Cornell Students Using Physics To Predict Human Behavior, Save Lives At Rock Concerts



I’ve got an excellent update to our ongoing experiments on concert rioting, live music fears and similar concert crisis related explorations.

According to Physics Central a group of students at Cornell University have begun to share their research about comparing concert rioting and mosh pits to the how molecules in gas behave with the plan of “using some techniques of physics to describe and maybe predict human behavior in times of crisis.”

This is really an amazing collection of research that has me thinking about a lot of other possibilities related to our previous experiments on riots, heavy metal shows and even our RIP and mourning explorations where lives were lost because of chaos as frantic crowd situations.

Here’s my favorite snippet from the article:

The project began when one student, Jesse Silverberg, took his girlfriend to a heavy metal concert. Not wanting to get involved in the mosh pit that formed in the audience–people get hurt–he stood aside and was fascinated by the motion of the crowd. The group’s movement resembled something he saw in physics classes, the disordered collisions of molecules in a gas.

Silverberg thought that might be an interesting study, and along with other students, created artificial mosh pits in a computer, using videos of rock concerts on YouTube as the template and converting the crowd into individual particles in the program using automated tracking techniques.

Bierbaum reported at the meeting that while the crowds seemed to be running around wildly, the researchers found two types of people in the patterns, subjects they called MASHERS (Mobile Active Simulated Humanoids). Some “flocked,” meaning they generally followed their neighbors. Animals flock the same way, Bierbaum said. So do fish schools. There is no bird or fish in charge. Those who stayed stationary, passive MASHERS, reacted normally when an active MASHER accidentally collided with them–they bounced–and then resumed standing still.

There’s also some very interesting and fascinating mosh pit data collected here that was used in the research along with this mosh pit simulator.

I also love it how Jessie’s desire to not want to be in the mosh pit led him to the discovery. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at mosh pits and wondered why those happen and what purpose they serve at concert beyond a physical release or just a dangerously chaotic response to how the music is making us feel during the show.

And I’m pumped to see something positive come out of moshing and know that Jessie and his fellow students have given us some great insight through the lens of physics that could really make a major impact on the lives of concert fans.

Lastly, this makes me wonder about what other parts of the concert experience can be better understood by looking at other areas of life or scientific disciplines to find solutions to problems?

If we can compare mosh pits to gas molecules to make concerts safer, what other examples and comparisons can we find to enhance, improve and better understand the concert experience?

Like I said, this is great stuff and we’ll certainly continue to follow this story and share more updates as we dive deeper into the data and uncover more awesomeness.

That’s it for now. Let us know what you think of this study in the comments below and stay tuned for more as we continue to explore this story and have the Cornell students share more about their research and favorite concert experiences on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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You Rocked The Show: Best Concert Fan Stories and Interviews of 2011




This is why we do this. You. The Fans. We love discovering, celebrating and exploring your concert experiences.

And throughout 2011 we had the extreme pleasure of sharing some truly amazing live music moments with you.

There was no shortage of emotion in 2011 as we explored why concerts move us so much.

And as you’ll see many of the most vivid memories during 2011 were defined by moments of youthful amazement and history in the making, grief and pain.

Throughout the year, the live concert experience was many things to many fans. And what a concert is and means to you continues was redefined and evolved with each passing show.

As I mentioned before, I had just as much fun going to concerts myself as I did hearing about and experiencing your concert adventures through your eyes.

And because live music would be meaningless without the fans, we salute you and all that happened in 2011 with these top concert fan news and interviews.

Stay tuned for more and follow us on Twitter @livefixmedia, Facebook, and read this to learn more about our Google Plus plans for 2012.


Concert Fan News Stories



Concert Fan Live Fix Interviews


Thank you to all the fans for sharing your concert stories with us and we look forward to another rockin’ year in 2012!

Send in Your Stories

What was your favorite Live Fix fan interview of 2011? Did we miss a story? What type of concert stories would you like to us to explore in 2012? Post your feedback below, or call our concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341 and we’ll include your stories in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Fugazi Unleashes Live Archives, MacKaye Shares Concert Memories


fugazi live archives

Awhile back Frank from Windy City Rock asked me what bands I would like to go back and experience live if I had the chance.  And one of those bands I’d like to add to the list is the mighty Fugazi.

That said, I was excited to hear the news earlier this week that the band unveiled their new live archives series. Here’s what the band posted on their website introducing and explaining the gradual release of the archived shows:

Between 1987 and 2003, Fugazi played over 1000 concerts in all 50 states and all over the world. Over 800 of these shows were recorded by the band’s sound engineers. The goal of this project is to make each of these recordings available to download for a small fee. We will start with 130 shows and release more monthly until we’re done.

No Chicago Shows (yet)

fugazi live archives chicago shows

As you can see by the screen shot above, there aren’t any Chicago shows available in the archives yet. But I hope they are released soon because I’d love to continue our exploration of Chicago punk rock experiences.

And those shows are the ones that I’ve heard many stories about from my close friends as they tell me how their lives were forever changed during shows at those Chicago venues over the years.

Now, we’d like to share a snippet from a Pitchfork interview with front man Ian MacKaye about the release and a concert memory, and then a classic 45 minute stage banter mp3 that a fan made and released back in 2009.

Pitchfork: This is an archive and a history of Fugazi, obviously, but on a larger scale, you’re getting the sounds of these different venues and different qualities of recording over the years, too.

IM: Yeah, you can hear a real shift. You listen to the late 80s recordings, you’ll hear us engaging with the audience, dealing with the issues surrounding punk shows at the time. Back then, people thought you had to be a skinhead and beat the crap out of everybody when you went to a punk show. Come the early 90s, when you had this so-called grunge stuff and when videos became so dominant, you had this totally huge shift in the culture of shows. There was a yahoo factor where everyone had to crowd surf at all times. There were shows we played where there were 50 people crowd surfing at one time! It was insane, and it had nothing to do with the music. It didn’t make a difference if the song was fast or loud or quiet or slow. It was behavior that was almost recreating things people saw in videos.

One of my friends was a stage hand at a Bob Dylan show in the mid-90s and I remember him telling me that somebody crowd surfed during the gig. And this friend of mine was an old punk rock guy– he was totally humiliated by it. But some of Bob’s people were there and they said, “Oh, Bob will be so excited! This is the kind of energy we want at his shows.” That’s where the old school was at.

 The Essence of Fugazi Live

Wrapping up this post and continuing our exploration of concert fan chronicles, here’s a link to a legendary 45-minute stage banter mp3 via the Fugazi fans over at Chunklet that captures the essence of how Fugazi would use the in-between song chatter to drive the show, engage with their fans, or call out unruly fans when necessary.

What’s amazing about this recording montage is that pulls together several shows, so you get to hear how the band celebrates the close connection with their fans, which often manifested in them stopping the show to protect their fans who didn’t want to mosh and directly call out fans who opposed their decision to stop to make sure everyone was okay and not getting hurt.

And because of that intimate dynamic, the fact that they never charged above single-digits for concert tickets, and their consistently high-energy and inspiring live show, Fugazi ranks as one of the best bands to see live (ever).

What’s in Your Waiting Room?

Have you seen Fugazi live? Are you excited to dive into their live archive to re-experience or discover a new live moment?

What shows are you looking forward to downloading? Let us know what you think in the comments below and we’ll share your story during a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Another Great Google Plus Hangout Night of Open Mics and Concert Fan Stories



Last night we had a great time continuing our Google Plus Experiment by hosting and joining in a Hangout. And I have to say that I’m even more pumped and excited as I was before about using the social network to share concert stories and connect with you, my fellow live music fans.

Steven’s Gate Crashing Story

As we told you during our Lollapalooza podcast episode and concert fan tribute, we had the pleasure of meeting Steven and discovering a few of the details about his gate-crashing story as we headed into Lollapalooza this year.

And last night during a Google Plus video Hangout we had the chance find out more of the inspiring and creative back story of what happened before and after Lollapalooza, and more about Steven’s concert experiences which involved seeing and being in a Flaming Lips video and seeking in to see the Wu-Tang Clan at SXSW 2011.

We’ll be sharing Steven’s full story on a future episode of Live Fix Radio so keep your eye out for that episode because what he told me had me smiling and shaking my head in amazement and I have a feeling you’re going to really enjoy Steven’s story too.

I always get excited when I have the opportunity to talk with other fans about their experiences and I have to say this Hangout test run that included me, Steven and Colleen was a perfect primer for our plan to have regular Hangouts with concerts fan where we talk about our live music stories and other concert topics. And I’ll tell you how you can join us in a moment.

But first, let me tell you what else happened last night.

Spontaneous “Open Mic” Hangout

Immediately after our time with Steven we jumped right into a other “open mic” Hangout hosted by musicians Heather Fay and Cat Beach.  This experience still has been buzzing this morning because it allowed us to continue our virtual concert experiments.

And what I love the most about this open mic Hangout (photo above) was that it was intimate, friendly, communal and totally spontaneous, which are all qualities I’ve enjoyed about most of the concert-focused Hangouts I’ve been a part of. You can find out more about Fay’s virtual “open mics” nights at

It’s in these types of intimate online live music settings that I think bands have the greatest opportunity to create powerful connections with fans before, during and after the show.

And these types of virtual mini-concert experiences are also great for creating valuable connections with other bands and promoters to build a strong support system, especially when it comes time to tour and collaborate on future albums.

Right now it appears that Hangouts are limited to about 10 people, but it seems that some Hangouts can hold more people or they be configured differently for larger audiences, especially when it involves a band or musician. I say this because the Black Eyed Peas recently hosted the largest pre-show Hangout to date with their NYC concert on Sept 1st, that raised over 4 million dollars for charity.

According to Google Plus news here’s what said about the Hangout and connecting with fans:

lets have fun at the backstage hangout…we even have a hangout onstage as well…
i want to re-define backstage interaction with fans who can not make the show…i think this will be the very first online backstage onstage web cam session…
“i like doing things 1st”

And here’s a 3hr plus video that captures the event.

After our Oprah Flash Mob Experiment we’re not surprised that the BEP’s are early adopters on Google Plus and we’re looking forward to seeing what they and other bands will offer fans i n the future.

How Can You Join Our Experiment with Google Plus?

As we mentioned before, we’ll be hosting more Hangouts about Emotions, complaints, Dancing Guys and other popular Experiments we’ve done, and we’d love to have you join us.

Google Plus is now open to everyone and all you need to do is sign up here. Once you’re set up go ahead and find me on Google Plus, and then add me to your circle. Be sure to drop me quick note letting me know you’d like to be involved in the next Live Fix Hangout.

Until then, I’d love to hear what you’ve been experiencing on Google Plus so let me know what you think in the comments below and we’ll share your story on future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Tweets of the Week: Love and Hate, 9/11 Memories, Chris Brown Dreams, Bieber Crashers, Concert Weirdos


Love and hate. Pleasure and pain. Doubt and clarity. Those were just some of the profound and entertaining topics I discovered as I compiled our second edition of Tweets of the Week.

It’s been fun watching this experiment evolve and it’s turning out to be a facinating exploration into what you love to express at all points of the live music experience.

My initial hunches are being confirmed, and through this experiment I’m finding hard evidence that our lives are being changed not just during the show — but before and after.

I’m discovering more about the truth that the surge of our live music emotions, complaints, memories and expectations is taking us all on a wild and surprising ride when we least expect it — and we’re all turning to Twitter to share the glory of this emotional rush with our fellow concert fans.

This week’s list was longer than last week’s, and it was hard to pick which tweets were my favorite. But I was able to narrow it down a little bit out of the hundreds of tweets I saw over the last seven days.

As I mentioned in our first post, I use a keyword search to compile the list. And this week I decided to mix things up with other Live Fix experiments by focusing on the phrases “I love concerts”, “I hate concerts,” “9/11” and “concert emotions“.

So whenever any of you tweeted using a combination of those words that’s when your tweet popped up in my search. (I’ll be creating a special Live Fix hashtag allowing you to be included in the experiment, so stay tuned for that soon.)

And boy did a lot of great tweets show up in my search stream!

Why My Face Is Frozen In A Perpetual Smile

I caught myself many times during the week laughing out loud at the brilliance and wit of your 140 character expressions.

Many times during the week I had to shove my mobile phone in front of Colleen or even read your tweets out loud to her because these tweets were so revealing, funny, witty and insightful to say the least.

As you’ll see, whether you were thinking, dreaming or reminiscing about Nirvana, Justin Bieber, Selena, Chris Brown, Beyonce concerts,  the tweets below show a side of concert fans honestly speaking our minds in real-time as the show unfolds right in front of us.

Ya’ll Got Deep With Your Tweets Too

And then there were several tweets filled with profound moments of reflection and revelation as you tweeted your thoughts while heading to your car after the show, contemplating the deeper meaning of live music, or sitting in your bed vomiting wishing you were at a concert.

It’s was also a pleasure to come across a tweet from our friends at Concert Weirdos who’s tweets always put a smile on my face and remind me how awesome live music really is.

So without further ado, here’s this week’s list. And check out our special invitation to join this experiment below.

What About Your Tweets?

What did you tweet during your last concert? How do you think Twitter is changing live music? Follow us on Twitter @livefixmedia and let us know what you think and we’ll share your feedback during a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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What Happened During Rap Concert Riot at Tammy Hall in NYC

NYC riot at Tammy Hall



We all know there’s usually two sides to every story. And that appears to be the case with a recent record release party for Pete Rock, Tek & Steele (of Smif N Wessun) who were celebrating the release of their collaborative album, ‘Monumental’ when a riot broke out. Yes, the video above does include profanity and riot violence so do proceed with caution.

To illustrate the double-sided situation and continue our exploration of concert riots, here’s the press release I received via email as an official statement from the artist, followed by the NY Post report of the incident.

What the artist said:

“… It was a peaceful gathering inside of a sold-out Tammany Hall (lower-east side Manhattan, NY) to see the group perform new music from the project. Earlier in the evening some guests wanted to enter the event but were turned away by the management and bouncers employed by the club. A minor argument ensued, but eventually was diffused by the bouncers.

Thirty minutes after that minor skirmish 15-20 uniformed Police Officers from the 7th precinct arrived at the venue. Shortly after even more uniformed officers arrived. The officers then hurried into the club and began macing and assaulting individuals inside the club, dragging one of them out and pummeling him directly in front of the club. Present at the event were artists, industry tastemakers, fans, photographers, and cameramen. Several people began filming and recording the unprovoked brutality, much to the dismay of the police.

The officers then began to mace and assault anyone within arms length, including several women. Kenneth Montgomery, the group’s attorney, who was in attendance at the event, stated that the Police “behavior was unjustified, unprovoked, and simply barbaric considering there was no provocation.” Pete Rock, Tek and Steele fortunately were not harmed, however some of their friends & family were assaulted by the Police.

What the NY post reported:

The officers were responding to a 911 call of a “dispute” at the Smif-N-Wessun and Pete Rock album release party at Tammany Hall on Orchard Street when they found the place to be over capacity, an NYPD spokesman said.

When cops started vacating Tammany Hall, one music lover refused to leave and punched one officer in the face, breaking the officer’s tooth, said the spokesman.

As the thug was being handcuffed by other officers, he screamed for help which “[incited] a riot,” said the spokesman.

At least four other concert-goers began assaulting the officers — leaving one cop with a broken nose, and three others with cuts and bruises on their faces and necks, said the spokesman.

Step Up To The Mic

Were you at Tammy Hall? Have you experienced a concert riot before? We invite you to share your stories and thoughts in the comments below, so they can be included in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.


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100 Bands in 100 Days: Reconnecting With Live Music One Show At A Time


In our SXSW preview, we told you about an intriguing fan-made movie called 100 Bands in 100 Days. I saw the film while we were in Austin during its world debut and it made me laugh, nearly moved me to tears and inspired me to look at live music in a new way.

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The Top 35 Most Addictive Live Music Stories of 2010


Wrecking Ball Punk Fest

When I think of eager concert fans in 2010, I think of the photo above that Colleen took during a climaxing moment at the Wrecking Ball Punk Fest in Chicago.

Those fans where some of the most relentless, hungry and addicted live music fans I saw all year long. And when I think of those fans reaching out for that bass guitar, I wonder if that’s what you looked like while you read these 35 top Live Fix posts of 2010.

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Posterous Co-Founder Basks In the Glory Of Weezer “Memories” Concert


Weezer Memories Tour

Quick one here. It’s about you again. Concert fans. Weezer concert fans, to be exact. 

It came to me via my friend Diane Stein, who posted a link on my Facebook Wall about a Weezer fan, the co-founder of Posterous Sachin Agarwal, loving a show he experienced during the band’s current Memories tour.

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The Beautiful Things That Concert Fans Write On Bathroom Walls


Beats Antique show at Abbey Pub

Keep your eyes open. Look around, my friends. The live music experience is teaming with sacred and serendipitous moments lurking around every corner.

And you never know what you’re going to stumble upon or find written on the bathroom walls at concert venues. It just might change your life. It did during our trip to the Abbey Pub in Chicago. Continue reading

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Loyal Slayer Fans Armed With Scalpels At Live Shows?


Sound opinion slayer

It is true that metal fans are often crazier than the band? Are metal fans more prone to behaving badly than other concert fans? Let’s start the weekend off right and see if this is true by looking at how a Slayer fan used a scalpel at a live show.
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