Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hops Can't Mosh

Participants in one of the first mosh pits

Have you ever wondered what its like to be in a mosh pit? I have to admit, I was always curious, but never dumb enough to attempt to find out what its like first hand. Mrs. Hops had different ideas. Silly me – I thought the mosh pit had died along with the popularity of Offspring. But it’s apparently live and well at Nine Inch Nails shows. Let me back up a bit and tell the full story.

As mentioned several times on this blog, Mrs. Hops enjoys the music of Nine Inch Nails. I have to agree that they’re a great band, particularly live. However, I’ve always insisted on having seats at the show rather than be up close in “the pit”. For our last show in a while we saw NIN at Nissan Pavilion in Virginia. First of all I hate that place, it took us 3.5 hours to get there last time (maybe a 30 minute trip without traffic) and missed half the Coldplay show. Anyway, we got to the venue very early to wait in line along with the other fan club members to get in early. Luckily we had the amazing fortune of being let in early and hearing Trent Reznor, Peter Murphy of Bauhaus and TV On the Radio perform together for a radio show! It was amazing, I’ve posted the version of Bela Legosi’s dead the three did here. We were in “the pit” at this point, but only about 75 people were with us, so it was incredible. However, once the show started it got crowded. This was fine for the openers (TV on the Radio rocked by the way), but once the lights went down there was a huge wave of people knocking into us. We asked around if this was normal (the roadies weren’t even on the stage yet) and we were instructed how to stand in order to “protect” ourselves. Its seemed that most people were looking forward to the chaos, I was definitely not. Am I the only one who thinks its kind of lame to have to protect yourself at a concert? Why do I have to get bruises to enjoy the music? Do these people even care that much about the music? Or are they more into being in the crowd? I don’t know.

Anyway … NIN gets on stage and the first song I spent boxing out some drunk guy behind me who felt like running into the back of anyone in front of him. In fact, I’d say there were a good 5-10 people there who could care less who was on stage. They just wanted an excuse to hit people and act like jerks. After about 5 songs I asked Mrs. Hops if she wanted to go to the back of the pit (only the front really was intense) and she said “yes”. She hopped over the front rail (like a crowd surfer would) and I shuffled through the crowd.

We lasted five songs! Not bad for a bunch of very undersized yuppies. Now to the hardcore pit-goers I’m sure we were wimps, but I was proud of us. It’s just that I didn’t feel like spending the night being an ineffective body guard for my wife rather than enjoying a rock show. Do others really find this fun? I’m all for the energy of the crowd, but I never quite realized how awful it is in the pit. It’s incredibly hot, extremely cramped and fairly dangerous. I know you’re saying I’m just getting old, but I’m pretty sure I’d have the same reaction at 19… I just can protect myself better these days (and I have better insurance). Either way I’m happy I had the experience…. I’m just never doing that again.

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