I am one of those guys that picks a band apart that im watching. I watch for positive things and ask does my band do that. I also watch for negative things and ask the same question. I always give positive support to the band im watching, just being kind. I guess its kind of a means of keeping myself in check.
A few years back one of the bands I was in was very Tool sounding. We were on a bill with a few heavier bands. The first band on I had good conversation with as we discussed current bands we were listening to. Those guys went up and were just incredible. I seriously felt ill and embarrassed by the band I was playing with because I felt like a hack having to dumb down my style to play in this band. Literally felt sick to my stomach and missed the next band too. Had no problem telling those guys I thought they blew us out of the water, that's for sure, haha/
Ha! You guys think guitar players can give attitude? Try being a middle aged white MC! Dudes will tell you they hate you on the mic! At least with a guitar you have something to swing at 'em with.
Its too easy to sit back and critique than actually walking up to the guitarist and striking up an intelligent conversation....
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Maybe it's because I'm older but I'm always complimentary of other musicians. As someone who works hard to improve I understand the time and effort that goes into learning to play any instrument well. I was a music minor in college and have dabbled with many different instruments over the years. I can be very critical of someone who thinks they are the worlds greatest and clearly isn't. That's normally more about their attitude than ability. I always check out what equipment is on stage and what pedals are being used. But that's because I want to understand what works well for others and learn from that. I've always felt that people who are most secure with themselves are people who are complimentary of others. People who are insecure or unhappy with themselves (or maybe just arrogant) are the ones who criticize everyone else.
The same guys that snicker and sneer at the performers are the same "know it alls" that come on these forums and insist they know everything about guitar and gear. They are the same guys that say accomplished guitar players (EVH, SRV, Clapton, etc.) suck and are overrated.