Your most memorable mosh pit experiences of the 90s
The mosh pit didn’t begin in the 90s, but it arguably had its strongest moment in the sun during that decade.
Festivals became a big part of the musical landscape and, in many parts of Australia, there was a strong all ages scene; both of these lending themselves to kids who just wanted to let loose.
There was something thrilling about being in a mosh pit. At its worst, it was a pretty scary place to be, but at its best, it was a wonderfully communal way to appreciate music. It could give you a lot of faith in your fellow rock’n’roll fans, as you all went crazy but looked after each other amongst the throng.
As we look at the best live bands of the 90s on Double J this week, we wanted to hear your stories about your most memorable mosh pit experiences.
Like the most supportive mosh pit buddies ever, you did not let us down.
Pearl Jam at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in '95. For some reason they had seating on the floor but about a third of the way into the gig the crowd started passing the seats overhead to each other to the back of the arena. I got from halfway back to the front of the mosh. Dave Grohl even did a guest spot playing drums during one of the encores. – Stephen Rice
Helmet at Livid at Davies Park, West End, mid 90s. So much dust I couldn't breathe and coughing up dirt for two days. Same festival but Tumbleweed and some mad dudes scaling the big top tents and plunging to their certain death in the crowd. – Cameron Neil
Running to the back and asking the biggest guy to help me up to crowd surf. Being a light 15-year-old I would fly and no one ever dropped me. Fun times. I stopped doing it when my friend broke their arm during a Meanies set. It was brutal. – Jo Busch
All great times until my brother dislocated his knee...
In a mosh pit at Reading Festival, having a great time moshing to The Prodigy, surrounded by a bunch of awesome fun loving poms! Until the mosh collapsed and I was at the very bottom. I was starting to get a little nervous, my legs were folded underneath me, my arms above my head several bums in my face and I was in agony. That was until I felt two hands grab mine and drag me out. The relief was intense. I looked up to see this bearded, mullet bearing, flanno wearing god. I said thanks soooo much and he responded in the bestest most wonderful ‘strayan twang "no wuckers mate". It was music to my ears! – Catriona Kealy
Early 90s mosh pits at the Hordern Pavilion. So much sweat it rained inside back on the crowd. All great times until my brother dislocated his knee during the Ramones, we still finished the gig before getting the ambulance. – Simon Hawkes
My first stage dive was at 4ZzZ market day in Albert Park during Blowhard. Wasn't a huge crowd watching and the pricks moved out of the way and I went face first into the grass. – Eamonn Daly
Getting kicked in the side of the head at a Spiderbait gig, by a guy out to be vicious while crowd surfing. Saw him do it to a few other people so we tried to pull him down. Things got a bit out of hand but Janet and the security kicked him out! Needless to say, Janet was and still is one of my fave rock chicks! – Lauren Randle
Watching Hard-Ons and Nursery Crimes at the Corner. Mid-stage dive, crowd of men part (disapproving of girls stage-diving) for me to land on my bony knees on the concrete floor. Tomato knees for weeks. Great gig though! – Karen Harvey
Worst: nearly choking on my own hair moshing to Spiderbait. Best: riding a boogie board across the entire mosh pit to Cake. – Rod Stephan
Big Day Out ‘97, moshing/crowd surfing to the front of Soundgarden, throwing my arms up in the air just a few metres short of Chris Cornell. He saw me, pointed at me and threw his arms up. My 17-year-old self almost died of excitement. – Amber Paff
First crowdsurfed during Grinspoon at Livid 1997. Guaranteed a Doc to the head and sweaty crowdsurfers when getting to the front of the mosh every Livid and Big Day Out! Don't sunbake and brave a Korn mosh (Big Day Out ‘99). – Ariel Holland
Just about every Livid during the ‘90s. The Loudmouth stage one year had Grinspoon, Area 7, Less Than Jake and Unwritten Law. People were scaling the showbag pavilion support structures and hanging from them like Eddie Vedder in the ‘Even Flow’ film clip. – James Clowes
Homebake ‘99. I was a skinny teenager and some older dudes saw me come out of the mosh pit mid Frenzal Rhomb set. Asked me where I was going and before I could answer threw me in the air and I crowdsurfed back to the front. – Matthew Moy
Nirvana, Coogee Bay, 1992. I was up the front leaning against a railing with my cousin. The crowd went wild. I was sucked under the mosh and picked up from the back of my shirt by the most gorgeous guy. Never saw him again. I was left with many bruises. My mum saw the bruises and rang the Coogee Bay Hotel to complain. – Rachel Chaston
Soundgarden at Sydney Big Day Out, 1997. I was 17, it was my first ever gig of ultimate significance. I had experienced my first mosh earlier that day, but the Soundgarden mosh was more than I could handle being a virgin concert goer.
A giant man with long hair and a Pantera shirt saved me from being crushed.
I remember my best friend and I trying to inch our way in, the mosh was insane.
Suddenly I was knocked to the ground and I was getting trampled. In somewhat of a semi religious moment, a giant muscly arm reached down from all of the sweaty heads I could see, grabbed my hand and ripped me up from the ground.
A giant man with long hair and a Pantera shirt saved me from being crushed. He asked if I was okay. Completely stunned and grateful I said I was and thanked him. That was my first experience of mosh etiquette. – Vicki Rutten
Losing my elasticated black crocheted skirt in the front row of Faith No More at the Hordern. Went to the floor to retrieve and couldn't get back up. The crowd helped me up and thought I wanted out, so they lifted me sky high for security to take me over the front barrier, away from my kick ass possie! – Susan Whimsical
Spiderbait, Gold Coast Homebake '98. Some dude crowd surfed over and clocked me in the back of the head and put my neck out. It sucked until 3 songs later someone dropped in on me and knocked my neck back in! Good times. – Lindsay Thompson
Accidentally putting my hand in a guy’s mouth at The Living End at SCU circa 1997, whilst trying to drag myself up off the floor, getting bitten and coming out with blood all over my beautiful vintage dress! – Wayan Summers
I was blindsided stagedived on by Link Meanie at least four Meanies gigs in a row. The one second I’d look away, he got me each time. – Jimi James Livewire
Crowdsurfed the entire song of 'Teenage Riot' during Sonic Youth's set at WA's first Big Day Out, which was almost a spiritual experience. From the front, all the way out to the middle, then back to the centre front and over the barricade where Kim Gordon smiled at me.– Jason Smith
My cousin stopping a circle at Vans Warped Tour in Manly and getting everyone to find his (or a friends) lost watch 1998, everybody stopped to help and they found it! – Ani Green
Watching a tiny blonde girl, maybe 60kg soaking wet, at a Slayer concert at Festival Hall in '95 run out of the mosh pit with blood streaming down her face. Then run straight back in during the next song with a faceful of bandages courtesy of the medicos on hand. Brutal. – Matt Brady