Mushroomhead Halloween Show Aaron Osborn In the mosh pit, I am surrounded by a thousand people. Most of us are fighting. Or at least it seems like it, to the uninformed. The huge circle of fans churns and twists with the music. It is a large mass of skin and bodies, anger and sweat. I see in front of me, there are people larger than average, thrashing their arms. It is dark, and all we get to see with is the blink of strobe lighting. They don’t help. We are blinded by the light. I am on the edge of the pit, and waiting. Waiting for my time. There are many people in there. They seem angry, but they are friendly when it comes down to it. You fall, they pick you up. Then they knock you down again. Again you’re helped up. Mushroomhead is onstage and they are quite loud. The music drives us, and they urge continuance by telling us to show them what we’ve got. We do… One by one, they are dragged out of the pit, unconscious. We don’t stop. The confetti builds up under our feet. I can hardly walk now; there is a definite pile of papers. And it is soon time to get into the pit. I leap forward into utter insanity. One large fan after another slam into me, and still I am not broken. I continue, thrashing around. Some punch me. Some kick me. Some head-butt me. I receive many a painful elbow to the stomach. It hurts, but I love this song. We are hearing Xeroxed. I won’t stop until the band does. Here we have someone angrily pushing his way past me in the pit. I push him hard away; he stumbles backwards into another person. In turn, they push him back. It’s still dark and difficult to see. I feel long, wet hair slap my arm. There is a girl. She is going crazy next to me, and her hair is flying everywhere. I move away, not wanting to hurt her. I am at the other side of the pit, and there is a large male running toward me. Collision. And I am on the floor. My elbow hits first and painfully. The sharp bite of the concrete runs up my arm; I roll quickly to my feet. My arm is throbbing and there’s anther pain. But my arm hurts more. Someone dumps water on my head before throwing the bottle. That feels good. Wondering if I’m bleeding. I can’t see it. There is a jumpsuit in the way. I am completely covered in jumpsuit; paying homage to the almighty Shroom. But my mask is gone. Didn’t make it past security. Why? “You can’t breathe with a mask on”? We’ll see about that next time. At least security doesn’t frown upon my jumpsuit. At that point they would have gotten the finger. Back. I ignore the pain and return to the carnage. It is midnight and a half. Onstage, the band blasts us all with sound. The masks are different. Not classic Mushroomhead. It is their Halloween show, so this is unique. The masks are… pumpkins. Pumpkins merged with their usual mask. Very menacing. These are some pissed off pumpkins. And these pissed off pumpkins sure can rock. Heavy metal fills the theater. Our ears are subject to the angry screams of J Mann. The almost-melodic off key singing of Jeffrey Nothing. The sharp, to-the-point keyboarding of Shmotz. The loud, crunching riffs of Gravy and Bronson. The strange samples brought to us by Stitch. The gut smashing bass lines of Benis. And of course the ear bleeding drum pounds of Skinny. Easy listening, this is not. Expecting something soothing? Welcome to hell. 50 minutes pass. I want to see the show from another angle. Goodbye to the pit. We had fun. I pass a variety of people. You are a goth with chains and pale makeup. You are a muscular guy with a tight shirt on, trying to impress someone. You, you, and you are all wearing custom Mushroomhead masks. How did you get in? You and you both have paint on to honor J Mann. Hey, you are a very nice looking female with a lack of clothing. Not bad. Nice wings. Continuing, lots of people are looking at me. Stop it. What?! Climbing stairs, up to the balcony. This is where my friends are still. My seat is taken, so I stand against the rails. I am soaked in sweat, and it is starting to cool off. The water poured on my head is helping a lot. I am overcome by a good feeling. I have survived the pit once again, am listening to one of my favorite bands, and there are lots of cool people about. Life is good. Mushroomhead nears the end of their set. Not good. They come back for an encore and what do they play? Simpleton! Finally, I get to hear Simpleton live!! Sounds good. Wait for it… here it is… and NOW! J Mann breaks into the screams of the latter half of the song. I can see the pit erupt from here. This song is awesome. Awesome and short. It’s over. And now Gravy takes his mask off to make an announcement. Haha, I can see why he’s not a singer. What a weak voice. He’s telling us that it’s J Mann’s birthday. And we all sing Happy Birthday to him. He comes out, and we get our encore. And the show ends with the hard techno music, again. But this isn’t the same as other Mushroomhead concerts I’ve been to. What’s this? About 30 girls crowd the stage and start dancing. It also seems that most of them aren’t wearing a shirt. That’s certainly entertaining. It looks like 75% of the crowd is staying for about 15 minutes after the band has left the stage. Well, I think we should get going.