The streets curved sharply through thick trees, so dense you could barely see the night sky. 18.. 20… The car curved into the narrow driveway, questioning its liveliness… Soon after, the cars headlights fell among bare knees and colourful socks.. One girl had short blonde hair tied up in two pigtails, accessorized with colourful scrunchies on each tail. She fell out of the car light as the car drove up the driveway looking for parking. The music started. Loud music started. You would think turning off the engine of a 2003 Forrester would cause the stress to my ear drums to lessen up a little, but the band just seemed to grow louder. A crowd started shuffling into the battered up fraternity, the Omega hanging out of the window, and plastic Halloween skeletons hanging off the poles with Hawaiian lei around their necks… A clown head hung from the roof, a foot hanging out of his forehead, and the two people on the couch beside me had decided that privacy didn’t matter to them. As the crowd shuffled through the doors, I was able to safely make my way to a hole in the wall. As I stepped up to the houses landing floor, I looked up to dusty yellow eyes of a taxidermied house cat staring back at me, slowly losing its hair to time spent most likely being sent through the air throughout a crowd. I peered into the room to my left to allow my visuals to match my ears.
There was a line of little pink light bulbs strung across the far window, in front of them was a 3 person band, furiously taking on the instrument before them, the lead vocalist seeming to be giving the mic hell. As the first song came to an end, the drummer started a new beat and the dynamic of the room changed. Suddenly everyone was bumping into each other… no, forcefully throwing themselves into others, intentionally throwing clenched fists into the nearest body, and jumping. The floor shook under the weight of the masses in front of me, the crowd continued to bash bodies and shake the house, the band putting their soul into the amps sitting on the floor to my left. Through the crowd I could see a girl who seemed smaller than me, somehow staying alive among the large men surrounding her. Her blonde hair bobbed up and down with the music and I worried she would soon be swallowed by the beast. I looked up to see my friend looking back at me with an excited but confused look, laughing at the scene before us as it managed to grow louder.
I started to wonder what the driving force behind the madness was in front of me. Was it the pure adrenaline of having all your senses stimulated in the most intense way possible, or was it the drugs and alcohol which surged through a majority of the crowds veins? I zoned into specific people in the crowd, some of which I knew, but most complete strangers. This seemed to be fun to them, yet they look as though they are being hurt.
I felt the vibration of the wall I had my back firmly pressed against run through my body, the thick mixture of sweat and CO2 making it hard to breathe. My eyes continued to analyze the room and try to figure out the reason to the madness, but I was left still confused and slightly dizzy from the lack of fresh air. As the 3rd song came to an end, people seemed to start filing back out into the yard, wiping sweat from their foreheads with sweat drenched t-shirts. I looked at my phone to see that it was nearly 2am, surprised by the fact that the loud music hadn’t drawn any police to the scene. Soon we were headed back to our cars, on the way back home from a night of standing around awkwardly, talking to people I hardly know, and feeling strangely out of place. I looked back at the slowly crippling frat house before me and started walking the long gravel path back to the car when another set of music started again. More yelling and aggression poured out of the windows, not fading with the distance I was making with two friends beside me.
I have never experienced ‘moshing’ ever before to the extent in which I saw that night, and while I still wonder the reason behind such a heinous act, I’ve tried to come to understand. From my outsider perspective, it is a way of connecting with the music, far more physically than bobbing your head to the tempo, and it allows those who are involved to have that full body experience. While it can be very dangerous, it activates all the senses and the people involved don’t even really mind being so immersed. I can’t speak for the masses as I have never been in the middle of a mosh pit before, but I can imagine just how much adrenaline it must release, and for that I figure is the reason people do it.
(Written on July 22nd 2016)