Every time most people hear the term “mosh pit” or “wall of death,” they cringe and shudder in fear and wonder why people would engage in such a thing. But that notion arrives through ignorance; it’s not like they’ve actually been in a mosh pit themselves. Hearing about it or watching videos on YouTube does not count. Mosh pits are an adrenaline-pumping blast and intensely thrilling.

Before I became a fan of metal, I also questioned the point of mosh pits. At first it seemed totally pointless and dangerous until one day one of my best friends invited me to a concert and I couldn’t resist the curiosity. My first metal concert will be forever ingrained as one of my most favorite memories in high school. It was 11th grade, at an event called December Decimation at the Pomona Glasshouse in Southern California. Fall semester just ended and the concert was on a Saturday from 12 in the afternoon all the way until midnight; a grand festival of technical guitar riffage, relentless drumming, and bellowing bass. The most enthralling part was the finale in which the band Winds of Plague initiated the infamous “wall of death.” The vocalist roared for the crowd to divide in two groups on opposite sides of the stadium. Like two armies ready to engage in battle, tensions heightened as the opposing groups faced each other and prepared to charge. My friend and I were right in the front line of one of the groups. We were at first hesitant to stay in the front, but the excitement took over and we let go of any fear. For a split second, there was nothing but complete silence as the moshers anticipated the initiation for the charge. As soon as the guitarists strummed the lowest strings and the drummer slammed the double-bass pedals; all-out chaos ensued as everybody bolted with inexorable energy. The moment I slammed into my opposing adversary, adrenaline surged relentlessly through my veins as I was in the epicenter of the “wall of death.” It was a moment of bliss and indomitable energy as I stood my ground. After the music-driven onslaught ended and I exited the stadium, a profound catharsis came over me. All the built-up energy was released in the stadium and I was left in a state of relaxation. These concerts are a very meditative experience. They’re really not that dangerous. You get searched for weapons before you enter the stadium and if you get knocked to the floor, people will pick you up right away so you don’t get trampled. Nobody goes with the intent to induce an actual injury; it’s all about having fun.

So in the end, when you’re curious to try something new and looking for a riveting thrill, go to a metal concert. Vegas and Phoenix have excellent scenes and concerts are always going on. If you’re hesitant and doubtful, just seize the moment and embrace the rush. Go charge in the moshpit!

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