Clarkie Crowd Dynamics: Lightning Bolt Show a Shocker

Many concert-goers overlook the importance of the crowd at a concert. Usually, the only concern is the group on stage, not the group that stays down below, pining as they play. Each show’s crowd is different and can make or break the band playing, but seldom are they as noticeable as when they become a raging mosh pit.

At Saturday night’s Noise Day performance, Lightning Bolt gathered an interesting crowd. As the gradient of people got less dense toward the back of the group, my friends and I looked around and noticed how few Clarkies were around us. The only ones we recognized were, like us, pretty far from the packed group standing next to the action. The rest of the entity of student-aged attendees I’d never seen before, and some were acting a little sketchy.

As the electronica group started warming up, slowly but surely so did the crowd, and eventually the mass of people in front of us became a swarming mesh of sweaty, undulating, fist-pumping, entranced bodies. Lights illuminated the jumping ameba as the perimeter of the group got pushed and shoved in conflicting directions. At each high point in the songs, the mass would shake even more violently as shirts were ripped and thrown around. A few students dared to crowd surf which made me pretty nervous. One girl stayed up for a surprisingly long period of time… that is, until the crowd passed her toward a cop. The officer backed out of the way of her oncoming torso, let her fall to the ground and sternly said, “Knock it off.” So much for police officers being there for our safety.

One girl near us turned and saw an empty bottle of Jim Beam on the ground. She asked the girl behind her if it belonged to her. “Nope.” She picked it up, noticed it was empty, and in her dismay, threw it back on the ground. Further evidence that there were more than Clarkies at the show: anyone of us would have recycled it. Right?

I’m certainly not against other kids coming to our shows. On the contrary, I think it’s flattering, but I must admit that I never thought I would see a show or a crowd quite like the one on Saturday night’s on the campus of Clark University.

Spree Day 2010 - The usual, subdued Clark crowd

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About Ashley Klann

Clark masters student. Local reporter. Photographer. View all posts by Ashley Klann

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