I first took a camera to a show back sometime in the early 90s. One of these days, I'll go through the shoeboxes and organize those shots. I remember going through rolls and rolls of film and maybe taking away one picture that was good. But that one was always such a sweet memory. I'd often blow up the picture and frame it with my ticket stub from the show or a bunch of stubs from a tour.
Then I got online and started sharing photos with friends and got more and more interested in photography and I went digital and started shooting dozens of pictures per show and getting more and more keepers and having more and more fun. Shooting the band in action became as much a part of my show experience as dancing.
Then the magic day - Ratdog, Norfolk, 3/18/06. My Sony point/shoot was out of commission, so a friend put his dSLR in my hands for the second set and said "have fun." Talk about opening up a new world of photography. One shot from that night alone made I took made me know I needed one of my own and a few weeks later, I was front and center at the Beacon Theater snapping away with a Rebel XT and a 50/1.8. A few more lenses, another camera body, and thousands of miles later, here I am today having more fun than ever combining music and photography.
To me, a great show picture isn't necessarily a technically perfect photo of the band or a band member. It's about capturing a specific moment in time that you can look back at later and it sums up the experience for you. It can be the crowd or a particular person in the crowd, it can be the lights, it can be something in the parking lot. But the biggest thing to remember is that if you don't have a camera with you, that photo will never happen.