[Night Out] Alt-J @ Mercury Lounge (8/6/2012): How Not To Be 'That Guy' At A Show
After pilling into the back room at Mercury Lounge and making a move towards the stage with Sprout, we nestled in amongst a happy group of fans and eagerly awaited to dance our faces off to some Alt-J jams, which for the most part they did. It's always a really great experience when not only does the band deliver a solid performance, but the fans are actively participating in the show instead of bobbing with their arms folded looking disinterested. A lovely blonde girl to my right at one point stopped and looked at me to say, "Have you ever heard these guys before!? I love them so much!" It's that kind of fan energy that I thrive off of when I'm in a crowd.
Wanna know what will stop a good evening almost completely dead in its tracks for me? "That Guy". You know, that guy. The guy who selfishly ignores the people around him for his the sake of how he thinks his experience should be, no matter how rude or obnoxious he is all night? I have to admit, had initially debated whether or not to even bring up this guy because by the end of the night I was so aggravated with the guy that I was ready to make sure he could never have children again, but after a day to cool off about the whole ordeal I decided that there probably aren't enough reminders circulating these days about how not to treat people at shows.
So there we were, the dedicated happy fans on the left side of the stage when suddenly the guy in the very front just off to the left of center stage starts convulsing (or what he would call "dancing") to the point where he's starting to knock into people. It was clear everyone thought: "Okay dude, you're having fun, just take it easy." But of course he doesn't. His next round of convulsing after stoping to take a breather and grind up on his girlfriend and lick/make out with her a little was to make sure he flailed his arms around enough that he was knocking people in the head and face a bunch. At this point people around me are all looking at each other like, "What the crap?", some are chuckling, and others started trying to get pictures of this musical exorcism of sorts in action.
All this time, mind you, our dear friend Sprout is to the right of him trying to dodge his arms and snap some great photos of the night, thus earning her +1 to the fullest of her abilities. During round three of the girlfriend grinding/flailing combo I saw his arm smack Sprout's camera which rammed into her face and gave her a nice whack to the nose. It was then that I had enough and the rock mama deep down inside of me stepped in. In between songs I grabbed this guy and gave him a good shaking. After he spun around I leaned over and said over the chatter of the crowd, "Could you please do me a favor? My friend over here *points to Sprout* is trying to get photos of the band because this is like... our job and stuff? Maybe look out for her please?" To which the guy seemed to happily agree to, but proceeded to go about his flailing/grinding business as if nothing ever happened. For a moment I thought we might be able to get rid of him, because all of a sudden in the middle of the set he squeezes through the sold out crowd to go get a drink for himself. (Un)fortunately enough, other people are a lot nicer than I am and let him back up to join his girlfriend once more. Overall, I'd say it was a pretty great show, but if it had been devoid of "that guy" I would probably remember it even more fondly than I already do.
If you are "that guy" at shows and do things that remotely resemble this, I just have one thing to say to you:
You, my fellow human being, are a douche. Like, the douchiest of douches.
Seriously though, the internet. This is your friendly reminder of the moment to remember to be cool to each other when you're at shows. We're all trying to have a good time and being thoughtful of everyone else having a good time will probably save you from getting pushed or having a drink spill on you or something of that nature.
If you haven't pre-ordered Alt-J's debut album, An Awesome Wave, make sure you do that ASAP. It drops on September 18th via Canvasback Music (it's out now in the UK, btw). You can also befriend the band on Twitter and Facebook.