Musical Memory

Moshing is a thrilling experience for some, and a piss-your-pants-scary experience for others. Me, I fall into the latter category, though I did not, in fact, piss my pants.

My experience happened at an Animal Collective concert. No, not a Gwar, Rancid, Nomeansno or any number of punk/metal bands you mosh to concert. A fucking Animal Collective concert, who’s opening act played the most mellow, transient music I’ve ever heard live. How you mosh to “My Girls,” I still have not figured out.

The aforementioned concert took place in Montreal. I went while I was on my French immersion excursion with a few friends that, thinking back, I had only known for a few days. I wasn’t a huge fan of Animal Collective. I had heard a couple of their songs, but really, I just wanted to be part of the crazy excursion to Montreal and the adventures that I was sure would ensue (and, in fact, did ensue).

My friend Derek and I managed to make it to the front of the stage, while everyone was still sitting down on the floor. As soon as Animal Collective came on, I knew there was trouble a’ brewin’. The crowd started to push to the front, and I found my personal space being infringed upon further and further. I should mention I was carrying a backpack full of necessities for the weekend and my purse, which was not helping the situation.

I could have dealt with that, but when “Summertime Clothes” came on, the crowd completely lost their shit. There are two kinds of moshing: the jumping up and down mosh, and the push mosh. This was a combination of both. I’m barely 5 feet tall, and in the madness, I was pushed over the other side of the crowd, away from Derek. I panicked, because if I lost him, I was fucked. I barely knew Montreal and didn’t even know where I was sleeping that night, but supposedly we were going to stay with his friends who were there for the concert. I tried to push/mosh back over to my original location. In the process, I started to lose my footing. The feeling like you’re going to fall, in the middle of a crowd of people who have no concern for your well-being and no intention of stopping so they don’t jump on you if you do fall, is fucking terrifying. For a millisecond, I thought, “Well, at least I’ll die a HERO.”

Then the badass motherfucker in me came out, and I got mad. I found my footing and pushed my tiny elbows through the crowd back to where Derek was awkwardly dealing with the people pushing him into the railing. I probably made him feel even more uncomfortable by latching onto his backpack, but I didn’t care. I was not letting that happen again.
I am not stepping into a mosh pit again without having a bottle and being really fucking angry at something. Lately, this is a common occurrence.