Houston's 10 Gnarliest Mosh Pits of 2013

Photo by Groovehouse
Cannibal Corpse at Fitzgerald's

Punks and metalheads don't always see eye to eye, but one commonality they can always high-five over is the predilection to batter one another senseless at every opportunity. Houston played host to countless shows and tours this year that forced fans to keep their knees bent and their elbows out if they wanted to remain upright. Most were typically joyous affairs; some were a tad nastier than that.

Whether it was with hardcore floor-punches or thrash-metal clotheslines, you really beat the shit out of one another this year, Houston. Kudos! Now, at year's end, Rocks Off salutes your best concert scrums of 2013 by reliving a few of the scariest, most exciting mosh pits of the past 12 months. If you ran towards these mini-riots instead of running away from them, you're indisputably bigger, younger and (possibly) crazier than we are. Difference is, we got the photos.

For those who weren't there or were simply too concussed to remember much, let's take a look back at the bands who left the most scars, shall we? If you found any of them wanting, remember: The best mosh pit is always the next one that you start.

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10. Warbeast, 1/14/2013
The first big mosh pit of the year came courtesy of Texas thrash revivalists Warbeast, who headed south down I-45 in support of New Orleans sludge superstars Down. While Warbeast had no problem getting heads banging on their own, the mosh-pit activity was kicked into overdrive when the band brought out friend and benefactor Philip H. Anselmo to duet with singer Bruce Corbitt on a track from their most recent album. Unabashedly showing out for the Texas metal icon, fans stepped their game up a notch or three during "Warbeast" in reminiscence of pummeling Pantera pits long past.

9. Overkill, 2/6/2013
Virtually no one who played Houston this year could touch thrash innovators Overkill for pure speed. Urged onward by buzzing guitars that often sounded like dangerously overheated chainsaws, ecstatic mosh pits exploded like ecstatic IEDs inside House of Blues as the band reminded old heads and new that the classics never go out of style. It was a blistering metal onslaught that proved to be far sharper than many of us had anticipated from such a long-running act.

8. The Acacia Strain, 2/22/2013
More scuffles broke out in the pit during the Acacia Strain's February set at Warehouse Live than at any other show I attended all year. The mean-muggin' deathcore act was a bit of an uncomfortable fit with headliner Every Time I Die's upbeat, smiley countenance, and things got heated fast as the group ground out its misanthropic brand of breakdown-heavy rumbling. With Warehouse's studio room packed to the rafters, there was nowhere to run from the turmoil as hardcore and metal moshing styles clashed violently in the scrum.

List continues on the next page.

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Jimi Austin
Jimi Austin

Good call on number one! Fitzgeralds was the perfect venue for Cannibal Corpse. Reminded me of the old days at The Aybss.

Alex Gonzales
Alex Gonzales

Best pits back in my day were 1st kpft benefit at the axiom..exploited at the.axiom. .morbid angel at the axiom..sepultura, sadus, obituary at the axiom..in wish we could go back in time to the good'ol days..

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