Emo Kids Can't Mosh. This and other things learned.

That is just one of the things I learned at the Fall Out Boy concert I attended Wednesday night. I know, I know. You're all thinking, "Fall Out Boy? WTF, Johnny?" Well, I admit it. I like that band. I don't wear black eyeliner or paint my nails black, but "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" is probably one of my current favorite pop tunes. In fact, that whole CD is damn good. I realize the fact that I like their music is probably the kiss of death for this band, but I am not crazy about their newest release, so there's still hope for them. 

So the story goes like this. Last night, since I knew the concert was happening a scant few miles from my house, I decided I'd check for tickets right before show time. About one out of every 20 times, depending on the show, some last minute radio promo tickets or what not show up back in the pool, and you can get pretty good seats. So for fun I checked it out. I thought at the very least it might be fun to grab the wife and go sit on the lawn. Well, when I searched for tickets and saw PIT, I knew they were right in front of the stage. Then I saw seats 14 &15, which generally puts you dead-center, so I clicked the "purchase" button. What I thought that meant was I would get prompted for my credit card number and all that crap, and I could decide based on the total price and a conversation with my wife as to whether I should make said purchase. Apparently, when ticketmaster already has your credit card on file and you're logged in, clicking the "purchase" button means "Thank you for your purchase. Please come again."

There may have been a little more blame to be placed on me not paying attention to wtf I was doing while on the phone at the same time, but there it was. I was the proud owner of two pit seats. Except there were no actual seats. I called the box office to confirm where my seats were. I said, "Hey, I just ordered tickets and I'm trying to find out what GAOPIT means, and where seats 13 and 14 are in relation. The lady on the other end of the phone said, "Yes, the pit is general admission. The seat numbers are for reference only." I said, "So...what? There are no seats, or you just grab whatever seat you can?" "There are no seats. It's standing room only. As I said, the seat numbers are for reference only." I still had no idea wtf she meant by that, so I asked her. "What are they referencing? How many imaginary seats you've sold?" She didn't like that too much, and immediately started trying to wrap up our conversation. So that was pretty much the end of that. I hung up and then gently broke it to my wife that we'd be standing in the pit, and that if she got carried away on some body-surfing wave of 18 year olds, I'd meet her back at the car after the show and we'd compare bruises. Strangely enough, she was OK with that. So was I, because I've never been in a mosh pit before, and I figured it was about damn time. 

My second mistake after buying the tickets was not paying attention to the lineup. There were FOUR warm-up bands on this tour. Four. Which, in case you are all keeping track, is exactly three too many. The list (in order of least suckage to ultimate suckage) was: The Academy Is, +44, Cobra Starship, and some rapper dude named Paul Maul or Paul Wall or some shit like that selling his grills from the stage. He said "what it do" a lot. I don't know. I don't speak rapper. The only one of the four I had actually heard of was The Academy Is, and they were pretty good. However, we got there at 6pm and we could have easily showed up 3 hours later and still had plenty of time to find our seats and watch FOB. Yeah. I call them FOB now. I was in the pit, mofo. Don't mess with me. My third mistake was not listening to my wife when she wanted to smuggle in more than 2 little bottles of vodka, because it was a looooong, dry night. When a bottle of water cost 4 bucks, I didn't even want to price out a beer. 

We sat around on the lawn for a while seeing the sights, then went down to the pit to get situated before FOB came on. I looked around and it was pretty empty. Other than a couple dozen teenage girls up against the rail, and maybe three or four skinhead dudes, a couple of stoners who were dead ringers for Wayne and Garth, and one squat, jar-headed fat guy with B.O. who I took to calling StinkBlock, it was just us, a few bouncers and what looked like some A&R guy for the band. There was also a lone freaky looking goth boy wearing guyliner (thanks sarah), fingerless gloves with black nail polish, fishing lures dangling from his ears, and a name tag that said "Hello, My Name is DANCING KING." Name tag aside, he looked like he was a shitload closer to the other end of the royalty spectrum from what I could see. So needless to say, there didn't look like there was going to be much moshing going on. I think that as emo kids, they are more depressed than angry and they just don't have the energy needed to do anything other than jump up and down in one spot for a few seconds when their excitement overwhelms them. I am pretty sure that when emo kids actually do bump into each other and get upset, they just cut themselves instead of each other. 

Relieved that we weren't going to have to defend our lives, we just leaned against the back railing with the A&R guy and watched. We did have a single mosher -- one of the skinheads -- but a single mosher does not a mosh pit make. This guy was absolutely batshit crazy, and he was moshing with...well, himself mostly. He would ram into his girlfriend every once in a while for good measure, but for the most part, he was just slapping at his own head. He knew every word to every song, and he never stopped moving/dancing/screaming and/or dry humping his girlfriend. I think the emo kid in front of us was a little scared of him. Or turned on by him. It was hard to tell through the waves of angst radiating off his body. Other things I learned at the FOB show: (1) If you flash the band with your camera, your camera will get taken away. (2) If you flash the band with your boobies, you will get taken away. 

The show itself was pretty impressive. It was a little tough to hear when you're that close, and the acoustics at SPAC suck, so sound quality wasn't great. As a spectacle, however, it was really well done. They giant video screens were going non-stop, and the pyrotechnics were amazing. The drummer was on a riser at the very back of the stage that had to be 30 feet in the air, and there were flamethrowers to either side of him, pointing toward the ceiling. When these things went off, I could feel the blast of heat on my face from 50 feet away. He was maybe 4 feet away from them, and I am 99.9% sure he has no eyebrows or arm hair right now. We left during the last song and I'm not sure if there was an encore or not. On the way out I gave our tickets to a couple of girls who were going nuts at the railing that separates the lawn seats from the inside seats, and pointed down to the stage. They took off running, so I hope they got to see something before the show was over. I think I'm getting too old for this shit. Will that stop me from going? Probably not. My plan is to just hang out in the back, drink smuggled vodka and pretend we have kids there. Who's with me?


  1. Anonymous6:28 PM

    I am pretty sure that when emo kids actually do bump into each other and get upset, instead of cutting each other, they just cut themselves.


  2. Anonymous10:00 PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed that amusing read. Especially humorous were your descriptions of emo kids. Let's hope that you don't give this up because otherwise you won't end up writing these things anymore.

  3. Anonymous10:09 AM

    I just found your blog and I've got a lot of catching up to do. But, so far, I'm really liking your style and your stories.

  4. Derek -- yeah, it probably won't happen.

    Mike -- thanks man.

  5. JV-I'm part of your club. I too have seen FOB. I too have witnessed the joy and pain of teen existence...as a bystander. Damn! I wish I would have thought to smuggle in the vodka though. Your wife is my new hero.

    Hope no emo kids are reading, JV. Do you really want that kind responsibility?

  6. JV, you're my laugh of the day. Thanks.

  7. I'm with warcrygirl - that line was GREAT!

    You're not too old for that stuff - believe me. As a person MUCH older than you who still goes to concerts, you're not too old. GO, mosh your heart out!

  8. That is some funny shit. Im in.

  9. Anonymous8:42 AM

    Found you through warcrygirl and enjoyed what I've read so far. I especially liked the witness run down on Oscar's untimely death.

  10. Brilliant! Now I know where to pick up teenage girls!!

  11. Man! Warcrygirl stole my comment. I was totally going to do the same thing at that sentence. Classic shit, JV.

    No comment on the Fall Out Boy fandom of yours, however.

  12. Anonymous12:26 AM

    No comment? I can help you with that.

    Fall out boy = emo noise.

    End of subject.

  13. Lookit Alan ending subjects and stuff. I don't get the 'emo' tag with this band. I always thought that was like Morrissey or Robert Smith. I guess I'm a sucker for a good melodic hook and vocal harmonies, no matter what the genre of music.

  14. Is it just way too obvious you are old if you bring in a chair-in-a-bag? Because I swear to God that's really what I want to do next time.

  15. Why weren't there more people in the pit? Was it the whole general admission area that was bare? I've never been to a concert like that.

    Even the CHRISTIAN concerts have a full mosh pit!

  16. Paul Wall! He is from my hood, yo. He sells his grills out of the ghetto mall with the abortion clinic inside. Classy joint. If you're ever in Houston, you should check it out.

    Me, I prefer aluminum foil.

  17. Anonymous2:10 PM

    There is no 'emo' genre. I meant emo noise for three reasons:

    1.) Appearance: Hair in eyes, downcast look, 'my parents didn't buy me something so I cried for six hours' type of thing. Probably liable to cut themselves, or at least roll around in a pit of money laughing at all the people who cut themselves.

    2.) Favored by people considered to be emo kids. Anyone with mascara/hair in eyes/ironic top hat will probably have some fall out boy on their person at any given time.

    3.) Subject matter of songs. Yes, I too once went through a period of liking fall out boy, so I know what they're about.

    In conclusion, I don't mean that listening to fall out boy automatically classifies you as emo, I mean that most everyone who would be called emo listens to fall out boy.

    Yes, I'm an ass today. I have a cubic foot of fiberglass embedded in my forearms, and I'm still trying to type.

  18. I don't know squat about it, but here's this:


  19. Who really cares whether emo or not? I don't expect their music to change the world, but on some radars, Fuel is considered emo? What the hell?

    Mighty Dyckerson: You scare me. Don't make me get my gun!

  20. Sassy, I'm with ya. I told my wife she's your hero.

    Also, I don't care what the genre is. I will make fun of it mercilessly regardless.

    As I sit here listening to Jackson Browne, just because it came on after Jack's Mannequin and I'm too lazy to change it.

  21. What's with you Johnny? Since when did you turn into an old fogie?

    I was in your corner throughout this whole post - I mean, I love FOB and I thought to myself, man, JV is one cool guy..... and then you say you're going to act like you've got kids there? Hmph.

    Don't disappoint me, Johnny. I'm unstable enough as it is. I have a razor blade and I'll do it, I mean it!

  22. Virg, I am concerned by your liking of this band, but who am I to judge, I 100% have Britney Spears AND Justin Timberlake on my iPod.

    Hey look at me! I'm being proactive!

  23. Anonymous12:17 PM

    Hilarious! I have a t-shirt that says, "Don't cry, emo boy." I wear it off and on.

    Keep the great stories coming, J.

  24. Anonymous1:02 PM

    I know this is an old post, but damn that was one of the most entertaining things I have read in a long time. XD

  25. So I'm just this girl who likes normal music, but I'm dating this guy who really only listens to heavy metal. Heavy metal hurts my head, but I don't wanna seem like a pussy, so I deal with it. So when he said, "You want to go to the Kittie concert with me?" I said yes. Idiot. If you're not familiar with Kittie, they're a heavy metal chick band. Scary as fuck, too. Except the guitarist. She's hot. But I digress. At the show, there were six opening bands. SIX. And most of them sucked, in my opinion. It was all kinds of emo shit, but maybe slightly heavier. And there are all of these 16 year-old kids there (I'm assuming they must have been at least 16, but they all looked about 12 to me). My boyfriend is expecting some kind of moshing, but instead what he got was what I can only describe as an attempt to imitate Kevin Bacon in FootLoose. We just stood there in awe. WTF are these kids doing? One guy was trying to mosh, but when he ran into one of the emo kids, the kid started crying and the bouncer pulled the offensive mosher off him. The nerve!

    Later that week, I found an answer. http://www.totse.com/en/ego/can_you_dance_to_it/hardcoredanc

    So we just stood there with our mouths open until this strange man decided he wanted to smell my hair. That is all. Enjoy!