Crushed by a Crowd

WHEN THESE crushed-to-death at concert venues stories appear now and then, I am reminded of the scare I had senior year at Brown when some of us drove up to Boston to see Santana at a large club (The Boston Tea Party maybe). General admission, and before the show even started we found ourselves in a scrum being pushed toward the stage, bodies pressing in from every direction, no chance of escape. Could not move. Did not get to the could-not-breathe stage, but that was next. Frightening. I was not going to get to hear “Oye Como Va” and “Black Magic Woman” live after all, though I know I wasn’t thinking about that. I was thinking about whether I was going to remain alive myself. Then, mercifully, something gave, and it all loosened up. I don’t remember where we positioned ourselves after that, but I know, stupidly, we stayed for the show. College kids. But ever after, I could see how these terrible things happen at concerts, and I never wanted to be in the mosh pit again. Rock promoters rarely gave much thought to crowd control then. Looks like that tradition is still in place. Sadly.

About Sean Mitchell

SEAN MITCHELL is a journalist, critic and former staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald Examiner and Dallas Times Herald. His articles and reviews have also appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, and other publications. Born in Bethlehem, Pa., he grew up in Dallas and is a graduate of St. Mark’s School of Texas and Brown University. He lives in Dallas.
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