How to Survive a Rock Mosh

You love the band. You step up the volume whenever their tunes play. You religiously follow their social media accounts. You’ve purchased their merch and even, their CDs (in this age, no way?!). Their tour is announced. You save up the money, you’re online at an unconventional weekday time, and you refresh your browser just when to purchase a ticket. It’s one of the happiest moments of your life: you’re going to see them live! You’re going to scream their lyrics back at them, groove to their #choons and experience an adrenaline fuelled love rush like never before. You start YouTubing their live concerts to stay pumped. The raw talent blasting from your screen is orgasmic (in whichever sense of the word that best applies to you).

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Then you see it. You’ve seen it before but it didn’t stand out because you weren’t going to be a part of it. There, surrounding your favourite band onstage, is an insanely large crowd of seemingly insanely minded people: a mosh pit.

Who would’ve thought a band with lyrics like ‘I burnt my life and I branded my soul’ would have a rough fan following? Not like the band’s name is Violent Soho

Now, I don’t mind coming home covered in the sweat of strangers if it’s all in good moshing fun but, like most people, I generally don’t want to die. So, how does one survive the rock concert mosh?

Prior Preparation

YouTube the SHIT out of your band’s live concerts. Suss out how rough their moshes get and what happens: circle pit, wall of death, crowd surfing, head-banging, throwing things in the air, etc.

Look at different areas of the mosh pit. Decide which area you’ll join and prepare for the conditions of that area. E.g: if you’re joining the middle—notoriously the most intense—you may want to practice your pit moves.

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Dress the Part

  • Always, always, always wear closed-toed shoes. Boots are best.
  • For tops: wear a loose shirt. Ideally the band’s merch, where better to wear it?
  • For bottoms: avoid wearing a skirt or dress, unless you don’t mind flashing?
  • Tie up long hair.
  • Avoid jewellery.

You’re going to sweat, jump around, be shoved around and absorb the sweat of countless others’, fancy clothing is not appropriate. And remember, no matter how cold it is outside, the temperature in the mosh will feel the same as the inside of your car feels in summer. If you need a jacket, wear one you can tie around your waist.

On the Day

Hydrate yourself and eat well beforehand. You don’t want to pass out in the mosh!

Arrive early. You know how you spent all that time researching mosh pits to pick out your favourite spot? Well, there’s no guarantee you’ll get it if you arrive late! The early mosher catches the tunes.

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What to Pack

  1. Water, water, water. Or money to buy water at the venue.
  2. If you have long hair, an extra hair-tie (in case of breakages or loss of your original).
  3. Strong, protective phone case (for your phone, duh).
  4. Portable charger.
  5. Fit all items in a small bag with a strap that fits over your shoulder. Otherwise, utilise pockets and underwear but test your items won’t fling out first.
  6. A can-do rock and roll attitude! HELL YEAHHHHHH.

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Holding Your Spot in the Mosh

Use your body size to your advantage. If you’re smaller: weave, duck and squeeze between people and find someone/thing to cling onto. If you’re larger: push through people and hold your own ground against them.

If you don’t want to let the crowd drag you then, once you find your spot, hang on for dear life in every and any way you can—don’t be like that bastard in the Titanic.

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Extra Tips

If you plan on moshing all night, avoid heavy drinking. You can’t keep your spot in the mosh if you have to go to the bathroom.

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The Outcome

Will your mosh pit experience always go to plan? Hell no. Will it always be worth it? Hell yes. You’ll learn to reflect upon the next morning’s bruises with the greatest admiration.

I wouldn’t change a thing!

My Top 3 Rock Moshes

Want more info or inspo on rock moshes? Leave a comment.

For now, rock on dudes.

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7 thoughts on “How to Survive a Rock Mosh

  1. I cant believe I’ve been on this planet for a few decades but never been in a rock mosh. Why oh why didn’t I find this guide sooner? Surviving a rock mosh is now on my bucket list, I’ll take this guide with me and hopefully I wont be leaving it in a body bag. Wish me luck!

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  2. Excellent advice… As a veteran mosher, may I add one more piece of advice… If ever attending a Five Finger Death Punch show and the singer (Ivan Moody) pulls you from the front of the mosh onto stage to sing a line with him, be prepared for the impending headbutt, assisted push into the crowd and subsequent crowd surfing. While a fun experience, you will lose your excellent spot in the mosh.

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    1. Thank you @BeaunafideScamp for your comment, and thank you so much for sharing your rock moshing experience. Losing your spot aside, that sounds like an incredibly sick time! If only you had previously read this guide though: remember, don’t be like Jack; don’t let go: then you may have thought to pull Ivan Moody offstage instead, dragging him into the mosh where you could sing and headbutt him all you like, without losing your excellent mosh spot. To manage the crowd surfing as well would prove difficult from ground-level, but never doubt the power of the mosh.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I can’t say I have any experience with rock moshes, only the hip hop kind, but this is some pretty solid advice; I wish I had it going into my first mosh. What’s the roughest crowd you’ve ever experienced? Did you have to make any of these mistakes before you arrived at this state of mosh enlightenment? 🙂

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    1. Cheers @cmqualter 🙂 The advice could definitely be useful for hip hop moshes as sometimes they’re unexpectedly rough! Is this what you found?
      The roughest crowd I’ve ever experienced was for The Bronx, a US hardcore rock band. Their slogan is ‘the beat that kills’: very applicable. At the start of the performance, the band’s front-man riled up the crowd, telling us to ‘get f*cked’ and demanding we get wilder: ‘sorry ladies,’ he laughed. He then came offstage, with his guitar, and created a circle pit, in which he stayed for most of the performance. Everyone in the circle was running into each other harder than I’ve seen before. The crowd on the outside (where I was) was just as rough. There was pushing, jumping, pulling, head-butting, thumping: you could very easily be dragged away and never find your place again (or be killed). It was relentless. The Bronx’s entire performance, the crowd did not settle. I clung onto the barrier at the front with all my strength to make sure I’d still have my spot for when Violent Soho came onstage, after.
      This is a clip of The Bronx’s performance in Sydney, from the same tour I attended in Melbourne, that captures a similar experience: https://youtu.be/aZ9I3DUb0aQ
      I can’t say that it was one of my favourite moshes…

      Liked by 1 person

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