I've gotten better since I've been attending more and more live shows. The energy and the pit of a particular Static-X concert was absolutely addicting. I began craving that heat and energy, and wound up in the process meeting some really cool people by focusing on the positive aspects of wading into a crowd, I've learned to ignore the bad. I've seen one bar fight, and it's really more of a confusing ordeal than it is dangerous...I'm a pretty big guy and I was excited to at least PARTICIPATE in the fight, but when it erupted, I didn't know who to punch, so I merely caught people who were pushed. lol fightfail...but that's not the point of crowds, and the idiots that started it were drunken cowards who ran off. The point of the crowd is to have fun, and it sucks when a selfish hammerhead goes and spoils it for everyone else.
I HAVE seen my fair share of suffocating environments when it's TOO packed. Most of the time these are bars/clubs I don't normally go to and the vast majority of these people are TOO drunk by the time I get there, too many pockets of women in crowded, amoebic pockets in this giant bio mass, and all the drunk dudes are trying their damndest not to stagger around, desperately glancing around like a clumsy meerkat. They're sweaty, winded, hammered, and frustrated. Shit can get tense, because the dumber they are, the more likely they'll try to instigate a confrontation over menial bullshit. I guess above all, the saying is "all things in moderation."
I still go to local rock shows, and it's neat to people-watch sometimes. I guess the only thing that bugs me is not being able to hear who I'm talking to very well, but I guess if I didn't like that, I should probably stop going to local rock shows....PFFFTTTT YARIGHT