Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

Have you ever been part of a screaming, adoring mob?

Asked by Jeruba (55935points) January 4th, 2021

At a celebrity appearance, perhaps, or a sporting event, a rock concert, even a political rally?

If so, what was it like? How did it affect you? Did you join in? Was it thrilling, mind-numbing, sense-heightening, sexy?

Were you at all alarmed or frightened?

Did you feel different afterward?

Were you aware of a potential for it to get out of hand?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

When the Giants won the World Series in 2010, the parade started outside my 2nd floor office. I had twenty people in my office, and we all screamed when the parade started. I was sitting on the ledge, thousands of people below me. The noise was deafening but oh so fun. And it was peaceful and fun.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Shit NO! I dislike large gathering of people stay clear of them with a passion.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

My wife and I used to go to music concerts in Austin back in the day. We got tickets to a George Straight concert once, it was pretty tame by most music concert standards. But when it was over, my wife and her girlfriend from work who came with us, got the bright idea of going out a back way, unbeknownst to me, so they could see George exit to his trailer. I didn’t figure it out till we got out there, just thought we took the wrong exit. They yelled “Hi George” at him, and he very graciously turned and waved and said, “Hi there ladies!” But Mouth of the South one and Mouth of the South two attracted attention from other folks, who came swarming out of no where. Just good fun though, no big deal I don’t guess.

JLoon's avatar

Once at a dance club. No celebrities, politicians, or rock stars in sight – Just very good music and an indescribable vibe. We all ended up just getting off on the moment & on each other.

BUT – because it was so spontaneous and there was really no one person or thing as focus, the wave of energy was hard to control or understand. There was a wild feeling that we all stepped out of time. If you were there for an hour it felt like your whole life. Boundaries dissolved and there was a feeling that you could be part of anyone, and they could be part of you. There were alcohol and some drugs present, but for me and most everyone there we were just too carried away to stop and partake.

Basically like a mass out of body experience. Spiritual, physical, sexual, dangerous, exciting, but mostly beyond words. And I’ve made a point of not going back there ever since. I know it could never be the same, and I think it would hurt to pretend.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Maybe you’re better not going back. Sounds like a Twilight Zone episode.

JLoon's avatar

@Nomore lockout – Definitely not a rerun ;)

Brian1946's avatar

Yes- Mimishu’s 10K party! ;-D

Jeruba's avatar

Ok, guys. But how about being in a huge real crowd—in the audience? A Beatles concert, a Trump rally, or maybe being in the stadium for a World Series game—one of thousands caught up in the excitement and adulation of someone or something? Woodstock? Jonestown?

@JLoon is vividly describing something like what I was getting at (something like a rave in a large warehouse, and yes, I’ve been to one), but the fact that there was no single focus of adoration means it was a different kind of experience. Still, having your identity dissolve in a kind of transcendent wave—that would be part of it, all right.

I attended a couple of Billy Graham crusades way back when, and they had a vibe too (even before vibes were invented), but it was really not about him, so it’s not the same.

Sometimes people say that when they’ve been swept up in such a scene, they feel and do things they wouldn’t on their own, and afterward they may wonder how they ever got so mesmerized. A dark expression of this is mob violence, and a brighter(?) one is some kind of religious experience. At present what has me wondering so much is the crowd that’s caught up in a political fervor. Are they really expressing an abiding feeling, or is it about surrendering to the contagious hysteria of the moment?

Brian1946's avatar

I was at game 7 of the Lakers’ Western Conference championship against the Chicago Bulls, in April, 1973. The Lakes won, our adoration was fulfilled.
I felt differently about a month later, when they lost the crown to the Knicks.

I was at a Bruce Springsteen concert in August, 2002. He played for at least for 3 hours, and we became the Phoenix rising from the ashes of 9/11.
I still hold him in Himalayan regard, but Michelle Branch is my latest crush.

JLeslie's avatar

Once at an Adam Ant concert on or near a college campus (I dint even remember) and I found it annoying. I was 15 or 16 I joined in for a minute and then decided it was not for me. I didn’t have much fun. I was too young I think. It was mostly attended by college students. They were pushing and rowdy and I never understood fawning over anyone. I regretted going.

I’ve been to other concerts where people were excited to be there and screaming, but nothing like the one I spoke about above. I went to The Beach Boys when I was 9 with my mom at Madison Square Garden, and when I was a teen went to Robert Plant, Madonna, Prince, and other concerts, and never felt uneasy like that Adam Ant concert.

Edit: I used to go out dancing all the time in mega club in Washington DC called Tracks and the vibe in there was incredible on the big dance floor (there was two dance floors inside and one outside in the warmer months). Drinking was not the big thing there, although plenty of people were drinking, it was dancing. The place was known for its lights and music and you easily became lost in it. It was loud and you could feel it, the entire dance floor had synergy. I loved it. I didn’t really feel like anything would get out of hand in there, but it was located in a very unsafe part of Washington DC, so walking to and from your car was a little scary. I don’t know if a lot of people were using drugs like raves are known for, but I know my circle of friends mostly weren’t. Several of us didn’t drink either.

anniereborn's avatar

Pretty much every music concert I have been to ever. Not gonna list them all, but some really fun ones were Iron Maiden, Porcupine Tree and The Cure.
Also some amazing curtain calls at Broadway shows.
It is always exhilarating for me just letting loose pure joy.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’ve been to a million live music events, and never felt in danger. In fact, even in the mosh pits, I always joined in the mayhem, back in the day. Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour was probably the biggest music event I’ve been to.. Chiefs games, StL Cards games, all are fun and I do get a little sassy sometimes.

I’ve been to multiple large conferences/services at religious institutions and been greatly moved, too.

M husband and several people were greatly moved into a patriotic fervor at Trumps rally. My husband is a very mild-mannered person, but he said it was like nothing he’d ever seen or felt before. Like a huge wave of love for our country.

We haven’t felt in danger at any of these events.

Caravanfan's avatar

Yes, at a Caravan show in London two years ago.

smudges's avatar

I won tickets to The Rolling Stones in 1994 (Voodoo Lounge tour) when I was 38. I don’t remember a lot about it except being enthralled that I was actually seeing Mick Jagger dance and skip across the stage and purse his lips. Also, one of the 20-foot blow-up dolls that appeared during ‘Honky-Tonk Women’ apparently blew a hole because she slowly melted down like the Wicked Witch of the West. It was at a stadium, and we were sitting far enough away that we watched the screens rather than the stage most of the time. People were passing joints around and I haven’t had a feeling of closeness and understanding and community with that many people since the peace and love days.

Other concerts: The Who, Yes, James Taylor, The Moody Blues, Chicago and Journey. The Moody Blues and Yes had terrific light shows. I still have the ticket stubs for all of the concerts I’ve been to, and one from when I saw Ram Dass (Richard Alpert, LSD proponent and colleague of Timothy Leary).

The last time I was in a large crowd was at a University of Tennessee football game with 102,500 people. I was terrified and told my husband we needed to leave in the 1st quarter. I just freaked out because we were up so high, and also the closeness of the other people (we had 18 inch seats with no backs).

rockfan's avatar

The closest I’ve experienced to an adoring mob is a Bernie Sanders rally in 2015. The decibel in that room was off the charts

Also went to a Taylor Swift concert and that was loud as well

Brian1946's avatar


“I won tickets to The Rolling Stones in 1994 (Voodoo Lounge tour) when I was 38.”

We also saw them on that tour in October, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.
The RH Chili Peppers opened for them.

Where did you see them and who opened for them?

smudges's avatar

Oh for god’s sake! Too funny! I didn’t see them in 1994! I was checking the tickets because I didn’t remember who opened for them, and it turns out I saw them in Clemson, S.C. at Death Valley Stadium in 1989! It was the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour. Living Colour was the opening act.

Per wikipedia re: Living Colour: Although they scored a number of hits, Living Colour is best known for their signature anthem “Cult of Personality”, which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. They were also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards and won their second Grammy Award for their follow-up album Time’s Up (1990).

Jaxk's avatar

I went to thge California Jam 2 in 1978 with my brother. It was an all day event with:
Mahogany Rush
Dave Mason
Jean-Michel Jarre
Bob Welch
Ted Nugent
Excellent music and an event I’ll never forget. There were about 300,000 people in attendance at Ontario Speedway. We thought we’d move a little closer to the stage so we began weaving through the crowd towards the stage We never got near it. As the crowd packed tighter and tighter we lost all control over our movement. We could not move and if anybody went down they’d never get back up. The crowd was swaying and crushing all fencing in the area. I’ve never been so out of control. I was packed into that crowd for maybe an hour before we were able to move back where things were a little less dense. I hated that out of control, feeling and will never put myself in that position again. Still love the music but not the crowd.

smudges's avatar

@Jaxk You saw Dave Mason?! I’m so jealous! You can hear/watch Dave Mason & the Quarantines – Sammy Hagar, Michael McDonald, Mick Fleetwood, Pat Simmons, Tom Johnston and John McFee here: OR here:

I SO agree about the crowd. I had that experience at a Journey concert when we were down in the middle of it all. shivers

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