A swift kick to the back of the head. The girl crowd surfing just kicked me. At this point, I’m tired of the crowd surfers and decide to take matters into my own, anger-filled hands. I grab her by her collar and pull her down from her place atop the crowd and immediately go back to trying to enjoy the show.
Crowd surfers. I don’t know anyone who likes them, and I’m sure I’m not the only one with a story like this.
Being in the crowd at a concert is one hell of a ride, and I have found that it can vary depending on the genre of the band and the particular city that you are in.
The best crowd experience I’ve had at a show is when I went to see Motionless in White at Ritual, right here in home-town Ottawa. There is just something so exhilarating about such a small space packed full of people who love the same music, who are filled with excited energy, having a blast, and respecting the people around them. If you’ve ever been to a really great metal show, or a great show in general - you know that feeling! The one where the entire crowd jumps on the bands command. This one of the happiest moments you will experience in this life.
That being said, not every show that you go to is going to be a gem, no matter how much you like the band.
A couple years ago I went to see my favourite band, Breaking Benjamin, in Montreal. I had wanted to see them in concert since I was 11 and was finally getting the chance. Unfortunately, I would have to say it was one of the worst crowd experiences I’ve ever had.
There were people moshing to songs that you just don’t mosh to (The Diary of Jane), there were the people who always get too drunk or too high before the show and end up getting dragged out by security after they’ve puked somewhere, and there were the crowd surfers. I can say matter-of-factly that crowd surfers are the worst people at a show. But, all of these factors overall made me look back at the show as one that I really didn’t enjoy.
Most recently I went to see Nothing More in Toronto, which was a new experience altogether. First of all, I went with someone, whereas I usually go to shows alone (mostly because my friends don’t share my music taste), and I also stood at the back of the crowd this time, when I have usually stood as close to the front as I could. Being at a show with someone you want to be there with, listening to great music, and being away from the chaos that is the front of the stage proved to also make for a really good crowd experience.
So why go? Why take that chance that you might not have a good time, or might get hurt?
For the love of music. The one thing that everyone in the crowd is going to have in common. The crowd can be hot, sweaty, drunk, and violent, but at the end of it, you got to listen to great music, live, and experience the pure joy that comes with it.
Arielle is a 22 year old Professional Writing student who loves the arts. Her music taste is eclectic, but she spends most of her time frequenting local punk and metal shows. She often surfs through Youtube and Bandcamp hoping to stumble on a new addictive sound. Her favourite bands include; Breaking Benjamin, Dance Gavin Dance, In This Moment and Brand New, to name a few.