This Throwback Thursday, we're taking a second to be grateful for the times we made it out of shows with mere bumps and bruises when things could have ended much worse for us. Everyone loves a good scar story, so we're sharing ours and want to hear yours!
Tell us about the most brutal pit you've survived.
ALKALINE TRIO @ GROG SHOP, 2012
BOYSETSFIRE @ THE TROCADERO, 2007
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA @ WARPED TOUR, 2009
FLOGGING MOLLY @ DUBLIN IRISH FESTIVAL, 2002
GIDEON @ THE GOSHEN THEATRE, 2012
GUNS UP! @ HEART FEST, 2013
Heart Fest 2013 in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada definitely had a fertile pit for the entire day: no security, free-range mosh. Since day one headliner Guns Up! hadn't played in years, hundreds of hardcore bros with backed-up testosterone let loose in a modest-sized room. About five songs in, some guy moshing in the back knocked a girl unconscious. Brutal in the worst way. Everyone had to clear the venue as paramedics rushed to the scene, the fest got shut down and that was that. —Brian Kraus
IN FLAMES @ ROYAL OAK MUSIC THEATRE, 2012
Getting to see In Flames in the States is a pretty rare opportunity, so my friends and I were pretty excited for their Sounds Of A Playground Fading tour. When a bunch of guys (who if born in another time probably would’ve been murderous Viking raiders) play a show, you can expect the pit to be pretty brutal. I had recently turned 21 and was still in the get-intoxicated-at-every-show phase. A massive, thunderous pit opened up to the sound of melodic death metal and Nordic mythos. In my drunkenness, I wasn’t fazed. I floppily jumped in the middle of the pit (still holding my Long Island iced tea), and was instantly crushed by a horde of rabid, “professional moshers.” The nice thing about professional moshers: they help you up when you’re on the ground. —Matt Crane
MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK @ NINTENDO FUSION TOUR, 2005
I’ve been in dangerous pits where I faced off against bro-dudes, meth addicts and drunken dudes waving flags of other countries as they tried to stomp on my head. But I picked this show for both violence and weirdness factor. The fans were out in full force when Motion City Soundtrack hit the road in support of their second disc, Commit This To Memory. And why not? The album was a piece of pure pop perfection, anchored by MCS’s signature song, “Everything Is Alright.” My friend (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) suggested we have a competition to see who gets to the barricade faster, with the loser buying the winner lunch. I took the deal—and then I took the lumps. I walked toward the front of the stage, populated with several hundred girls aged 14 to 24. Prior to the set, my two big thoughts were being excited to hear Commit songs live, and where I was going to make my bud take me for sushi.
As soon as they came out and played the first song, my next thought was, “How am I going to stay alive?” Cell phones were the new brass knuckles, and if you ever caught the edge of one on the side of your head, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. One well-fed female actually called me “faggot,” because I wouldn’t lift her up on top of the crowd so she could surf up to the barricade like a salmon in the falls. I was close enough to the front that guitarist Josh Cain saw me and openly laughed onstage; that tender moment ended when another girl dived on my head. I left the show with legs, face and ego bruised but still okay in the wallet. My buddy didn’t make it to the front either, so we called it a draw and bought our own $5 hot dogs as consolation prizes. —Jason Pettigrew
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE @ LOLLAPALOOZA, 2008
Being the tall, uncoordinated chap that I am, I seem to lack the general instinct to hurl myself in the direction of recreational danger. However, while I wasn't exactly in the thick of it, the most brutal "pit," er, straight-up riot I've found myself in the midst of was during Rage Against The Machine's performance at Lollapalooza '08. Opening the set with "Testify" and "Bulls On Parade" prompted circle pits, and, soon after, fans were fighting, hopping barricades, breaking down the festival walls, and overpowering security in order to get as close as possible. In the front, kids were being crushed against barriers, hurled towards the stage, and blocked and knocked onto concrete as they tried to escape. Frontman Zach de la Rocha soon noticed, attempted to talk the crowd down to some avail, and, miraculously, the group were able to finish their set. I soaked up most of the chaos from the side of a sound booth I managed to climb, and, fortunately, escaped unscathed. —Philip Obenschain