March 25 2012

Boston Apparently is Forgetting its Roots, Bans Mosh Pits

mosh pitFromt he realm of, “Seriously? Here of all places?” comes the story that Boston is cracking down on mosh pits.

According to the Boston Herald, The House of Blues located in Boston was recently cited for its security not intervening in a most pit that took place on February 21 during a Flogging Molly show.  According to the story, the police report detailed that 60 concertgoers were engaged in an “aggressive mosh pit dance,” that had people running and “colliding into each other.”  The citation also stated this led to some people who were “knocked to the ground.” Apparently no injuries were reported after show.

The House of Blues has said that is working with the authorities “to address concerns about moshing and other forms of expressive dance.”  Nicole Grant, a spokeswoman for the Boston Police, said, “Dancing is a First Amendment right, but the behavior itself is a violation, especially when it becomes dangerous and a public safety hazard.”

The club has since had to put up illuminated signs indicating that moshing is no longer allowed at the club.

You know what I have to say to this?  “You’re Boston.  Have you ever looked at your musical history?”

From Punk-core in the 80’s to now, Boston’s music scene has been known to be one of the hardest in the country.  Ska, a music with its roots in Jamaica in the 1960’s, is known for its laid back attitudes.  In the late 1980’s Boston gave rise to what is known as the “third-wave of Ska,” and which others refer to as “Ska-core.”  The music took on a distinctly harsher edge thanks to the likes of bands such as The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  The Dropkick Murphys, a band in a similar vain to Flogging Molly, is known for its aggressive style of music was born out of Boston’s South Side area.

You are a city that has not only tolerated this type of behavior for decades, but played an active role in its wide adoption.  To suddenly decide in 2012 that moshing is “dangerous and a public safety hazard” is akin to warning people around Three Mile Island that there might be some radiation in the area.

Over my years I have been in my fair share of mosh pits, I didn’t enjoy them and I stopped going into them.  Do I have a problem with other people doing it?  Nope, to each their own so long as I stay out of it.  And believe me, they aren’t that difficult to avoid.  To suddenly decide that this is some sort of public safety issue after years and years just screams to me of the issues we have in this country with every single thing seeming to be regulated in our lives.  Is this really that large of an issue that the police need to spend time on it and Boston’s licensing board needs to hold hearings over it?  Are mosh pits overtaking the entire city and suddenly breaking out in parks?  Have old women been mugged by roving mosh pits?

Seriously Boston, I loved you when I visited back in 2009, but this has really ruined my buzz for you.

[via Boston Herald, thanks to Rizzn for the tip]

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