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RAY AGAINST THE MACHINE

Hearing issues & loud gigs: what are the loudest gigs that you have ever been to?

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The WHO at Bingley Hall Stafford on their first tour after Keith Moon died. It wasn't just the loudest gig ever I think it's the loudest thing I've ever heard.

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When the sound gets so loud that it becomes impossible to hear the song that's when I leave. No point in damaging my hearing.

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Motorhead Bomber tour at Hammy Odeon. "Stand Back" says Lemmy, I couldn't get far enough away; ears ringing all next day.

The Who live for Kampuchea benefit gig, once again at the Odeon, I think late '79. Huge wall of speaker cabs, headache and temporary deafness.

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Basement Jaxx at the NEC. I was standing right at the back and I could still feel the skin of my scalp moving over my skull. Painful. Thankfully I had earplugs but it's really stupid when it's that loud.

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Motörhead were always touted as one of the loudest but at Newcastle City Hall in the late 70s, fearing I would die from the volume, I came away a little relieved to have both my hearing and my life. Ted Nugent around the same time was louder, same venue.

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[quote name='RhysP' timestamp='1457439984' post='2998512']
I've seen all the bands you would expect to be loud (Motorhead, Maiden, Judas Priest etc.) many times over the years but by far the loudest band I've ever seen were Asia at Wembley Arena in 1982.
[/quote]

I had the same experience with Asia in Wolverhampton more recently. Actually caused me pain and I scurried to the back.

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The Black Crowes at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in 95. Guitarists had 3 matchless stacks each. Insane.

But when I was 14 there was a world record attempt at Hereford Leisure Centre that involved as many musicians as possible playing the same song for as long as possible. Shawaddywaddy were the time keepers as it were, I seem to remember the drummer being incredible. However, every wannabe rock star from the sticks rocked up, there was Marshalls and Mesas everywhere and it was a proper p*ssing up the wall contest. My ears literally imploded from start to finish and I didn't have a clue what I was playing the entire time. (Established my career early on)

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Flaming Lips at Goldwins in Brum, some time in the 90s. Not a massive venue and the sound was tangible...like being pushed in the chest. They were ace.

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Another one for AC/DC in 1978 (Coventry Theatre).

And again another one for Slade - the annual Birmingham Odeon Christmas gigs after their 'comeback' at Reading (in 1979 I think).. Noddy Holder used to do the same thing each year:

"Is it loud enough?"

"No"

"Turn it up Charlie.."

And Charlie turned it up. Thanks Charlie..

Edited by Old Man Riva

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Swans, closely followed by My Bloody Valentine. The swans gig had me stuffing toilet paper in my ears. Bought a set of earplugs (earasers) not long after that.

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[quote name='jazzyvee' timestamp='1457532826' post='2999435']
The WHO at Bingley Hall Stafford on their first tour after Keith Moon died. It wasn't just the loudest gig ever I think it's the loudest thing I've ever heard.
[/quote]

I was there for that one, they were even louder at the Manchester Apollo a year later - I couldn't make anything out on the phone for about a week afterwards

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The loudest gig I've ever been to and not realised just how loud it was until I walked out half deaf (because it was engineered so well it didn't actually hurt) was Def Leppard at Sheffield Arena on the Slang tour in 1996. The loudest gig I've ever been to just for stupid, painful, unnecessary hearing damage was The Darkness' Carling Homecoming at the Astoria in 2003. The 'loudest performance on bass guitar' award, however, goes to Oliver Dawson Saxon at the Trades Club in Rotherham a couple of years ago - two Ampeg 8x10 rigs at full pelt in a room the size of a fairly standard pub was a practical education in how not to treat an audience. I left.

Edited by Ed_S

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Trivium at a small gig somewhere in Bristol, before they got "big".
As people have said, it was painful.
But the kick drum was the worst thing about it.
Felt like i was getting shot by a machine gun in the chest. For 90 minutes

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I've found the loudest gigs to be the smaller venue ones. The loudest gigs I've been to haven't really been named acts.

I think the most uncomfortable my ears have been was at a small festival in Chester. Small line array system cranked way too high. Since then I've been very careful with my ears at gigs.


Hugh

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Motorhead on Another Perfect Tour, 1983 or 84 it was, at Aberdeen Capitol. I had to leave (above reference to being shot by a machine gun in the chest rings true - it was actually becoming hard to breathe properly). I remember the perspex screens along the aisle at the back of the auditorium vibrating in their holders.

For excessive volume allied to utterly terrible sound, Extreme at Glasgow O2 Academy last year (or 2014?) was hard to beat. The PA was constantly distorting - you couldn't make out what tune they were playing at all. I later discovered that they were using the house PA rather than their own - the soundguy should have been sacked for incompetence. Sad because, judging by their performance, the onstage sound was fine.

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[quote name='Anfim' timestamp='1457985745' post='3003714']
Swans, closely followed by My Bloody Valentine. The swans gig had me stuffing toilet paper in my ears. Bought a set of earplugs (earasers) not long after that.
[/quote]

I was going to say Swans and then LOOP.

Then remembered a bizarre performance by a band called Lash Frenzy at Supersonic Festival 2012.
The idea of the performance was to see if they could make people uncomfortable enough to leave the venue.
So many fog machines and strobes you're eyes hurt, so loud your ears hurt.
Oh and a 1/2 naked woman invading people's personal space.

There's footage on youtube (not sure if the woman features at all)...

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UK on the promo tour for their first album, 197-something

Lancaster university.

Bill Bruford is the loudest drummer I've ever heard. When he hits a snare, it stays hit!

My ears rang for three days

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Uli Jon Roth, The Railway, Ipswich. It actually hurt so I watched the gig from the side of the stage kind of behind the PA.

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