Tough Luck

Eagulls – Tough Luck

You know what I miss? I miss going to shows where the whole crowd is moving in unison. Where you’re all packed in tight and have your arms up, bent at the elbow for protection. It’s a mosh pit but in the fun, not-harmful way. Urban Dictionary would have me believe this is called a closed pit. Pogoing in a closed pit? Maybe? I’m afraid mosh pit has taken on a meaning associated with the worst (or best, if you’re into that) kind of violent pit. I’m not talking about the steel-toed combat boot to the ear* kind of pit.

What I’m talking about is when you hear a song like this, you just want to be packed into a small, hot, black room jumping up and down with 300 of your closest strangers. No one’s holding a beer, no one’s holding a phone up filming. Why would you when it would only get knocked out of your hands?

It’s been forever since I was at a show like that. When I went to see the Joy Formidable, the conditions were ripe but the crowd was still green. It’s something that requires everyone buy into it, or at least a large enough cluster of people to sustain the momentum. It works better when there’s not a lot of room. There are fewer chances of getting hurt, in my experience, when it’s tight and there’s a collective will to do this one thing. I’m not a fan of stage diving and crowd surfing. I just want to be carried away in the figurative sense. It doesn’t seem to be a tradition that got passed down to the next group of concert-goers though.

* That was my worst pit experience. Full force whack in the ear from someone who took a dive at a Carter USM show (I know, right?) at the old 930 Club. It felt like in those old Bugs Bunny cartoons where the stars circle your head.


  1. I miss those shows too. I especially loved the ska shows, where everyone was skanking to the beat. Such an amazing, positive vibe. A low-fi and intimate way to experience music – and yes, no bloody phones! I used to go to City Gardens in Trenton when I was in high school, late 80’s. It was a really wild venue and there were definitely times I worried about my safety. There’s a documentary on the place – I’ve only seen the trailer but your post reminded me of it:


  2. I miss shows like that. I can’t remember the last time it happened, everyone jumping up and down in perfect harmony.

    Also, I took a knee to the face when I was in the pit during a Flogging Molly show. I feel your pain.

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