Tag Archives: Concerts

The Awesome: SXSW 2011

So in 2009 I made a promise that I could not keep.  I said that I was going to go to SXSW in 2010.  Sadly it did not happen that year…

Luckily for me 2011 is a new year.

I have made arrangements with friends in Austin, TX and will be heading down there having absolutely no idea what to expect.  SXSW has been something I have wanted to attend for years now and I could not be happier to finally be a part of it.

I have been to tons of concerts and festivals throughout the years, but can’t say that I have been to something quite like SXSW.  I am looking forward to seeing as many bands (and maybe even movies) as possible in one of the, in my opinion, greatest cities in the world.

March can not come soon enough.

The Mosh Pit

So has it come to this?  Have I run out of things to write about and now have to reply on my friends?

Heck no, I’m nowhere close…

I do however have some great friends, some who have some great writing abilities and asked me recently if I could share some of their work to my reader.  Of course they had to bribe me to agree to it.  Kidding, I was happy to accommodate their requests.

My first guest blog comes from a long time friend named Frank who was actually at that Clutch show that Matt and I hung out in the lobby for.  He, at one time, wrote for the indie 90’s Cleveland music magazine Bottomline as well as contributed to Pittriff.com.  I am really be able to share some of his work on my on my site and really got a kick out of this one, so with out further adieu….

by Frank Soltysiak (aka The Punisher)

Since the dawn of civilization people have used music to express their emotions. For those with less musical skill, dancing to music was the tool of expression. Throughout the passing of time dancing has evolved and changed with the different types of music. Music and dancing have always been used to express the feelings of the specific time and culture. Swing dancing was a counter-measure to express a feeling of rebellion toward an oppressive society during World War II. During the 1960’s and 70’s, the rhythmic swaying movement was used to express the feeling of oneness with the earth and the usual drug-induced feeling that went along with the psychedelic music of the period. Music and dance evolve with the time.

In the last twenty years, music has begun to express an aggression that had not been seen before. This musical transformation was the antithesis to the hippie generation, and began to express the discontent and discomfort with the “Peace, Love, Dope” generation and the sudden popularity of disco. This musical transformation took the form punk rock. And the evolution of the dance led to what is now known as “Moshing”.

With the emergence of Punk Rock in the late 70’s, it was only natural that a new form of dancing would follow. The bands such as the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and the Ramones spearheaded this underground musical movement. With this music, a dance known as “The Pogo” emerged hand in hand. The Pogo, a simple movement of jumping up and down and twisting the hips while in the air, provided a dance for a music that had been thought to be undanceable. Following in line with the Punk movement was the Hardcore movement.

Bands such as Black Flag, Fear, Bad Brains, and the Circle Jerks were among the headliners to this new, more aggressive form of Punk. With this added aggression came an increasingly aggressive dance. This dance was known by many names such as “slamming”, “skanking” or “strutting”. This dance followed a very loose guideline and a tight geometrical form, the form of a circle. This dance held a carnal disorganization, physical danger, and an excessive code of community. Punk and hardcore music did not hold close to the musician/fan division, as most of the pop bands of the time followed with an almost biblical dogmatic devotion. Punk shows held true to a belief of equality between the artists and the fans. The fans of punk would inevitably make their way to and on the stage with the artists themselves. This revolving door of fans on the stage let to spatial confrontations. This was the first form of the Mosh Pit and Stage Diving.

The dangerous dancing was first spotted in the Los Angeles punk scene. The dance was well documented in the movie “The Decline of Western Civilization”. This pre-mosh-pit-slam dance slowly made its way across the United States and landed in New York City on a day that lives on in the minds of the punks of the day, in 1981 when Black Flag made its first appearance in NYC. This concert was marred with blood and fistfights. New York City once again held a place of prominence for the Punk/Hardcore scene, with the emergence of “slamming” and stage diving on national television, with the showing of the band Fear on Saturday Night Live, brought to the stage by John Belushi, and fan of Punk rock and the club, CBGB’s, a noted punk club. Following this time of underground punk prominence came short time period known as “The Crossover”.

In the mid-80’s came a time known as the Crossover. The Crossover fused together the Hardcore scene and the thriving Metal scene. The metal and non-punk fans began to join the thriving underground punk scene and vice versa. Bands like Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer led the metal side of the crossover, and with this crossover of music, came the crossover of dance. Metal dance before this time was confined to the elementary “head banging” that left the feet stationary and the head and neck moving. With the crossover, slamming and stage diving pushed themselves into the hierarchy of metal. The metal slamming increased the aggression and brutality, and diminished the feeling of community. And from all this history came what is now known as “THE MOSH PIT”.

What was and what is are slightly different. The feeling of community has resurfaced and become law in the Mosh Pit. There is still the aggression and brutality that there once was, but the inflicting pain upon others is less important than releasing ones own manifestation of tension. At least this is true for most.

Metal and Punk and every member of that family have always been scene as the bastard child of music. Metal was something that the Musical Patriarchy would admit to screwing up on and producing, but it was nothing that could ever be bragged about. There are now members of the metal community that cannot be considered pure, or true believers in the music or its unwritten message. These people have come into the scene for many reasons, whether it is the new popularity, the instant release of aggression, or just on another attempt to find a companion. These people have come to the pit that used to hold commandments so pure and so idealistic that they would have made the Mother Theresa blush, and they sully it with their ignorance and simply impotence.

It is the responsibility of all true fans of all metal members, whether it be hardcore, new, alternative, etc, all true fans must realize who these vagrants and nonbelievers to all that metal is are, and then we must rid our temporary homes, the concert clubs and music establishments, we must abolish their presence from anywhere that holds our presence. So with a sorrowful heart, the profiles of these “infiltrators” has been established and must be memorized by all fans, in order to bring emotional greatness back to the community that we call our own. The profiles that follow are not to be taken lightly, because these vagrants can do more damage than good.

1. Carl Lewis– This type of person is a devious individual, content on causing physical pain to singular people, one at a time. This type of person is usually small in stature as well as in intellect. The Carl Lewis lacks the intestinal fortitude for a prolonged time span in the Pit, so he is usually very hard to catch, but is always easy to spot.

The Action of the Carl Lewis; the Carl Lewis is a cowardly character. His action as noted, is to cause pain to singular individuals one at a time. The Carl Lewis is the type of person that takes a ten yard sprint into the middle of the pit, only to hit one unsuspecting mosher, and then the Carl Lewis flees, after taking one look at the carnage that he has recklessly and senselessly caused.

2. Napoleon– This type of person is small in stature and in self-confidence. The Napoleon is someone in the pit for one reason, to reassure himself that he belongs where he is for the night. Being that there is no height requirement to get into the pit, this individual has no problem entering the pit, but due to his small height and build, he is easily ignored. His build and height might cause one to see him once, but once he is seen, he is easily ignored, and once ignored he finds it his mission to become the center of attention once again.

The Action of the Napoleon; The Napoleon as stated is a cowardly character. Due to his lack of height and build, he feels that it is his need to impede the progress of the pit, by standing in the epicenter, the middle of the pit. He uses his lack of height in order to aggravate other members of the pit, and to catch members of the pit in lower areas of the body than one might not find acceptable. The Napoleon is not a very dangerous nuisance in the pit, but his lack of size and the excess size of the chip on his shoulder can cause large problems in the pit. Be cautious of the size of his mouth and the amount of bragging that might spew if the Napoleon lands a cheap shot.

3. The Pusher– The Pusher is the most cowardly of all the types. The Pusher lacks both the testicular fortitude to enter the pit as well as the intelligence to stay far away from the pit. The Pusher is a person of average build and size, which might make him hard to spot, but the large forehead and the dull look in the eyes might cause anyone to stare. The Pusher is not one that you will see inside the action of the pit, but rather on the fringe of the pit just out of reach.

The Action of the Pusher; The Pusher’s actions are very simple. The Pusher looks for a member of the concert that enjoys watching the pit. This member might be waiting for his or her time to enter the pit, or the member might be abundantly content simply watching the action. The Pusher spots this unsuspecting member of the concert, waits for the moment of extreme aggression within the pit, and then shoves that unsuspecting member from behind into the pit, where his or her unawareness causes much unwarranted pain. The Pusher’s actions are by all extents the most cowardly, but unfortunately not the most dangerous.

4. The Grabber– The Grabber is a type that is not cowardly by the traditional definition, but is by moral standards. The Grabber is not dangerous by the traditional definition, but is by moral standards. This type does not use the pit for what the traditional member does, the release of tension and aggression. Rather this type uses the pit in order to further his perverted fantasies of being a peeping tom and a groper.

The Action of the Grabber; The Grabber is a sick, perverted fellow that prays on the unsuspecting nature of the female pit member. The female pit member the shows the ultimate courage and strength to be put on top of the pit and crowd surf is the target for the Grabber. When these beautiful vixens are stretched out on top of the crowd, the Grabber uses his grubby little paws to cop a cheap feel off the unsuspecting female. What the Grabber lacks in definitional cowardice and danger, he more than makes up for in perversion and lack of respect for the opposite sex and all the concert members as a whole.

5. The Girlfriend– The Girlfriend is the second most dangerous of all the types. The terrible part of all that is the girlfriend is dangerous, and the reason for her danger are not even actions of her own. The cowardice of the Girlfriend is immeasurable. The cowardice is not due to her entering the pit. She should be given all the same credit of any other member to step into the pit. The cowardice is in the action that takes place outside of the pit.

The Action of the Girlfriend; The Girlfriend is a very courageous female that enters the pit with all intentions of upholding the commandments and excelling the dominance of the pit. But somewhere in the middle of all the action, The Girlfriend forgets one of the most important commandments, ALL THOSE THAT ENTER THE PIT ARE EQUAL IN THE EYES OF THE PIT, and somehow figures that she, due to the fact that she is a female should be treated differently than all the other members. And somehow and sometime, the female has her own ass placed into her hands, and does not appreciate it very much. After this takes place, the girlfriend vacates the pit and reports to her Boyfriend. She points out some unsuspecting member that might or might not of been the aggressor (which is no infraction) in the pit. The Boyfriend then goes and does his chivalrous duty by taking up for his girlfriend and attempting to hurt the supposed transgressor. The Girlfriend is quite dangerous and should be considered for the anti-pit-member that she is, beccause it is both cowardly and dangerous when she gets her ass kicked to go and get her boyfriend to kick the ass of whomever kicked her ass.

6. The Meathead (a.k.a. The Frat Brother)- The Meathead is the most dangerous of all the types. The title does in no way imply that all Meatheads, aka The Frat Brother, are members of a Greek Fraternal Organization. The Meathead, along with being the most dangerous of all the types, is also the least welcome of all the types. The Meathead is not a true fan of the music or the art in the pit, but rather just a fan of carnage and unwarranted pain. The pain that he will try to inflict upon unsuspecting members drives the Meathead. He has no need for the music, but just the reenactment of any drunken brawl that he has been in, because he feels unworthy of all the other members unless he is a member of an unwarranted fight. He doesn’t know why people are in the pit. He doesn’t know what the pit is for. All the Meathead sees is the aggression and the brutality, and simply assumes that those feelings are related to brawling.

The Actions of the Meathead; The actions of the Meathead are simple; his actions are nothing that should be in the pit. Cheap shots, along with no thought regarding the safety of the members, which completely goes against the commandments of the Pit. It is essential to either educate this individual or simply remove him from the pit.

These profiles have been compiled to help all members of the metal family to realize who is not worthy of being a family member. Metal is metal because of the mentality. Metal is metal because of the brutality. And metal is metal because of the responsibilities that all the members hold to make it the most brutal, and the most aggressive, and the most dangerous. Blood might be spilled. Skin might be cut. Bones might be broken. But these are all the reactions to the decision of the member to walk into the pit. Walking into the pit does not give anyone free reign to forget about the commandments and seek out a person to hurt. The Pit is about expressing ones own aggression and tension and oppression. That simply means that all enter the pit at their own risk, knowing the commandments that have been set down since the beginning. All those who choose not to realize those commandments and understand the community, will be asked to leave or will be escorted out by the community themselves. The Pit is The Pit, it lives, in breaths, and it governs itself. Those who ignore the commandments of The Pit, must suffer its consequences.