Here's my skanking story.
I went to a concert with some friends a little bit ago to listen to bands I had never heard of before sing songs I didn't know. I had an optimistic bounce in my step as we walked past the merchandise table and I glanced at a sweet shirt with a worthy design. I have great respect for t-shirt designers who can make something I really want to wear more than a shirt I already have on. (The idea of changing clothes and all the work involved therein usually deters me from changing for at least one full day.) So we settled in and one of the guys with us passed out ear plugs for everyone since we are getting so blasted old. The first band was okay and the second was angry that people in the audience weren't screaming more so they decided to accuse the audience of being too mellow and lame, and then came the headliners...
First of all, the Reggae/Ska movement is not my number one choice when it comes to music, but it wouldn't be last on the list either. I knew I would need to stand in the back for this group to avoid the mosh-pitters so I leaned back and prepared for a visual show. The skanking in a circle ensued quickly by the chorus of the first song. Let me pause a moment to explain skanking.
"Skanking" - verb. Bizarre, wild dance. Skanking resembles running in place while flailing your arms. While popular at Ska shows, a more violent form of skanking is often found in punk or hardcore shows.
While I have seen skanking before, I will admit that I had not previously seen this brand of skanking and moshing or as I call it, the skanky-mosh. These young gentlemen were skanking in a circle while the people around the circle watched them until the dancers got too close to them (possible knocking someone in the head with their flailing arms) at which point they would shove them in a different direction until all the dancers were mostly just shoving each other as they were shoved by the watchers. My thought is that these young white teenage boys feel that the culture they grew up in doesn't honor the ancestors of the old world enough and they created song and dance as a show of their great respect for those who have gone before them. A tribute to cultures with circular dancing and chanting ceremony. If there had been a fire in the middle of the floor it would have looked almost identical to some of the great Discovery Channel documentaries on tribal celebrations. But of course, the modern world (with it's hatred of the past) has instituted fire codes and the like.
Well, that was my concert. Sore feet, sore back, sore ears, FABULOUS memories.
10 months ago