Fun Police bust the HoB, and the Herald sides with punks?

A gentle moment from a show the BPD says should've been gentler - Flogging Molly at the HoB, 2.21.12

On the heels of a predictably rambunctious FLOGGING MOLLY show I’m kind of bummed I didn’t attend last month, a BPD inspector who’s clearly never been to a punk show in his or her life cited the House of Blues for neglecting to break up the mosh pit, according to today’s Herald. Boston punk and hardcore fans all now know how women feel when middle-aged men try to pass abortion laws.

Veteran Herald scribe and metalhead Dave Wedge writes, “According to police, 60 concertgoers engaged in an ‘aggressive mosh pit dance,’ during which people were running and ‘colliding into each other,’ including some who were ‘knocked to the ground.’ No injuries were reported.”

In other words, the audience responded to Flogging Molly’s Celtic-tinged, ecstatic workingman’s folk-punk the same way they normally have for years. Wedge proceeds to quote a bunch of local rocker dudes whose comments can be summarized as “fuck that shit.” The city licensing board has ordered the HoB to toss big honkin' neon NO MOSHING signs around the club, because if there's one thing punk rockers are known for, it's following all the rules. 

But the stupidity of this citation against the HoB goes beyond mere cross-cultural cluelessness.

“Add slam dancing to the activities banned in Boston,” some dick from AP writes in the wire retread of Wedge’s story. That’s an awesome idea, if being superfluous is awesome. Moshing is, and has been for some time, forbidden at every "legitimate" club in town; The HoB, the Paradise, the Brighton Music Hall, the Middle East, and T.T. the Bear’s, to name a few. Many music fans (at least the handful I talk to) consider the HoB, if anything, excessively rule-crazy.

Of course moshing is against the rules. It's, like, kind of dangerous and stuff. That's also why it's fun, and why the HoB got written up for not kicking all the moshers out like they normally would.

However if the report is accurate, and what we’re talking about is 60 dudes and ladies righteously flailing and tossing each other around like frickin’ popcorn kernels in a Jiffy Pop tin, I’m not sure what this inspector expected the HoB staff to do about it. Stop the show and piss everyone off? Arbitrarily start grabbing people and carry them kicking and screaming through the rest of the crowd out the door? Break out the riot gear?

I'm betting the HoB made the right call by backing off and letting the mosh pit take care of itself.

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