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Dance Craze: Mosh Pits

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

In the early ‘80s, audiences at hardcore punk shows began pushing, shoving and slamming into each other – in the friendliest way, of course. Musician, critic and author Michael Azerrad joins us to talk about the evolution of moshing - plus we hear from Jack Rabid, editor of the music magazine The Big Takeover.


Michael Azerrad

Comments [18]

Chris McNamara from Ann Arbor

I still remember the look of shock on the faces of the members of GBH when they played in Detroit. It must have been one of their first stops. Several audience members had gotten on to the stage - and the band seemed utterly baffled. They were then gobsmacked when these same kids just started stage diving. It was a sight to behold.

May. 08 2012 12:35 PM
Caryn Lombardo from Brooklyn, NY

Video of the windmill (like a spinning air punch), the pencil sharpener, the trombone, and many others not seen before:
Was the classic "circle pit" mentioned?
PS - Wall of Death is sometimes more than side-to-side. It can also happen back to front (when the folks at the back of the pit link elbows and attack forward, crushing the tiny people and photographers at the front.) My sister and I used to have such fun doing wall of death at Ministry, Naked Raygun, and Gwar shows.

May. 02 2012 02:24 PM
Roy from Lebanon nj

While it not necessarily slam dancing me and a bunch of friends used to link arms in mosh pits and ether do the can can, just swing around in circles or rush people as one and man was it fin. Worst that's happend to me is being trampled in a circle pit man I hate those

May. 02 2012 02:23 PM
kevin from upper LS

no,those who "don't get it", can dance. plain and simple. this stuff is crap,even plainer and simpler.

May. 02 2012 02:21 PM
David from Detroit

I witnessed slam dancing in the 80s and have moshed in more recent years, they are 2 TOTALLY DIFFERENT dances! Slamming left people bloody, moshing is much more gentle, when someone falls to the floor in a pit the first thing moshers do is pull the person up so they do not get trampled.

May. 02 2012 02:17 PM
Jack Macco from Astoria

Moshing is as Primal as dancing gets. Those who don't get it never have participated.

May. 02 2012 02:16 PM
Er-nay from UWS

The first I ever saw slam dancing was in San Francisco at clubs like "Mabuhay Gardens" and the "Deaf club" in 1979
The bands were "the Mutants"" the dils" and "The Avengers"

Nobody was ever seriously hurt

May. 02 2012 02:14 PM

2 step, creepy crawly, picking up change

May. 02 2012 02:14 PM
Edward from NJ

Question for the audience: what's the least appropriate concert you've ever seen a mosh pit break out?

May. 02 2012 02:14 PM
swifty from Crown Heights

I grew up in California. The first time i saw slamming was Mabuhay Garden in SF around 1981 and it was Tony Alva the pro skateboarder doing it. Let's give some credit to skateboard culture. When Tony did it, it looked kind of like the way he skated.

May. 02 2012 02:13 PM

kickboxing, lol

May. 02 2012 02:13 PM
kp from nj

a favorite college memory of mine...a Ramones concert on Syracuse University campus circa 1984....the police ended the concert early when they felt the mosh pit was out of control and someone might get one did...just a lot of mad, drunk college students

May. 02 2012 02:10 PM

the tristate area perfected and owns the hardcore dance

May. 02 2012 02:06 PM

Rob from Detroit, MI
the 90s is not a good example of moshing. suburban kids crowd surfing and bumping into each other is quite tame compared to what the HB's did in orange county to black flag shows.

May. 02 2012 02:06 PM

jon, please explain to the public the differences between po-go-ing, moshing, slam dancing and hardcore dancing.

May. 02 2012 02:05 PM
kevin from upper LS

more like a primordial miscreants take on aerobics.

May. 02 2012 01:38 PM
Rob from Detroit, MI

I was in a band in high school - at times we got to play there - and our principal told us that we would play but there would be absolutely "no boshing". That's right, he was hip. He knew what "boshing" was and we were not to do it!

Did we mosh? A little... but my friends waiting until the last song so we didn't get the plug pulled.


Beyond that, I remember going to metal and "alternative" rock shows in the 1990s and having issues with crowd surfers and stage divers more than anything.

Once, I was kicked in the face by a crowd surfer at a SLAYER show and it slip my lip open. I started bleeding. It was SLAYER, so, I guess that's a plus. HAHA!

The other time, I was at a HOLE show and Courtney Love stage dove and landed on my head with her rear end.

Ah, youth. HA!


May. 02 2012 01:30 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

Moshing is dancing? I guess. But please explain.

May. 02 2012 12:02 PM

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