Live music comes in many forms. For some people, a lone singer on stage with an acoustic guitar can touch the soul and bring tears to the eyes. Others prefer to be blown away by the phonic assaults of a rock band in a state of substance-induced frenzy and ball-squeezingly tight pants. Then there’s the doofers, the metal-heads, the jazz-heads, the pop crowd, the trancers, the dancers, the country bumpkins … the list goes on.

Oh, and the poor bastards who watched Ashlee Simpson mime to a CD. Ouch.

I love all types of live music (Ashlee excluded). In fact, I’d go as far as to say I’m addicted. There’s something about going to a gig that brings me to life. Even if I’m dead tired, a good show can get me up and dancing in no time. When the music starts, nothing else remotely matters — it’s the best escape I can imagine.

Like the music that creates it, a moshpit, that magical congregation of people that occurs in front of a stage, can manifest itself in many ways. Slower, more melodic music, like that of Icelandic band Sigur Rós, tends to result in a crowd swaying back and forth in harmony, cigarette lighters (or nowadays mobile phones) thrust proudly upwards to create a peoples’ light show. Large bands such as Muse tend to breed mammoth pits, crushed so hard at the front that people can’t move, and stretched so far back that people can’t see.

For those of us with more energy than sense (I include myself in this category), the “Circle of Death” is an excellent enhancement to any live show. A beautifully twisted lovechild of the punk and metal scenes, the Circle occurs when fans in a packed mosh push out, leaving a gap in the crowd that quickly becomes an arena. Hyped-up moshers then run through the circle, deliberately crashing into each other with the intent of flattening as many people as possible. While the circle is not for everyone, and can be very intimidating for first-timers, it is an intense experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else, and if you do get knocked down, there’s always someone to pick you up.

It’s not hard to find a good performance: some of the best live music experiences I’ve had have been at relatively cheap concerts put on by Australian bands — The Cat Empire, Architecture in Helsinki and Children Collide, to name a few.

So next time you’re looking for a memorable night out, go to a gig, push as deep into the moshpit as you can get, and let yourself go wild. It takes the live music experience to a whole new level.

The details: Find a gig! There’s always something on — check yourGigs, the Triple J gig guide or And get moshing.