This past Saturday night, I was "that guy" at a show. And I don't feel bad about it.
Previously "that guy" when I saw the Promise Ring in '98 and Hey Mercedes in '03, the personality stills comes out from time to time -- and with good reason. So, what am I talking about?
I would define the behavior as a devoted fan of a band who stands right at the front of the audience, sings passionately along, moves various body parts to the beat and seems to lose his mind while the band plays. It's like the person is engulfed with spirit and does not hold back. With the return of Chomsky last weekend, I did not hold back in sharing my fandom.
I do have some ground rules though, based on previous concert experiences around other "that guy"s. 1) Do not push anyone around you. 2) Do not act like drunken hooligan. 3) Understand that you might get picked on for acting this way (but if you've been picked on your whole life, it's nothing new). 4) If you have a drink in your hand, do not spill it on people. 5) Do not constantly yell for a song the band hasn't played in years and probably will never play again. 6) Curb the random "whoo"s between songs and please never yell for "Freebird." Pretty much everything else is fair game.
With Chomsky, I was not the only person up in front going crazy. People to my right and behind me sang along and jumped up and down. Taking a few cues from hardcore shows, I did a lot of pointing to accent a beat or lyric. I might have looked like an idiot, but I didn't care. I find no harm in letting people know how much I love a band.
In my time of seeing shows and playing shows, live music is probably the closest experience I've ever had with pure joy and catharsis. The spirit moves me so much and I try to show that within reason. That's at least my perspective.