For many people, a mosh pit does not sound fun. However, anybody who has participated in one would disagree. On Oct. 26, 2018, the Summit Music Hall hosted a punk rock show. Smaller bands, Peach Kelli Pop and Vundabar, were the featured openers for headliner Joyce Manor.
The lesser known band, Peach Kelli Pop, was the first act of the show. Not many people were in the venue at this point considering the group is from Ottawa, Canada while the other bands are both American and more well known. Their sound could be described as garage rock with a pinch of R&B. For their portion of the show, the crowd only swayed a little and danced slowly together. However, when the second opener, Vundabar, appeared, the mood completely changed.
Vundabar, who originated in Boston, MA is an indie rock band with a very European fashion sense. They played songs with shredding guitar solos and included whiny vocals with random shouts that energized the audience. At this point, the middle of the crowd had emptied space for a mosh pit to form. This was nothing compared to how violent and crazy it would get.
Sophomore Noah Mackey attended the show with his older sister, who introduced him to the band’s music. This is the second year in a row he’s seen Joyce Manor in concert. Though Joyce Manor is a smaller band, they are known to make the crowd wild.
Almost everybody contributes to the mosh pit, even if they’ve never participated in one before. “People in mosh pits seem really angry, but they’re actually so caring,” Mackey said. “If someone falls everybody helps them and asks if they’re okay. It’s such a different atmosphere.”
You can’t put Joyce Manor into just one musical genre; they have too many different sounds throughout all their albums and songs. You could say they’re simply just a rock band. However, their fans who know almost every song, know they fit under indie, soft rock, punk, grunge, and so many more categories. As an example, the song Schley could be considered punk, indie rock, emo, or pop punk.
It starts with a heavy drum beat and immediately transitions to low tempo drums paired with soft guitar chords and riffs. Schley makes the crowd calm and soft until it gets closer to the end of the song when the singer yells the word “Schley,” while the guitarist shreds his guitar and the drum beats consist of loud cymbal crashes. At that point, everybody is a part of the mosh pit. It was during this song when I experienced crowd surfing for the first time.
When the concert was over, nobody left. If you had been to one of Joyce Manor’s concert before, you know there’s always an encore. However, what set this encore apart from previous concerts is the wall of death. If you are not familiar with the term, a wall of death is when the crowd splits to let the anticipation build during the soft part of a song. When the song becomes loud and harsh, the wall meets in a violent mosh pit.
What made this death wall memorable was the fact that a concert attendee dressed as Spider-Man was the center of attention. For about two minutes, Spiderman swayed in the space singing and pointing at other people as if he was the singer. For a couple of seconds, the whole room stopped until the guitar riff, which broke the silence. The gap closed in and the mosh pit erupted.
Mackey says the Spider-Man death wall is easily the most memorable part of the concert. “Everyone was just having a good time and dancing as hard as they could. Especially during the encore,” Mackey said. “They were all singing together.”
The words in this article used to describe mosh pits may add to one’s hesitation in joining, but when you wake up the next morning sore with bruises and a headache, you know you’ll remember that show forever.