Eight South Florida Mosh Pit Memories from a Former Slam Dancing Enthusiast

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Walking on Heads in West Kendall

The late '90s and early 2000s was the golden age of new school mosh metal and, subsequently, the golden age of a breed of gang-oriented violence distinct in nihilistic intensity from Hardcore's already uber-tough machismo. For example, when Bad Luck Riot 13 (a band with a notorious reputation for encouraging extremely violent behavior) performed at Hellfest 2004, the proceedings quickly devolved into an actual full-scale riot.

A less extreme example of the scene's suburban sadism, circa a decade ago, is a surge in the hardcore "dance move," headwalking. The step is a playful twist on boring ol' stagediving wherein the Diver does not dive but instead runs full speed ahead into the audience, leaping from head to head like a jolly toad skipping down a lovely row of lily pads.

Dropkicked During the Dropkick Murphys

Until I found likeminded geeks on the Internet, my Dad used to drive me to all of the shows I attended in early high school. And on the way home, I regaled him with stories of the ridiculous, often dangerous choreographed combat I witnessed and partook in, all in the name of live music appreciation.

After seeing the Dropkick Murphys at Spankys, I told him all about accidentally stagediving into a skinhead that rained piston-like blows upward upon my soft, exposed midsection. His punches kept me afloat, as though I were hopping on a trampoline. My pops was silent. And then asked, with earnest befuddlement, "Why does there have to be so much physical contact?" Parents just don't understand.

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Matt Preira