Saturday night, I attended a hardcore punk/death metal show at Rowan skatepark. Roughly fifty people gathered in the Daville skate shop to see four bands play. This kind of thing is exactly what Fayetteville needs.
Truly, building the skatepark may be one of the best things the city has done in the time that I’ve lived here. It provides a central location for skaters to congregate without having to worry about traffic or trespassing. Now that Daville Skate Shop has opened a location on the bottom floor of the Lions Civic Center, the area seems to be thriving and punk shows are really the logical next step. The diversity of the city is perfect for the camaraderie of hardcore and vice versa.
Punk is by nature an inclusive subculture/genre of music, often serving as a safe place for marginalized or alienated youth. Of course, live music in general creates some sense of community but hardcore is special because it’s so kinetic. Hardcore shows are as much contact sport as show (we don’t call them concerts), and the entertainment is in equal parts on the stage (if there is one) and in the pit.
The Wall of Death, the Circle Pit, and just general moshing are all radically democratic and unique aspects of both hardcore and metal. There is no assigned seating, no VIP experience, no distinction along lines of gender, sex, age, body type, race, etc. Just as soon as someone is knocked to the floor they are picked back up. Everyone is all smiles and screams and every shove is made with love. The pit is hardcore at its most pure.
If I’m allowed to runaway and wax philosophical, the pit is Fayetteville at its best: a wildly diverse group of people taking delight in the things that they have in common, guided by common rhythm, and seeking something more.