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Board has to decide if House of Blues concert goers violated the subtle etiquette of moshing - and a city ordinance

The Boston Licensing Board decides Thursday whether the House of Blues deserves any sort of punishment for a mosh pit on that police said this close to becoming something worse at a June 1 rap concert.

A BPD detective on a routine inspection of the venue during a Tech N9ne show found a circle of dancers forming the classic mosh pit on the floor bouncing into each other. So far so good, under the moshing etiquette rules laid out by the House of Blues' attorney and manager. But, the report continued, people were getting knocked to the ground. The situation seemed to be almost on the verge of assault and battery and disorderly conduct, he wrote in a report.

That's a potential violation of the city of Boston's licensing rules (Section 1.0.9 to be exact) and good for a citation to appear before the licensing board this morning.

Dennis Quilty, the venue's attorney, though, explained that what seemed like a group on the verge of chaos was, in fact, a group engaged in the sort of controlled chaos that Tech N9ne fans enjoy.

Quilty, who made it clear he is not a fan of the pit himself, then described moshing etiquette and how the dancers and bouncers were enforcing it: Sure, dancers bounce into each other, but if they knock each other to the ground, they help their fallen comrades up. Anybody who thinks things are going too far can simply step out of the circle with no dignity loss.

Quilty said House of Blues bouncers stood near the circle, with flashlights, and quickly pulled out several people who did seem to be getting too aggressive. He added no punches were thrown.

Quilty continued that everybody involved in certain shows, from the artists themselves to club bookers to fans know when moshing is expected. Tech N9ne, who has been touring for 20 years, and who has a loyal coterie of fans, is one of those acts, he said.

"It may not be what I consider entertainment, but it's what some people consider entertainment," he said.

"I grew up with the Bump," board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini said, referring to a '70s dance in which partners would bump hips.

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Comments

"I grew up with the Bump," board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini said, referring to a '70s dance in which partners would bump hips.

I mean it may be the reporting here, but this woman has never said anything to indicate she has a remote understanding of how these establishments she has so much power over work, or any relevant experience to bear. The Bump. Great. Thanks grandma.

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I too miss the good old days

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no idea why you keep posting. It's more weird than funny

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A mosh pit at a rap concert?? I thought that was
something that happened at hardcore shows... clearly I'm out of touch.

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It's more hardcore punk inspired rap than the typical hip hop/rap you might be used to.

Not a huge fan, but saw him at Rock the Bells like 6 years ago and he put on one hell of a show with crazy stage energy.

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Also: I am old.

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A boy from a small Midwestern town moves to Boston to discover that done dance styles are illegal.

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I believe the "mosh pit" ordinance was put in effect after a Flogging Molly show, which I attended a few years back ( 5 -8 yrs ago). I was in the balcony with a birdseye view and can tell you it was the tamest, lamest pit I have witnessed. Had seen much much more aggressive pits at other shows throughout the 90's. Not a fan of moshing as I am an old fart, but do we really need an ordinace? Sounds like the staff had it all uner control.

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Employees are supposed to have psychic powers about what is potentially going to happen in their establishments and are expected to put a stop to any actions before they occur.

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You meant "psychic", though "physics" might also be appropriate, considering all the collisions going on.

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Blame it on fat fingers and auto correct (which actually gives some weird choices for words). Have fixed it.

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There's no anti-moshing ordinance specifically, but rather an ordinance that requires license holders to maintain a decent amount of order on their premises (and right outside, but that's not an issue here); i.e., don't let patrons pummel each other to the ground.

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I believe it actually dates back to NE Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe stage diving in a Boston club and hurting himself at which point officials had enough and put the kibosh on fun within city limits. This was the mid to late 90s and metal bands haven’t been back since.

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But the idea of a mosh pit forming at one of their shows, and it being enough to cause consternation among the pear-clutching Brahmins who serve as our Morality Police in Boston, makes me laugh.

Or cry.

Not sure which.

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Google Flogging Molly Mosh Pit Boston and you will see the headline " Boston Police Declare War on Mosh Pits after Flogging Molly show". You will get a kick out of the articles.

Adam, Not sure if this lead to the enforcement or the ordinance.

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They don't exist anymore. Got a name of even one of these pearl-clutchers who's killing all the fun?

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Yup, people get knocked down by accident in the pit. It's a chaotic dance. If you accidentally knocked me over doing the lindy hop, I wouldn't call it assault either. And if you lindy hop in a mosh pit, you would be my hero.

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Whatever happened to the Hully Gully? Now, that was dancing!
And that 'music'?, You call that music? That's NOISE !!

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that AREN'T represented by Dennis Quilty?

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He just gets the big ones.

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If you need to buy regulatory relief, you know whom to hire. Although once or twice per lifetime, the mayor's office changes hands and you need to figure it out all over again.

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Times have changed since the hardcore shows I saw in the early 80s. Now THAT was slam dancing, son.

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My first opportunity to see mosh pits and slam dancing was at the Living Room in Providence, where I had the chance to see Dred Zeppelin. Opening for them was a band called Neutral Nation, and after they laid their first chords down, it was mayhem. I thought Dred Zeppelin was going to mellower - I was wrong.

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This is where pahty Mahty needs to step up and "prove" Boston is this world class city he's promoting. Its these dumb as shit laws like "no moshing" and one beer per customer rules that make touring musicians and local ones skip Boston. No other city has these idiotic rules. But sure, keep the rules and drive out all the arts and culture you think you have.

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It was not evident at yesterday's hearing. The specific section cited is a more general rule related to, basically, keeping control of your premises, and the police report was not about the moshing per se but the people being pushed to the ground, and yeah, I realize people get pushed to the ground in mosh pits and courteous moshers always pick their fallen comrades up and stuff, but the detective who wrote the report, at least, seemed to indicate this was on the verge of going beyond that.

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