The Spectrum of an Audience

Melt Banana played tonight in their traditional grind meets pop magnificence. We watched the show at Mohawk on the balcony and had a great view of the crowd breathing with the music. Having a birds eye view I noticed there seemed to be a spectrum of different types of audience members.

Starting from the nucleas closest to the stage were those that felt the most. They had a crowd pushing on their backs the whole time as they watched first hand the energy and subtleties of the band. To them the crowd was nothing but a reminder that they were in a public forum where everyone was going crazy. Up front it is always one of the craziest shows you’ve ever been to.

Immediately behind the front row is what many would call the “pit”, but really it is more dynamic than that. A “pit” really should be a designated area for potentially dangerous dancing. It doesn’t really happen that often and I’d argue there wasn’t a “pit” tonight. Instead there was a collection of people that refused to let the crowd control them. If there was someone in front of you, move in front of them. If someone pushed up against you, push them back. None of it was angry or malicious. It is simply a place where people try to own their space along with other doing the same thing, all in time and inspired by the music.

Outside of those people moving in the middle were those that had the rare experience enjoying both the music and the madness of the crowd. The band was a short distance away and the people bouncing and moving to the music were immediately in front. Every once in a while you get shoved or run into, but it is just part of the excitement. The entire experience is entertaining.

Beyond this is where the show becomes more lax. People are there with friends, talking and drinking. Some take pictures with each other or of the crowd. A person heads to the bar to get a round of drinks. They bob their heads and generally enjoy being somewhere that others also wanted to be. This strata doesn’t want to get sweaty or involved in the madness. They are there for the music and to hang out, with the latter sometimes trumping the former.

This is traditionally the rough layout of most every crowd (not in an arena or venue with seats). Sometimes more people move and other times the first row melds with those moved by the music leaving the rest to those who are making apperances. No matter who is there though, as long as people are enjoying the music, it is a great night.