Mosh Pit Bouncer Saves the Day at Vundabar Show
Tuesday night rock shows can be exhausting to attend, even if it’s one of your favorite bands. Vundabar, an indie rock band who drove from their Boston home, through all the snow and blizzards the country has thrown at them over the last few weeks, have actually played in SF four times over the last 14 months. My friends and I knew that no matter how hard or easy we went for the night that Wednesday morning was going to be a struggle. For this reason, we started our evening in The Chapel’s balcony, watching and enjoying the surfer/chill garage opener, The Red Pears who put on a nice performance.
From above, we saw a semi-reckless young mosh pit begin to form, just for the easy going opener (this was a veryyyy young crowd, many under legal drinking age). At 10 pm, we wandered down to the floor to await the headliner. After avoiding the boring back and the fighting off the obnoxious young people lacking concert etiquette in the front, positioned ourselves on the far right of the back middle – indicating that we were big fans, but we also had jobs to go to in morning.
Vundabar opened their set with “$$$”, a song that is slow-to-start but expertly and patiently builds up over 6 minutes to provide an effortless slide into a jam that is likely their best song to mosh to. The young crowd couldn’t contain itself and a sloppy mosh pit broke out, sending purses and keys and hats and people flying all over the place. My group held our ground well, but not without some elbow throwing. The next song came but the pit kept moshing, and its chaos was beginning to change the vibe of the entire crowd. I did not want to participate. Suddenly, a beacon of hope arrived in the form of a robust, stately bouncer. Standing on the outskirts of the full-time pit, but within the range of moshing area for fun songs (see diagram below),
it seemed his sole purpose was to pick people up after they had fallen on the ground and keep the peace in the crazy area. This seemed to calm down the crowd a bit, and my friends and I were more than grateful to be placed directly behind him, protecting us from the mayhem so we could focus on the show.
As one of the most fun bands to see live, Vundabar highlights their quirky personalities on stage while still getting to play a solid range of songs. Alien Blues, Acetone, and Oulala were enthusiastically played and hit well with the crowd. The lead singer and guitarist, Brandon Hagen, starting putting on all the hats that made their way onstage during the craziness. His infectious goofiness rubbed off on the crowd. A few people actually started throwing up their own hats for him to wear, and there were a good handful of crowd surfers.
Once again, the bouncer stopped these overhead humans from getting to our group, since our hands were full of beer anyways. I have to admit that I did end up going into the mosh pit a few times, once I felt safe that the bouncer man was there to look over me. They closed their set with 47 drum beats, because that is the type of randomness that is common at their shows, and my friends and I groggily made it to work in the morning. Thanks mosh pit bouncer for saving the day!