Watch Your Beer! You've Wandered Into the Best Mosh Pits of 2012
A dump-truckload of fun punk and metal shows threatened to stomp Houston flat(ter) in 2012, from the gritty environs of the White Swan to the high-priced hill in the Woodlands Pavilion. Which one was the best? That depends on your perspective, naturally. It's kind of hard to compare doom metal to pop-punk or powerviolence, but whatever flavor of loudness you prefer, it was out there for the listening this year.
Photo by Jody Perry Korn at Buzzfest XXVIII
One easy way to judge the quality of a show, of course, is by the chaos in the pit. Whether driven by three chords and a nasty attitude or by wrist-snapping time-signature changes, Houston audiences had a lot of fun pounding the snot out of each other over the past 12 months, often creating as much spectacle off the stage as on.
I didn't catch every mosh pit in town this year, but I caught a lot of 'em. Plenty were rather sad affairs with two or three meatheads shoving people around who wanted nothing more than to sip a beer and watch the band. More than a few, though, turned into tornadoes of fists and knees that made me blanche a little.
So, here they are: Houston's Top 10 mosh pits of 2012. If you survived 'em, congrats, you're officially tougher than me:
10. Korn at the Woodlands Pavilion, April 21
The designated mosh pit up front during Korn's set at Buzzfest was notable for being the only time I've seen such spirited slamming for a Pink Floyd song. The spontaneous bumping and grinding got intense during the nü-metal godfathers' cover of "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)," a sight as bizarre as it was brutal.
9. Power Trip at Walters, July 2
Dallas' crossover thrashers Power Trip bring dedicated followers with them every time they make the trek down I-45, and we're not talking about passive observers, here, either. The band's fans aren't afraid to get their knuckles dirty, instigating violent ruckus with hardcore "dance" moves ripped straight from Sick of it All's classic "Step Down" music video.
The audience at the Southern Lord showcase tour's Houston stop quickly learned to keep their elbows out at all times lest they eat a forearm delivered by a mosher with few fucks to give.
8. Havok at Walters, October 17
Whipping audiences into a hair-flipping frenzy is the raison d'être of Denver's Havok, and the shaggy kids who came to see them open for Skeletonwitch at Walters this fall were more than happy to oblige. Young dudes with plenty of juice left in their joints bounced off of one another like snooker balls in the pit when they weren't circling furiously like stock cars or rushing the stage like G12 protestors. The younger the mosh pit, the better in most cases, and by that standard, this was a good 'un.