Allyn Harvey: Moshing Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Allyn Harvey: Moshing Aspen

If every year the X Games can produce the kind of extreme that went down one week ago last Tuesday night at the corner of Hunter and Hyman, then bring em on.The Offspring, the post-punk SoCal band with roots that go back to the mid-1980s, lit the town up and introduced the sport of moshing to legions of high-energy, go-with-what’s-cool Generation X Gamers.The band’s beat was just punk enough for the Aussies, Germans, Kiwis, Americans, French and everyone else in the first 20 layers of people to partake in a bit of crashing, banging and bouncing. But, ideally, the band was also just tame enough to allow some moshing without a real mosh pit forming, which would have overheated the crowd and forced the authorities to respond.Moshing, after all, is the full-contact, no-pad version of extreme. You might call it the original extreme. It requires stamina, strength and a willingness to get hurt by a crush of people swinging their elbows and sinking their shoulders into your back.As a member of The Aspen Times editorial board, made up exclusively from the punk generation (high school and college in the mid-1970s through the early 1980s), I tip my hat to the 500 or so people at the front who kept the crowd alive, jumping, shoving and doing all the things that should be done at a high-energy show.But there were a few lame moments up near the front that a bit of schooling from some old pros can fix. The following will help both old and young should they knock it down in the pit at the next show:1. Whoever that joker was who went up for the body pass wearing a backpack needs to get a clue. Do you really think we want to pass both your sorry tail end around along with whatever crap you’ve got in your backpack? Next time, fool, drop the backpack or we’ll drop you on the concrete.2. Don’t stop moving. If you’re going for the stage, then go for it. To that handful of people trying to slow it down so they can catch the band on their phonecam or video recorder: Get the hell out. If you’re in the pit, or anywhere near the front for that matter, keep bouncing and pushing.3. Go with the flow. Don’t worry about hanging on to your girl (or boy) when things heat up. If you’re right for each other, you’ll be back together by the end of the night.4. Don’t take no crap from nobody. If someone comes crashing into you, crash back. If they throw an elbow, throw one back. When the real moshing begins, go hard. Be ready to dish it out, but also be ready to take it.5. Think like a piston. The safest move near the front of a jampacked show is straight up and down. It’s what everyone around you is doing, so you need to get with the program or get the hell out. Think like a piston moving to the beat of the guitar, or if the guitar is lame, then go with the drums. If you’re always going up, you’ll never go down.6. Finally, call Torre or Helen or whoever else you know at City Hall and tell them you want more of what we had on Tuesday.The frenzy and folly fit well with the Winter X Games. It was a good introduction to what will hopefully become a tradition of winter and summer concerts that bring people out and fire them up.With each show, I and others on this staff of punkers hope the intensity increases, eventually reaching the level of The Clash (R.I.P.), Motorhead, Reverend Horton Heat, Mudhoney, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica.Whatever. Just keep the beat alive.[Allyn Harvey is associate editor of The Aspen Times.]

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