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.