Mosh Pits: The Beauty of the Beast

“Push pits or hardcore dancing?” is something that you have probably heard time and time again if you are involved in the metal community. There are a few different types of moshing that are frequent in the scene today ranging from regular mosh pits(push pits) to hardcore dancing, and then there are other things such as punk skanking, which was the original hardcore dancing that originated in the ‘80s and “crowd killing” where people inside of the pit decide to purposely hit those who are not in the pit.  I find mosh pits are one of the things that best draws people together while at metal or hardcore shows, so it really is a travesty to see there be such a separation between push pitters and hardcore dancers. While speaking with my favorite basic white chick who listens to metal, more frequently referred to as Emalie, the topic of moshing came up, and we both thought that it would be incredibly interesting to try to gain some perspective on the subject, so I decided to ask some of the members of Loyolacore’s executive board and a few other people who frequent metal or hardcore shows their opinions on moshing and some of their favorite mosh experiences.


Alex Sabatini—

Because of my interest in this topic, I think that it would be fair to assume that I get involved in mosh pits, and that is very true.  I get into the pits whenever I can because not only does being able to slam against other people help me relieve pent up aggression, it is also one of my favorite ways of establishing comradery within the community. I’ll basically do anything at a show except for hardcore dance. As has already been expressed, I really cannot stand hardcore dancers.  I didn’t have a problem with hardcore dancing until one of my best friends almost got smashed in the face by a spin kick while she was outside of the pit.  Although I don’t like hardcore dancing, I still always have fantastic times while moshing.  My personal favorite experience inside of a pit was when I saw Born of Osiris at warped tour in the summer of 2013.  During their set, they played my favorite song by them, “Abstract Art”, and the pit went absolutely crazy, and I had never seen so many crowd surfers during one song.   After the song ended, all you could see were people smiling ear to ear and giving each other hugs, because that is the effect that moshing has on a lot of the people in the community.


Emalie Vernengo—

“Yes, I mosh, and so far, I have only ever been in push pits, but I’d be open to hardcore dancing also. I think that moshing is really fun, but it can get super aggressive at times.  At Vans Warped Tour, Asking Alexandria requested a circle pit, and my friend and I jumped in it for our first ever pit. I slipped on some spilled alcohol, but I quickly got picked up by one of the guys in the pit, and even ended up in the third row while they were playing my favorite song, ‘Not the American Average’.”


Joe Karamanski—

“ My ideal moshing is a lot of jumping that results in a lot of bumping and light shoving and the occasional circle pit on the right sound is great too. It raises your heart rate and gets you in a super energetic mood only a concert can create, but it doesn’t leave you fearing for your life or finding yourself unable to focus on the music.
Ska shows have great crowds too. The “ska dance” known as skanking is a lot of fun and I wish it showed up at more types of shows”


Eddie Chaharbakhshi—

“Yes I do mosh, but only push moshing for me.  I hate hardcore dancing because people get injured and take shit way too far sometimes. My favorite mosh pit experience was Rise Against a couple years ago. They played broken English and during one part, I absolutely wrecked a kid. Tim Mcilrath sang ‘we get right back up again’ as I was picking the kid up, and then when he was on his feet I proceeded to launch him again. Everyone in the pit stopped and just started clapping for me.”


Mike DeStefano—

“My ideal mosh pit is a hardcore pit in which so many people are flailing their arms, it looks like a Bruce Lee movie. Also, two-stepping is encouraged”


Colin Moore—

“I do mosh. I enjoy push moshing a lot more and wish more people would do it. Honestly, I hate hardcore dancing i feel its way to inconsiderate. You’re swinging your arms frantically without control. Someone is going to get hit. I get why people do it but I don’t want to get hurt and I don’t want others to get hurt. I got hit in the face by a hardcore dancer, and he split my lip open, so I’m against it. My favorite experience would have to be when me and a handful of my close friends went to see Rise Against at Northerly Island. It was such a beautiful time. People were push moshing, charging each other, swinging each other around and just being all around brutal. But, at the end of each song you saw nothing but smiles and hugs. That’s real moshing in my opinion.”


Chris Hoffman—

“I despise hardcore dancers.  Hardcore dancing is essentially kicking people who aren’t trying to deal with you in the stomach.  I push mosh, and my ideal scenario is where the crowd isn’t too rowdy where the big guys aren’t just dominating the pit by constantly throwing you to the ground.  F*ck that shit”


As you can see, even among a small group of people, there are massive divides among whether or not people should hardcore dance or not, but it is also obvious that everyone thinks that being inside of a mosh pit can help bring metal heads together.  That is the beauty of the aggressiveness behind moshing.  Even though you go into pits potentially wanting to beat the snot out of someone, people are often drawn together, and that is a wonderful thing that too many people are unable to understand.  I hope that more and more people begin to understand the way of the mosh pit and how it affects us as concert goers, but until then, we will make due with people thinking that moshing is just mindless aggression.


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