Monday, April 11, 2011

Tales From Intern Year: Mosh Pit

When I was doing my ER rotation in internship, I noticed that often nights would seem to have a "theme." When they put patients up on the board, there are always a couple of words to describe their chief complaint. One night, there were a couple of patients with the chief complaint "mosh pit victim". Apparently, at this My Chemical Romance concert, someone had knocked someone over in the mosh pit and it just got out of hand and lots of people were injured. Not too badly though, fortunately.

However, our attending, who was a religious Muslim woman, didn't understand what a mosh pit was. The PA was trying to explain it to her.

PA: "It's this area that forms during concerts where people jump around and fall into it and basically throw around their weight."

Attending: [horrified] "Do they have this at every concert or just heavy metal type concerts?"

PA: "Well, every concert that young people would be going to."

Attending: "Does a mosh pit just break out or...?"

PA: "No, it's actually an organized group at every concert."

Attending: "Where is it? Is there just one or are they scattered?"

PA: "It's in the large area right in front of the stage and there's only one."

Attending: "How do you wind up in a mosh pit?"

PA: "Well, you have to choose to go into it. I mean, it's not like you're walking down the street and suddenly you're in a mosh pit."

The PA then told us about how he worked at a Pearl Jam concert a number of years ago and within like TEN MINUTES of the music starting, there was already a humerus fracture and a forehead laceration. The concert had JUST STARTED and already there were all these injuries.


  1. This is why I've never gone into the mosh pit. Or stage diving for that matter. You just know someone is going to drop you on your head.

  2. Early on while my now husband and I were dating we went to a concert. As it happens, there was a mosh pit. I tried to stay around the edge and observe since my hubby and his friends went in for a bit and would come out, take a breather, and go back in. Well, at one point I somehow got pulled into the fray. I was so freaked out. My husband's friend saw me and got into position to pull me back out, but I did fall once before that happened. I was lucky all I ended up with was a couple bruises and an impromptu lesson in adrenaline forces.
    So, I guess, from experience I will say that you can get pulled in accidentally. I was naive, and I don't get that close anymore.
    To this day he teases me about that.

  3. I can't stand it when a mosh pit forms right next to where I am standing and I have to move away from the stage to prevent being sucked into it.

  4. Hokay. I know I'm getting old, but is this supposed to be fun?

  5. @knot - my thoughts exactly.

    Been to a few metal concerts and they can get pretty rough. Best ones are when the singers egg them on (eg Godsmack) or at Sturgis during concerts at the Chip or Full Throttle. I saw some guy (looked like he was tweaked on meth) literally pick someone up in the middle of the mosh, lift him over his head and throw them. At that point I calmly and quickly moved to the outer edge of the pack and enjoyed my beer.

  6. I remember going to a Green Day concert back when they were more popular and had regular concerts. It was at a huge auditorium, the kind where the distance between the first floor and the balcony looks a lot more than just a 1-story drop. It was also one of those halls where mosh pits break out all over the place, not just near the stage.
    I had seen stage dives onto the mosh pit before, but that was the first time I had seen someone jump from the balcony into the mosh pit. People are pretty nut-so.

  7. A mosh pit at a Pearl Jam show?? Hmm....I guess. It's not exactly Pantera...

    Someone should inform the attending that heavy metal mosh pits have now evolved in to circle pits where people run in a big circle, just basically punching eachother. Much more orderly and civilized!

  8. Axl -- Haven't you seen the video for Even Flow? If I recall correctly (which I might not) they have footage of people doing stage dives into a mosh pit.

  9. Do you watch "How I Met Your Mother"? They created the "Murtaugh List" - you know, from Lethal Weapon when Danny Glover's character, Murtaugh, keeps saying "I'm too old for this shit"? Well, the Murtaugh List is a list of things that you're clearly too old to do...the reason I bring this up?

    There's a HUGE rock concert in my city every year (tons of bands and something along the lines of 50,000 people). I've gone before and briefly considered going this year...then I thought about it, remember how much mud, how many drunk, smelly people there were and how much moshing they all liked to do and prompty placed it on the Murtaugh List.

    I'm too old for that shit.

  10. Knot: It's fun if you're a giant burly guy who loves throwing your weight around. I am not, so I would never go in a mosh pit.

    Axl: I don't think I've ever been to a concert that didn't have a mosh pit, except for, like, the folksy stuff my parents dragged me to. Anything aimed at teenagers or people in their early twenties has a mosh pit.

    Kate: I think I'm too old to go to a concert that doesn't have assigned seating. I actually have an entry planned about this sometime in the future.