The kids in Emily Stein’s photographs of mosh pits at concerts are totally free. It’s fascinating that teens – who we all know are notoriously self-conscious – are able to let go to such a wild extent. At the same time, it is not at all surprising, as when are you wilder than in your teenage years? Stein captures the gamut of experiences: intense energy, happiness, rapture, contentedness, trance and goofiness.
If you’ve ever moshed, you know it’s a one of a kind experience. The energy can become very aggressive, but people are almost always responsible and friendly. You can be shoved violently by the same person who lends you a hand to pull you back up off the floor. It’s a great release of energy and opportunity for expression without judgment. You can flail and hurl yourself any way you want, and no one will call you on insanity, because they’re all in it with you. It’s beautiful to see the teenagers so enrapt in the experience. Stein’s photocomposition is candid and not overly calculated, probably because of the nature of the project. It’s exciting when you find the half-hidden expression of some head-banging preteen thoroughly enjoying their epic Saturday night.