Alright, I’ve got a topic that may be viewed by some as great, and others as barbaric…. it’s something called “moshing”.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, moshing is formally defined as “dancing to rock music in a violent manner involving jumping up and down and deliberately colliding with other dancers.” It comes in a few forms, believe it or not… the typical mosh pit of just dancing and moving around, and other things such as circle pits (basically everyone running around in a circle) and a wall of death (the crowd separating and running at each other). I’ve inserted a few pictures below to give you a general idea of what moshing may look like, and although it seems painful and harsh, it’s nowhere near as scary as this description makes it out to be. Keep reading and you’ll understand!
How does this tie into the sublime and/or grotesque, you may be wondering? Well, when this form of dancing at a concert is seen by others, most people’s initial reaction is a form of abjection, because seeing others run and jump around chaotically and occasionally shove one another is bound to make a least a few people uncomfortable. However, those who decide to participate in the act of moshing think differently. Any type of dancing, jumping, or singing at a concert is usually a sign that whoever is doing it is enjoying their experience of the music and crowd to the fullest, and moshing is simply another form of that. Those in the “most pit” have made a decision to completely surround themselves with the music and the people, leaving inhibitions aside and allowing their entire being to become one with the concert. On that note, I believe the sublime can be applied here. The emotions brought on by the music heard at a concert paired with the collective experience with hundreds, even thousands of other people who feel the same is enough to bring someone to a place of transcendence. This transcendence can also make those people feel overwhelmed, and bring the awareness that this euphoric feeling will soon come to an end once the concert is over, and in turn will make those people want to react in extreme measure to ensure that they experience this concert to the best of their ability… and thus begins moshing and dancing like crazy!
If you ever get a chance to go to concert that has a mosh pit, I encourage you to jump out of your comfort zone and try it, maybe you will move past the initial assumption of it being abject and grotesque and feel a bit of transcendence yourself!