Finding chaos and community at punk concerts

Melisa Cannarozzi

Hannah Masling

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The floor is covered in sweat and beer, and bodies slam against each other. The basement concert venue is dark, and the smell of cigarettes lingers in the air. The crowd bounces in unison to the guttural sound of the band’s lead singer’s vocals and lightning fast drumming. “It’s euphoric. It is such an intense human love,” senior Anya Pines mused on the experience of being in a concert mosh pit.

Pines discovered punk culture her freshman year, when she joined a friend group that was already part of the scene. She quickly became enchanted by the house concerts, the accepting community of old punks, and moshing.

Senior Roman Audi also went to his first punk show as a freshman, he went to a show of his friend’s band, Bucky’s Fatal Mistake. Audi liked Bust Off, the band that opened for Bucky’s Fatal Mistake, and decided to keep track of their shows and other shows in the area. “I was really attracted to the wild attitude and energetic mosh pit,” he said.

Like Pines, Audi recalled moshing as indescribable fun. “Think like a dense crowd of people fighting for personal space to the intense beat of a punk song.” he said.

While many concerts feature moshing, sophomore Sydney Colella explained how punk concerts offer a uniquely welcoming experience. “I just love punk because I feel like it’s super unfiltered, and it’s a really accepting type of music,” she said.

As young girls, Pines and Colella stand out among the typical older and male crowd, but not in a bad way. In fact, Pines credits her young female identity as a factor in how wonderful her experience has been. “I was kind of like their pet in a way,” she said. Colella noted that being a girl in the community is not as dangerous as outsiders might assume, but there are still risks. “You do have to take an extra caution,” she said.

These bands perform across the DMV, attracting audiences like Wilson students to come out to venues like the Pinch, the Black Cat, and Songbyrd. For Pines, Audi, and Colella, going to concerts has been vital to their high-school experiences. “They definitely served as an escape from a lot of the work and pressures of high school,” Audi said. For Pines, concerts were a place of belonging that she didn’t find at Wilson. “I wouldn’t be as happy with my time in high school if I hadn’t had these memories,” she said.