Taxonomy of an Indie Rock Show

There's something very special about going to see a formerly indie band, now signed to a major label, play a venue that three years ago would've been much too big for them. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the crowd gets a little schizophrenic. In New York, this generally happens at places like Irving Plaza, Hammerstein, or Webster Hall, where we found ourselves the other night, taking in the Modest Mouse show along with approximately 1500 other people. It turned out most of them could be broken down into several distinct categories, which we've outlined for you after the jump.

Big drunk guy: This guy used to play this band on his college radio show, and expresses his enthusiasm by pumping his fist enthusiastically in the air at random intervals. Sings along to all the songs, making sure you know he knows all the words. Best to keep a safe distance, lest you get punched in the face.

Hot girl who's never heard of the band: Brought to the show by her boyfriend, who's trying to impress her by taking her to a sold-out show that she could give two shits about, this girl tends to annoy the people around her by talking loudly during the set and going to the bathroom frequently. Distinguishing characteristics: low-cut top, Long Island accent.

Latecomers to the party: Whisper to each other, "Hey, is this the band?" when they take the stage. Genuinely interested, but have no fucking clue.

NYU students: Run around the venue like maniacs and generally behave as if they'd never been to a show before. "Excuse me! Um, my friend's over there?" Yeah, whatever, twatwaffle. The city isn't your dorm.

Skinny indie guys: They've been into the band since they were releasing 7-inch EPs from their basement, and it's, like, so lame that they have all these annoying fans now, but their friend who works at the label got them these tickets, so, whatever? Can be heard loudly complaining that the show at NorthSix in 2001 was so much better.

Stoners: Known for behaving as though it's the New Year's Eve Phish show at Madison Square Garden. Really, though, no one wants your contact high ... well, okay, maybe just a touch of it.

Label whores: Come in two varieties: the ones who work at the label largely to score a coke connection and go to shows for free, and those who date people who work at the label in order to score a coke connection and go to shows for free. (See also: skinny indie guys.) Sit in the VIP section, gloating and pretending that they don't notice the semi-famous people two tables down.