig-goer, the whole idea of moshing might seem just pinch on the crazy side, let alone unnecessarily violent. To an outsider, the mosh pit is a place of utter shambolic disorder, a display of mankind’s tendency to resort to unprincipled behaviour when given the opportunity. At best just a pack of momentarily crazed fans slamming their body weight around, like they are characters in an arcade game and a little kid has gone wild with the joystick.
Ever been in a mosh pit? A proper one? If you’re not sure here is a quick guide; if you came out looking like you’d just been mugged and were unsure whether it was just the strobe lighting or if it was your life that just flashed before your eyes, while you were practically getting beaten up to music; you were most probably in the mosh pit.
But a gig just isn’t a gig without that swamp of over enthusiastic, sound driven, music lovers. A concert without a mosh pit is – like Noel Gallagher without the completely controversial comments – incomplete.
The gigs with the craziest mosh pits are by far the best I have been to. The Hunna, for example; where the entire room seemed to be under some music stimulated trance, as strangers pushed and shoved as a sign of friendliness rather than electric-guitar-crazed violence.
What I love most about gigs is the way social expectations get flipped on their head. Precariously balancing on your mate’s shoulders whilst they get knocked around by the crowd is seen as tame, jumping over the barrier and running from the wrath of angry security guards; standard, and screaming the lyrics so loud you can barely even hear the band singing, bursting the eardrums of anyone who hasn’t already been deafened by the 15,000 Watts of sound booming from the speakers is just what’s expected.
Although seemingly aggressive and angry, the crowds at concerts, at heart, are all pretty decent. Everyone has that one common interest; music, and because of this, people seem to look out for each other.
When I saw the Libertines earlier in 2016, the crowd was nothing like I’d ever seen before. Insane would be putting it lightly. The sheer force of a stampede of hardcore fans threw me to the ground. But before I could catch my breath I had 20 pairs of hands on me pulling me to my feet and a chorus of worried voices shouting above the noise to ask if I was okay.
Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, the mentality at gigs is something you don’t get anywhere else. It’s the only place I know of that you can completely ditch all norms and just lose yourself in the music. There’s nothing quite like the euphoria of being part of a crowd that loves the music just as much as you.