Last night I went to see Gogol Bordello in concert. Absolutely incredible concert. I had a blast despite going alone. I spent 2h pogo-ing on the periphery of the mosh pit. I departed after the 2 encores (the last one of which had one of the band members surfing the crowd standing and singing on top of her bass drum) happy, ears ringing, and covered in sweat (of which probably 70% was my own). The part of the venue I was in had 5-7 people/m2, and as such I fear my conceptualization of the term "personal space" has been irrevocably altered. There were so many people crammed in every direction, dancing and surging as one, roaring the same lyrics, and moshing during the polka breakdowns that it was simply 2h of one pure adrenaline high, vicariously shared with everyone around me. I was highly impressed, not just by the band but also by the crowd. Of all the concerts I've been to, this was, without doubt, the most gender-balanced. Most punk concerts' crowds are mostly guys who think that moshing means that banal "hardcore dancing" that is a thinly veiled excuse to hit people in the face. There was none of that bullshit last night, just ricochet moshing and pogo-ing; there may have even been more women than men.
In light of my tremendous experience last night, I have some words for my fellow concert-goers:
Dear Short Women in the Mosh Pit,
You are awesomely brave. I don't know if you could even see the band on stage for the thicket of people pressed around you, but you stuck it out anyway. And yeah, I saw you all kicking the ass of that skeevy guy who kept trying to grab you and for it my esteem of your badassness rises even further. I "accidentally" elbowed him in the head at one point for you (and Toaster has sharp elbows).
Mr. Smelly Greasy Guy,
If you're going to headbang in a crowded punk mosh pit, please have the decency to wash your hair first. Covering up your BO stench (and when you can smell it over the rest of the mosh pit sweat, you know it's bad) with perfume does not fix it.
Dear Cute Girl I Elbowed in the Head 5 Times Whilst Pumping My Fist in the Air Before Realizing It,
I'm terribly sorry. I really hope that my elbow didn't fully connect with your head and if it did, please accept my profuse and heartfelt apologies. Actually, please accept them in any event.
Mr. and Ms. Punkies,
Shaving your hair into a rat-tail and imitating Poly Styrene's make-up before going to a concert makes you look like a punk. Leaving the mosh pit crying after the first two songs with your Hot Topic jewelry askew makes you look like a poseur.
Work It Out,
Dear Hot Ladies Who Were Dancing Up Against Me,
I appreciate you all. I don't know which of you all kept goosing me, but I don't really care. I know that some of you only wound up near me because I helped you up off the floor after getting knocked down by other moshers, but that doesn't explain why you stuck so near me for most of the rest of the concert. I regret getting separated from you all during the second grand finale.
All the Best,
Mr. Half-Naked Screaming High Guy,
You scream like a little girl and kept throwing beer cans at people while hanging from the railings. You have no idea how close you were to getting kicked in the face.
Dear Doc Martens Boots,
Thank you for your steel toes and heavy bouncing soles.
I love you,
Dear Friends Who Sneered at Attending the Concert,
You may have found the mere concept of "polka", "punk", or even "polka punk" odious, but you really missed out. I hope you had fun watching TV and napping instead.
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