Today/Tomorrow: Epic/Smash @ Webster Hall
I never really understood the dance called moshing. The two step that involves the entire body to become in sync with the rhythmic pattern of the drum. However, this tempo, unlike the tempos you usually here on the radio, is a unique sound that many people seldom hear anymore, a sound passed down from the hazy days of the late 70s. Legends such as Pure Hell, Bad Brains and Living Colour create this scene that has quickly transformed throughout American history. Webster Hall showed me that the CBGBs punk altitude would be missed but never forgotten, having the Epic/ Smash Afropunk pre-festival party land on their tuff with their rules.
The first rule was to be very polite to the bartender that was offering free drinks that contained alcoholic delights to the many people that were there for a good time. The second rule was to take care of yourself and others within the mosh pit. These rules applied to all those that came for the entire evening, spanning an amazing eight hours. The music that pumped through the black-lighted halls and varicolored stage were the sounds of the new generation, thrusting their fist to each drum break that symbolizes their identity.
I walked the Studio, the lower level of Webster hall, to find American Fang creating a pit for the fans to enjoy. Even though it felt like a prom dance at first (the boys on one side while the girls on the other) it was evident on why the fans came to the Studio in the first place. American Fang was a ban to be completely lost in, having the fans of American Fangs breaking the ice for the rest who were too shy to be engulfed by the band. Van Atta High, Daly’s Gone Wrong and Safe To Say proved their involvement with the scene is just as genuine, keeping the pit active until the very end of the first half of the evening.
The second half couldn’t have been better strategize, having Ezra Bang and the Hot Machine perform at the height of Vodka open bar. The punk electro hip hop influences that Ezra Band and his team of Hot Machine brought to the party raised the level, giving the fans a feel of what the rest of the night was going to look like. Battery charged American Fang released a second dose of aggression while Millsted and A Broken Code gave the fans more of a reason to keep their feet off the ground. As the crowd departs another band unloads their gear to do a surprise performance. Felony Melony and her punk band The Objex played for two occasions, the end of a great evening and the beginning of the 5th Annual Afropunk music/film festival.
What is great about a mosh pit is the potential damage you might receive from a soon to be best friend or soulmate. In coming to a concert or festival like Afropunk, you don’t know what to really expect but you hope, through all of its ups and downs, you have a story to tell to your family or friends; a story that can be replayed in your mind for years to come, if you remember it.