I went to see The Menzingers play in Tampa a few weeks ago with some friends. I had a blast. It cannot be stressed how much I love this band… well, maybe a little bit: My girlfriends and I joke that we each have “band huzbands [sic].” All this title really entails is that we go to any show in the tri-state area we can, we rock out and inevitably geek out over their musical hotness. Katie has Brian from the Gaslight Anthem, Margo has Ben from Lucero, and I have Greg from the Menzingers. Oh the things I would do to him if given the chance… well… actually… all I’d probably do is just stare slack-jawed at him as some drool gingerly snuck out of the corner of my lower lip. Anywhos, here he is:
Punk rock is an amazing concentration of pure energy and therapy. Even if you only ever listened to Top 40 hits, I recommend that you go to a punk show, at least once in your life. Wear earplugs, scoff at the sea of black and combat boots all you want, just go.
I really got into punk when I was a line cook. We had a beat up ol’ stereo we listened to during prep time, and through it’s nearly shattered speakers I picked up some amazing bands: Propaghandi, Descendents, Against Me!, (early) Alkaline Trio, A Wilhelm Scream, Dillinger Four, NOFX, Rise Against, Radon, Strike Anywhere, etc etc… and since I started working with these grizzly, dirty line boys at the tender age of 18, I started going to shows with them since I couldn’t yet bond over a bottle of Irish whiskey (though that came later… oh boy did it). And it was like I discovered something just… I dunno, perfect. It was perfect then, and it’s still perfect now. Complete with bruised shins and a nasty cigarette cough, I still love punk shows. Here’s why you should too:
A younger me was a little hesitant to jump face first into the mosh pit, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve no longer got any fucks left to give (no, seriously, there was an FB life event and everything). Besides, although I’m short I’m pretty muscular and dense for my size. Thus, you can throw me around a bit more than the average lady and I’ll just bounce right back. Funny though, at The Menzingers show I didn’t start out in the pit. I side-eyed it longingly for the first few songs before I dove in; as always it looked like angst-relief heaven in there. Finally I jumped in, right in the middle… and suddenly the intensity just dropped! I was so annoyed, until I turned around and yelled at the line of bros behind me, “YO! You know you guys can hit me right?! C’mon!” To which they laughed and got over their ‘little girl hang-up’ or whatever.
This is the thing about show-going and pit-moshing: You can be feeling utterly misanthropic, pissed at the world, but spend 10 minutes in a mosh pit and you come away having shed those massive chips on your shoulders. It’s a two part miracle; One, those chips shattered to the floor as you bounced around like a coked-out pinball goin’ for the high score; and two, the simple truth that the second you fall the second a random stranger will pick you up. It’s a universal rule. We’re all here to get rowdy, not to get trampled. Everyone obeys, everyone helps, because everyone is likely to fall at least once. It’s like a community in there, a sweaty, smelly community. Plus, just thrashing around helps release any and all pent up aggression. I came away last night calm and completely covered in sweat (mine and others), as if I had just spent the last hour meditating in a sauna.
Plus, all that runnin’ around was like completing a 2-a-day workout: no guilt whatsoever about those 3 (…5…) carbombs! Aaaahhh, punk rock, how I love thee.