Coachella Day 2: On Mastodon, Metal, Moshing and Men's Briefs

Coachella Day 2: On Mastodon, Metal, Moshing and Men's Briefs

It's an image that will be ingrained in our memory till our dying day. It's nearly midnight. Mastodon, one of America's greatest metal bands, is playing the Mojave tent. The guitars are fucking loud, the bass is in your bones. The pit, in front of the stage and about the size of a boxing ring, is filled with shirtless dudes letting off some serious steam. Aggression is a scary thing. What's inside of that fury that's spinning in the pit? Anger at mama? Papa? Both? The men, maybe 25 of them, are swirling around the edge of the space like stock cars around a track, bumping and banging and colliding and, well, being angry white males.

For the record, this is not the dude that was in the pit at Mastodon's show later in the night.
For the record, this is not the dude that was in the pit at Mastodon's show later in the night.
Timothy Norris

Then, there, in the scrum. A shirtless fella, husky. is losing his mind. Eyes wild, he stands there and bellows. Wait. He doesn't have any pants on. Just bikini briefs, this bear of a man, a little flabby but who the fuck cares when Mastodon's doing what they're doing. So the guy's in the pit banging into other men -- and he's in his undies. They're dark blue. His belly hangs over them just a little bit. His butt crack is smiling from above his stretchy-band. He's moshing. He's pummeling other shirtless dudes. This is metal. This is energy that dare not speaketh its name. It transcends sex while exuding sex. It's testosterone, but he doesn't have a boner as far as I can tell ... Hold on a sec. Half boner. Not bad. It'll happen to anyone banging into sweaty bare skin, regardless of gender.

Music does that to you. Loud stuff. Big ass metal. Mastodon sized. It makes you want to take your shirt off. Hell, it makes you want to take your pants off. And your shoes and socks. It makes you want to take your undies off, too, but what sucks is that you can't. No streaking in the pit. That crosses a line of some sort. Underwear's cool. But flopping dicks are frowned upon. Which is a bummer.

You call this freedom?


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