You’ve heard of the fist pump in clubs, light stick waves at K-pop concerts, and the synchronised crowd jumps present in most rock concerts…but have you heard of moshing in a mosh pit? Moshing takes things to a whole new level and is easily the wildest form of appreciation a fandom can show to artists.
Moshing typically occurs during a punk, rock or metal concert due to the high intensity of the music. If you ever feel like breaking into a run while listening to a fast metal track or doing a 90-degree headbang beat with a rock track, this beginner’s guide to moshing is for you! If it’s your first time hearing about it, we strongly recommend you try it as we guarantee it will be a fun experience (provided you do it safely of course)!
Types of Organised Mosh Pits
Crowds will open up a circle of space to form a circle pit either on the signal of the artistes or when others call for it/push the rest aside. There are a few variations of movements that people can do. One of them is called the lap where people simply run around in a counter-clockwise direction. The speed of the run depends on the song.
Image Source: Imgur
Another variation is what we call the ripple effect. This is where people run towards the centre of the circle and collide, in a safe manner of course, and then soon spread out again, pushing others towards the outside of the pit.
Circle pits can happen at any point of the concert. Some moshers would dance crazily before the formation of a circle pit and after the signal is given to engage in a lap or ripple. It’s fun to watch and fun to do!
Wall of death
Once the cue is signalled by the artiste or even the crowd, moshers will move to form a split in the group somewhat like parting the red sea. When the time is right, the crowd will run into each other to close up the split, thus creating the “Wall Of Death.” As intimidating as it sounds, this mosh technique can be done with minimal injuries.
You can watch a compilation of different pits here
Aside from organised mosh pits, moshing can also take the form of simple techniques. These techniques do not require coordination from the crowd and are still an excellent experience to have.
Some may say that this is the most natural thing to do at a concert, but we would beg to differ. There are a couple of things to consider, which include jump height and frequency. Getting the frequency wrong would make you look like a fool when you miss the beat. Nevertheless, this is a fundamental technique and great to do if you feel the energy, but a mosh pit isn’t opening near you.
Put both arms over your neighbours’ shoulders, form a long chain and all bow to the beat! Headbanging as its name suggests is the shaking of one’s head to the beat of the music and can range from simple nodding hard or do a 90-degree bow. When done in sync, it would be a fantastic sight for the artists.
Image Source: Metal Injection
People flailing like a madman, a grown man trying to relive his childhood as a ninja warrior or maybe someone trying to act like he’s having spasms. This blanket term mainly covers all forms of seemingly crazy and spontaneous dance moves that people feel like doing at a concert.
Things to note
These are just some of the different types of moshing. If you’re going to a punk/rock/metal or heavy kind of concert and want to have some fun moshing, there are certain things you have to take note. There have been cases where the wall of death, for example, resulted in casualties.
What to wear:
Simply…dress simple! No fancy necklaces, bracelets, watches, etc. Being in a mosh pit with these will either hurt others or damage your wearables. Wear comfortable covered shoes and avoid wearing high heels or flip flops for apparent reasons.
What to bring:
In general, most concert venues will have lockers to store your bags and personal belongings. However, if you want to avoid the storage fee, bring only your bare essentials and ensure that they are safely tucked away in your pocket during a concert.
Rules of moshing
Moshing can and will be very dangerous if we do not take care of one another and not look out for safety. Always help those who are in need and be aware of your surroundings. Mosh pits are a place where people can bond and have the most fun experience in a concert.
To start a mosh pit, simply call for one and start pushing around, so others will know you are trying to start one. Most of the time, the artists themselves will call for mosh pits to open so do take the initiative to start one at your side!
If for some reason you do not like to be in a mosh pit but happen to be caught in the middle of one, simply move away from the pit as much as possible. It is not nice to stay in a pit and not participate as you will deny the space from other moshers.
Moshing is a great way to show appreciation to artists and an amazing way to enjoy concerts. Although somewhat limited to heavier concerts where most of the moshers are guys, we encourage girls to participate too! Moshing is not gender specific, and both genders will enjoy moshing if done respectably and safely. Mosh culture in Singapore may not be that mainstream yet, but we hope that with this guide, more Singaporeans will be able to enjoy moshing and spread the culture.
See you in the mosh pit!
Last updated on December 31st, 2019.
This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese (Simplified))