By Rich Tupica

Don’t be ’that guy’

If you’re planning to head out to a local show this week, please, don’t be "that guy." You know who I’m talking about, the one-man-mosh pit. The lone dancing buffoon.

Look around; Are others partaking in your thrashing and/or spastic dancing? If not, then odds are you are drunk and making an ass out of yourself.

I’m not talking about metal or hardcore punk shows where at the first trickle of guitar the entire crowd erupts into a war zone. Those gigs are designed for throwing elbows and slinging strangers across the room. It’s not only expected, it’s encouraged.

I’m speaking of a moderate rock show where, all of a sudden halfway through the show, a sweaty bouncing guy begins knocking his way to the front of the stage from the back of the crowd, pumping his fist in the air while executing out-of-rhythm dance moves. This guy is also holding a beer and, of course, it’s getting splashed on everyone he passes.

At this moment, “that guy” begins to ruin the show. News alert to the sloshed idiot: Nobody cares about you. They didn’t pay the cover charge to see your macho display of ignorance.

Once “that guy” finds his spot (usually two inches in front, or behind me), he maintains the compulsion to push into all those standing in his radius throughout the duration of the show. (Mind you, everyone else at the show is refraining from invading the personal space of others.)

Not only does this annoying person decide to throw off the vibe of the crowd, next he decides to heckle the band everyone came to see. Whether it’s yelling rude comments (“Hurry up! Play something!”), or screaming for one particular song repeatedly (“Play ‘Freebird!”), either way, “that guy” has decided to take the spotlight off the musicians everyone paid to see.

As far as excuses go, I’m not buying the “I’m just trying to have a good time” defense. It’s common sense, if everyone else is having a good time without showboating and getting physical with strangers, these drunks are simply getting out of line. I feel “that guy” knows what he’s doing, and he finds his actions to be impressive or humorous. Drunk people think a lot of stuff is funny.

It usually takes a verbal dose of reality from a couple stable people before the attention-getter finally cools off and retreats back to the back of the crowd.

It’s a shame the innocent bystanders, who patiently put up with the drunken bully for a good portion of the set, are eventually forced to push back and yell at them to stop being a jerk.

For some reason, when confronted, it’s usually a surprise to “that guy,” who then reverts to the “just having a good time” defense. Don’t buy it and don’t let them slide.

I’m not encouraging people to start fights, just let these people know that you didn’t pay a cover to see them act the fool. It’s only a matter of time before the wrong (much larger) man gets bumped into at a show, and them karma takes over.

Hopefully “that guy” avoids these upcoming Lansing shows:

Hip hop hits East Lansing

Real hip-hop will invade The Small Planet on Wednesday, July 1, when local rapper extraordinaire P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. takes the stage, delivering his positive, clever rhymes with a swagger other artists would pay cash for. Sharing the bill is TH?UNKNOWNS, who blend ambient melodies with unconventional beats and lyrics. Imagine if Interpol had decided to release an indie hip-hop record. Check out the track “Real Boy” on the rapper’s MySpace and see for yourself. An interesting addition to the lineup is Funktion, a Kalamazoo funk and soul band. The seven-piece band mixes Stevie Wonder style vocals with a touch of Jamiroquai and catchy harmonies.
16800 Chandler Road, East Lansing. Tickets are $5-$8, 18 , 9 p.m. www.thesmallplanet.info

Indie rock art gallery

Those who dig Lansing favorites The Plurals should check out the band’s upcoming gig at Basement 414 this Friday, July 3. Hattie Danby (The Plurals’ drummer) has a new (Pixiesinfluenced) band, Really Cinematic, which is also set to play the show. Sharing the roster is Moresville Bridge, a folky Flint trio specializing in singalong, campfire rock. Grand Rapids’ Johnny Unicorn will also entertain with his brilliant, oddball synthesizer-heavy songwriting. Inbirdseye (Elkhart, Ind.) rounds out the lineup, with big vocals and melodic indie riffs.
414 E. Michigan Ave. Lansing (enter behind the Nuthouse Sports Grill at Jay St.) 8 p.m. http://b414.org.