Matt Korvette is sick of guys living up to a dumb cliché of masculinity at his band’s punk shows
Over Pissed Jeans’ lengthy existence, our live shows have garnered a reputation for the furious, the rowdy, the messy and unpredictable. I’m proud of this, but that comes with a caveat: as we march into 2017, why are the men in our crowds behaving the same way as those twenty, thirty years earlier? The act of moshing, slamming or pitting (whatever your local geographic parlance may be) was once revolutionary, but I can’t help but see it as a performative relic when performed today, a countercultural act as stale and harmless as getting a tattoo or wearing a Black Flag t-shirt. Now is the time for men attempting to display some form of physical dominance and aggression to look inward and reassess their behaviour in a rock club setting.
Luckily for you, I’m always thinking towards the future, and I’m here to help those who aren’t as creatively endowed. Pissed Jeans intend to return to the UK later this year, barring any Visa issues or anti-immigration barriers on either end of our respective lousy countries. I’m hoping to see your smiling faces in the crowd, not moshing into each other, but rather trying out one of these revolutionary new dances.
The Sleeping Policeman:
This is more of a non-dance, a stoic refutation of physical movement in search of a higher truth. To perform The Sleeping Policeman, the man will lay down in the pit, face up, preferably parallel and close to the stage. As Pissed Jeans rage on, you will accumulate the scent and filth of the club floor, as well as be accidentally (and perhaps intentionally) stepped on repeatedly. The possibility of multiple people falling onto your body, knees first, is not out of the question either. Consider it a reversal of crowd surfing, where instead of riding the waves, your body is pummelled deep below.
Bass Drum Dreaming:
Often, guys in the audience will come on stage, dance around, mug for the crowd, and involve themselves in the performance without being invited. This sort of entitlement is not new to men, but why not take it to a new level of transcendence, rather than simply being in the way? To properly perform Bass Drum Dreaming, you will lie down on the stage, this time face down, with your head positioned directly inside of the bass drum, arms tight at your sides. Ear plugs are not allowed for this dance, as it’s imperative that you don’t simply hear the music but you feel it as well. Don’t be surprised if you burst into hysterical tears, notice intense body temperature fluctuations or reach some deep-seeded epiphany – it’s a powerful fucking dance. To be reasonable, Bass Drum Dreaming should be limited to one song, so that multiple dudes can experience it at the same gig.
Hug It Out:
I realize the first two dances are mostly of a static nature, so this one should appeal to those who need to express their physicality. This one involves a partner, preferably of equivalent size and strength. You and your partner meet on one side of the pit, and you wrap your hands around each other’s waists, directly facing each other. Once both of your hands are locked, you squeeze your partner as hard as possible, in a fairly traditional bear-hug move. Once the squeeze has started, you twirl counter-clockwise (like any good circle pit) in place until one of you passes out. The partner who remains conscious then carries his partner out of the venue and seeks immediate medical help.
This one is a gutsy, fantastic dance that I advise every dude tries at least once at a raging rock gig. Immediately as the show begins, you walk up to a woman in the audience, hand her your wallet (which should contain at least a few large bills, credit cards and IDs) and skank, in the traditional Operation Ivy style, directly out of the venue. Here’s where the real fun begins: you have to find your way home with no money and no identification. The world is your pit now, and you’ve got to use all your skills and life techniques to return home safely. Bonus points if you toss your phone and keys in a garbage can on your way out of the club, too!
In the chance you’ve successfully performed the first four dances and want a real challenge, I offer you the Purple Pogo. This one takes a little bit of work. First, you must schedule a vasectomy on the same day as the show you plan on attending. Once the big day arrives, you start by undergoing the vasectomy – I’m proud of you! Mind the doctor’s recommended plan of post-operative care for a few hours, and then hobble to the show. Once at the club, order two large cups of ice, and pour them directly into the front of your underwear. I highly recommend wearing briefs, as boxers would not provide the necessary structural support to maintain the ice in place. Once two cups are fully deposited around your genitals, locate yourself in the middle of the pit and furiously pogo, up and down, to the beat of the music for the entire duration of the set. I’ve seen guys stage-dive off second-story balconies and quite frankly, it’s child’s play compared to the Purple Pogo.