Concert Review

Tigers Jaw- Cats Cradle 5/23


Due to work, I arrived late to the show, causing me to miss the two openers- Smidley (a side project of emo stalwarts Foxing), and the folksy-country group Saintseneca. I came in right as Tigers Jaw took the stage and opened up with a cut from their newest album, Spin, entitled “Follows”. I was shocked to see the crowd’s reaction as a small, but considerably aggressive mosh pit opened up. Considering their newer material is a far cry from their much faster-paced emo/pop-punk days, the pit seemed very out of place and continued throughout the night to new and old songs. Three songs into the set, during fan-favorite
“The Sun”, a young concertgoer stage dove into the audience. Due to the smaller attendance, the crowd did not catch the young fan as they fell to the floor. The band immediately stopped playing, requesting help and for the audience to clear way for the injured fan. 911 was called and the fan was taken to the hospital. The atmosphere in the room was somber as everyone was uncertain of the fan’s safety.

After a few minutes after the concertgoer was taken to safety, the band returned to the stage and made a statement on taking care of each other at shows, as things like this happen far too often. With incidents like these happening so often, one has to wonder how to make them stop. Should there be no stage diving? Should there be no moshing? These are rather tough questions that defy why so many people got involved in these scenes. The bottom line is people need to respect each other’s space. This could mean not moshing if people around you are visibly crushed for space, catching people when they do stage dive (don’t part the sea like Moses), and being wary when deciding to crowd surf. I have been to many shows and have seen way too many people that are struggling to be held up by the crowd. It should come as common sense that a full-grown person shouldn’t be crowd surfing if the audience is either sparse, unwilling to support them, or made up largely of younger concertgoers, yet it happens all the time. Shows can and should always be fun, but people just need to respect everyone and be considerate of their situation and others’. If people took this consideration, then maybe incidents where an attendee getting taken to the hospital and possibly missing one of their favorite’ bands set would happen less often.

****rant over****

As for the actual show, Tigers Jaw ripped through a vast collection of their songs, new and old, sounding pretty tight on both. Their older songs definitely packed more of a punch given the intensity and nostalgic value for many of the fans, while the new songs shined in maturity and progression as a band. The new songs, more or less the first time I heard many of them, definitely enticed me to listen to them on record (as the album had just come out a few days prior). They are perfect for the summer; elegantly pleasant and perfect for a nice night cruising down a lake.

Tigers Jaw just released Spin on Black Cement and can be found just about anywhere in the vast new world on streaming platforms (maybe not Grooveshark).          


Moshing 101

With Hopscotch approaching, there is a certain topic on everyone’s mind – moshing. For the use of this article, the term moshing will have the following definition: Any physical contact between the audience members that ranges from group swaying to lightly knocking into each other… and a moderate amount of pushing. Moshing is a controversial topic. Some people love it and take every opportunity possible to partake. On the other hand, others find it unapealing and whenever they see someone moshing they get as far away as possible.

In order to appease the crowd, it is important to know the correct times to mosh. This is my guide on when to mosh and when not to mosh. I do hope that this will save many scars, both emotional and physical.

–Make sure the music is suitable for moshing.
Is this music acoustic? Is it one person singing and playing an instrument? If so, it’s probably not the ideal scene for moshing. I, personally, find that for more downtempo music, moshing is not always necessary.
If it is almost anything else, vary your degree of moshing depending on the intensity of the music.

–Make sure the environment lends itself to moshing.
Are there people moshing already? Are people getting a moshing circle started? If so, that part of the audience and that part of the floor is a great place for you to be.
However, if you’re the one getting the moshing started, your job might be a little more difficult. For instance, if you’re in a part of the audience that is just swaying and head-bobbing, I’d suggest relocating to a different part of the floor before beginning to mosh. Many people do not find it enjoyable when you are knocked back by other people in crowds and receive elbow strikes. However, if done properly it can lead to a better environment and memorable show.
Your safest bet is finding a friend who likes to mosh and begin with them. People around you who are interested will immediately begin to mosh with you as well. And as you already know, once moshing is started and accepted by a handful of people, it’ll grow quickly.

–If the band encourages you to mosh, then go for it! Mosh your heart out.
Many times, if the crowd hasn’t already started moshing itself, bands will encourage their audience to mosh. This is definitely an invitation, and one the band hopes the audience will accept. It’s very fun and thrilling to see the audience moshing with the music. It’s honestly a compliment and means the audience is into the show, performance, and music.
However, this invitation does not have to be accepted by all audience members. If you do not feel comfortable moshing, then do not do so. I would suggest, though, stepping aside from the moshing part of the audience to avoid contact, shoving, elbows, etc. The band wants you, non-moshers, to enjoy your time as well!

This Moshing 101 lesson is not to deter you from moshing. Moshing is a social interaction, and as such, requires at least two people. It can also be an infectious experience, when one person starts moshing, all other potential moshers come out of the cracks and rush towards the scene. Keep in mind, that just because people aren’t moshing yet doesn’t mean you can’t make it start. Just know when and how to do it first!

Furthermore, this lesson is also not to pressure you to mosh. It’s definitely a form of enjoyment and expression for those who are comfortable with it. However, I do recommend that if you not tried before, it’s a good experience. Maybe, a smaller and less-chaotic moshpit could be the opportunity to try it. After all, you never know until you try, right? See you guys in the pit!