Last Saturday, prior to Nonpoint performing their set in front of a sold out crowd at the Fillmor, I had to utter the saddest thing I've ever had to say on stage.
"Please, no moshing."
As a metalhead, it breaks my heart to say that.
As a guy who has attended 100+ metal concerts over the years, I've seen good pits and bad pits.
The good pits are filled with people who know the inherant brotherhood of metal. When someone goes down, the good pit picks them back up. A good pit is a maelstrom of positive aggression.
The bad pits are filled with @$$holes who are just there to hurt people. When someone goes down, the bad pit tramples them. A bad pit is a danger to everyone involved.
Back in the day, moshing was never a problem at any concert I attended. The pits were good. Your brothers (and sisters-ladies mosh too, guys) in metal looked out for eachother.
Then, Metallica's Black Album came out.
People who used to look at metal as something for misfits and freaks started rocking out to "Enter Sandman". Then, they started attending concerts. Then, they saw mosh pits. While I'm sure that some were educated on the unwritten rules of the pit, too many others saw the pit as an excuse to beat the $#!+ out of people.
If we're going to save our pits, we need to spread the word about how to properly engage in a pit.
Scary FN Terry's 11 Rules of Moshing
Rule 1: If someone goes down, pick them back up.
Rule 2: Seriously, if someone goes down, pick them back up!
Rule 3: You're going to get bumped and pushed. This is moshing, not an invitation to fight. I'm looking at you, dude-bro wearing a Tapout/Affliction/UFC shirt. That's great that you listen to nothing but FFDP, Slipknot, and Pantera while you work your biceps and pecs with your fellow dude-bros in the gym. Use those muscles for something useful, like picking someone up who has fallen down. It'll make you a better person, maybe even a hero. Also, you should check out Lamb of God. They're good for working out too.
Rule 4: Keep moving. Don't stand still.
Rule 5: If you see someone who's in over their head, help them get out.
Rule 6: If someone goes down, pick them back up!
Rule 7: Don't throw elbows, spin-kicks, punches or any other UFC/Street Fighter II/Mortal Kombat bull$#!+.
Rule 8: Don't wear sharp or spikey objects. Also, remove your peircings and glasses, and double-knot your shoes unless you want to lose them.
Rule 9: She's there to mosh, not to have her +!+$ pawed on by some sweaty ass metalhead. Maybe if you're a gentleman, she might be into some post-show pawing. Your mileage may vary.
Rule 10: Let security do their job. If they're stepping in, it's for a good reason.
Rule 11: No, really. I really freaking mean it when I say, if someone goes down, pick them back up!
This video from RiO Blog lays things out pretty succinctly. I do take exception to his bit on circle pits though.
Circle pits tend to be a bit safer than an all-out war pit. If everyone is moving in the same direction with some pushing and shoving along the way, it's easier to see downed bodies or other potential hazards.
If your reaction to the above advice made you say "That's totally ghey! Do you even lift, bro? The pit is for beating up pu$$ie$ and being totally Alpha!" then you're exactly why I had to make a "No moshing" announcement on Saturday. Stop going to metal shows until you learn how to look out for someone besides yourself.
Let's save our pits. Spread the word.
Scary FN Terry
P.S. In case you missed Nonpoint, here's a vid a listener took at the show: