The Emo Massacre

I wrote this for an English class. It's a descriptive essay.

There is a club called the Midwest Music Pit. It has long been a haven for young music lovers-a place to go on the weekend and release all tension by seeing amazing local bands perform. Usually, the people in attendance are so moved by the bands that they feel the need to dance in some way, shape, or form. Among my group of friends, the “dancing” becomes moshing-violent, vicious crowds of people, throbbing and pushing against each other, appearing to do as much damage as possible, without hitting each other, or actually inflicting any damage at all. Simply stated, it looks a lot more dangerous than it actually is. Among emo kids, the dancing is defined as “thrash dancing” or “hardcore dancing,” in which one does his or her best to look as stupid as humanly possible by throwing one’s limbs around and hitting imaginary rivals. At the Pit, the moshers would always get shoved into one side of the building, towards the right side of the stage. Then, when we felt the need, we would conquer the floor, surging to the middle, and claiming our territory, taking what we felt was rightfully ours, fulfilling our manifest destiny. Until that moment arrived, though, the hardcore dancers ran rampant. Apparently, the hardcore kids there on the night I’m about to describe weren't aware of the way we do things.
One fateful night, a band from my high school, called Subverse, was playing at the Pit. Subverse is a metal band, so no one really understands exactly why there were so many emo kids running around and making fools of themselves, being obnoxious and loud, that night. I recall several bottles being lobbed onstage during Subverse’s set…all by emo kids. You could never understand what exactly their singer James was singing, so the lyrics and vocals were not what drew Subverse’s fans to them-it was the fact that the music itself was amazing, and most of their fans knew at least one member of the band. Subverse had a way of taking their genre and putting a new spin on it. I think the best song I ever saw them perform was the Inspector Gadget theme song. The metal version is definitely better than the regular one. They did that sometimes when they were playing a show-they would take a song everyone knew, and completely make it their own. They would change the beat, the way the vocals sounded, or whatever else they felt they could make better, and at the same time, keep it recognizable enough that the fans could sing along. At their last show, they played “Undone” by Weezer. It was amazingly bittersweet. It was the last song they played. Every single person there sang along at the top of their lungs, virtually fighting back tears, because although we may go to other shows, this moment would never happen again. But I digress…
All night, the moshers stood to the side and let the emo kids have their fun, occasionally jeering, and every once in a while, a mosher would run to the middle of the floor and make a mockery of whatever the hardcore kids were doing. Naturally, they felt the need to retaliate. They kept crowding into us, herding us closer and closer to the wall, just like cattle. This was not too big of a crisis-every time we could gain back some space, we did so. But then one of the hardcore dancers went way too far.
One of Subverse’s guitarists had a little brother, who was about fourteen. His name was Will. Will is a tiny person-he’s about four feet and eleven inches tall, and doesn’t weigh a hundred pounds soaking wet. His hair, which at the time was blonde, reaches his shoulders. He always wears baggy jeans, which only make him look even smaller than he actually is, because he has a tendency to drown in his own clothing. Because of his size, and who his brother is, as well as the added fact that Will is a fun person, whom everyone likes, every one of my friends looks at him as a younger sibling. Everyone feels the need to protect him should the need arise, and this night it did.
One of the hardcore dancers, throwing his arms around, kept sidling closer and closer to Will, until his fist connected with Will’s unsubstantial stomach. The hardcore kid looked into Will’s eyes, and just watched calmly as Will fell back into the crowd of moshers, who thankfully hadn’t been moving around mcuh, and who immediately realized what had happened. Every eye focused on the offending emo kid, and absolute outrage at him and his friends rose, because of the stupid, senseless act of violence he had taken against one of our own. Adding fuel to the fire was the fact that this one, little Will, was so small and so well liked.
My friend DJ is a pretty big young man. He’s about five feet seven inches and probably close to one hundred fifty pounds. He has curly brown hair that reaches his shoulders, and a very expressive face. His vocabulary is also amazing-DJ can insult someone like no other, and the words he uses don’t even have to make sense to hurt. DJ especially was outraged at the atrocious actions taken against Will, because Will was one of DJ’s really good friends.
DJ charged across the floor, zeroing in on the boy who’d hit little Will, with all the accuracy of a heat-seeking missile. He was closely followed by Chris, who was good friends with both Will and Will’s older brother. Chris is at least six feet and six inches tall, and muscular, with flaming red, shoulder-length hair. Usually Chris is pretty laid-back; if someone annoys him, he’s more likely to swear at them than actually do anything about it. In this case, though, the opposite was true.
Upon locating the dancer, DJ lifted him by his throat and threw his fist into the dancer’s face. He only hit him three times before the hardcore kid lost consciousness, at which point DJ released him, letting him fall to the ground to be rescued by anyone who dared.
Meanwhile, Chris was battling it out with another emo kid. This one had made the mistake of coming up behind him and trying to kick Chris in the waist, which is pretty funny, because very few people can aim that high. Chris had picked him up, punched him in the face three times, and then tossed him the short distance to the wall, letting him slam his back into it and slide down, to scramble off into the crowd of emo kids making an escape through the door. (We later heard that the boys DJ and Chris had hit wound up in the hospital with broken noses, and I think one of them might have had a concussion.)
They didn’t get away as easily as they would’ve liked. Every mosher, myself included, simply filed outside, congregating on the right side of the door, with the emo kids ten to fifteen feet away, on the left side. The divide was clear, a chasm ripped open. The line had been drawn. Either you were with us, or you’d better run.
Instead of a brawl breaking loose, as I’d been half expecting, taunts were thrown back and forth across the divide. The people in the front of the crowd of emo kids proved to be the most arrogant, strutting back and forth, challenging. However, every time a mosher would step forward as if they might actually sink to that level, the oh-so-brave hardcore kids would seek back into the crowd, hiding among their friends.
I was at the fringe of the crowd of moshers-I was one of the closest ones to the group of people on the other side of the sidewalk. I had my back to them, and was talking to my friend Sammiye, who is DJ’s sister. She’s pretty short, about my height-five feet four inches, with long, thick black hair that goes halfway down her back. She was dressed completely in black. We were railing about “poor little Willy,” and expressing our strong desire that someone would do something. We were positive our feelings were common among the crowd; however, out of respect for the owner of the Pit, none of us was going to be the instigator of whatever came to pass.
Suddenly, I felt a sharp, fleeting pain against the back of my head. “What the…” I exclaimed, and spun around, just in time to see a penny, of all things, bounce away and roll into the street, glinting in the glow from the streetlight. I glared across the space dividing the two crowds, looking for the person who’d had the audacity to throw the penny. Sammiye came around from behind me, and standing in front of me, shouted, “Which one of you threw that at my Annessa?” Not getting a response, she shouted a few obscenities, and we both tried to avoid the volley of random objects being hurled in our general direction. Even after all this, none of the moshers wanted to start anything. That just shows the loyalty we had for Todd, the owner. Police drove by the Pit at least three times a night on weekends, when shows were going on. We knew that if they saw anything, they probably wouldn’t hesitate to take whatever actions they needed to shut the place down. No one was willing to risk that.
After ten or fifteen minutes, everyone got bored, and, knowing that Subverse was about to start, the mosher kids filed back inside, almost running. We pressed close to the stage, the anger directed towards the emo kids temporarily forgotten. The lights dimmed, fading from their golden glow to nothing as the track lighting came up, and Subverse’s singer James bounced onto the stage, looking something like a young, semi-scary Santa Claus. James bounced onto the stage, and grabbed his mike, pulling it from the stand. He had a habit of moving around the stage a lot, and more than once, he tangled the cord around his or one of his guitarists’ feet. He growled into the microphone and turned to the crowd, surveying what was now his domain. He let his gaze drift over his faithful fans, those of us crowded in front of the stage and by the left wall. We waited impatiently for Subverse to start playing, imagining how we would rush the floor. This time, the hardcore kids would be the ones crowded to the side. Finally, James focused in on the crowd of hardcore dancers, who, instead of standing in the middle, were off to the right side, directly across from the moshers. James laughed quietly, and then spoke.
“I don’t want any of this hardcore dancing, that’s for pansies! REAL MEN MOSH!” (DJ and I had approached him outside and requested he make this little speech. He agreed, as he felt that way wholeheartedly.) With that, Jesse and Branden, Subverse’s guitarists, ripped into a song, and the moshers flooded the floor.
The boys whom DJ and Chris had hit were banned from the Pit for life. DJ and Chris got off scot-free. The reason behind this is pretty simple-the owner of the Pit, Todd, hates emo kids. They drove away some of his most faithful customers. When the whole emo trend started and emo kids started flooding the Pit, and hurting people with their hardcore dancing (a lot of people get hit in the face or stomach when there are emo kids thrash dancing), a lot of people stopped going. Mosh pits look violent, but no one ever really gets hurt. Sore limbs, maybe, but that’s pretty much as severe as it gets. People who mosh do it for fun, and they try their hardest not to take any chance of hurting someone. If someone falls, there are almost always two or three people dragging them off the floor before they get trampled, and others who’ll jump in front to keep people from trampling the person who fell until they can either get back up on their own or be picked up by someone else.
I understand that it probably seems a little strange that we (in this paragraph, the “we” is referring to all the moshers that were in attendance that night) were all proud of the fact that two guys ended up in the hospital that night. Typically, it seems emo kids won’t go to such lengths for each other. I’m not saying that they don’t care about their friends, but I’ve never heard of any emo kid retaliating against someone who hurt a friend. I personally think our pride came not from the fact that they did wind up getting broken noses, but from the fact that our friends would go to those lengths. We were separate, unique, but not alone.
Posted on September 13th, 2007 at 02:49am

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