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Loudest gigs you've been to


JJTee

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Motörhead at Hammersmith Odeon 1985, their 10th Anniversary Party. 

They were deafening in the bar, with the doors shut, but in the venue part itself, well you know when a band is so loud you can’t hear yourself speak, well they were so loud I couldn’t hear myself think.

And there were all these pilchards shouting louder, louder. I nearly became religious and prayed for quieter, quieter.
 

 

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16 minutes ago, DylanB said:

Velvet Revolver at Brixton were so loud I couldn’t tell which key some of the songs were in. Just noise.

Was that 2008ish, if so I was there and although I love the band I couldn’t even tell which songs they were playing for much of that gig.

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Uli Jon Roth at The Railway in Ipswich (yes, a pub) about five years ago. It was so loud I had to watch the gig sideways on to the stage. Anything in front of the speakers would have been killed. It is the only time the volume had ever actually hurt. And, yes, I have seen Motorhead.

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Polysics at the Islington O2 Bar - not the main venue, the BAR!

It was their UK debut gig and having no idea if they would ever come a play this country again I was desperate to see them. Didn't realise quite how loud it was at the time until I discovered I could barely hear anything once they had stopped playing. Also no idea why it was so loud. I've been to other gigs at the same venue and seen Polysics on numerous occasions since then and not once have I had the same feeling of complete disorientation and inability to hear as I did after that gig.

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I saw Converge in the upstairs area of Glasgow Barfly circa 2007. It was incredibly loud. 

Mastodon in Cathouse in Glasgow circa 2004 was just ridiculously loud. I saw Dillinger Escape Plan there as well and they were pretty damn loud but the aggression of the music made the music seem louder than it actually was. High on Fire in Nice N Sleazys in Glasgow in about 2006 was borderline painful. 

Generally I don't suffer at the larger venues where the sound is controlled entirely by the PA. I generally only struggle in smaller venues where there is no escape from the stage sound or oversized PA subs for the tiny venue. 

Also Buddy Guy was blisteringly loud when I saw him. 

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8 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Was that 2008ish, if so I was there and although I love the band I couldn’t even tell which songs they were playing for much of that gig.

Think it may have been, or a year or two earlier. ‘Sound issues’ would be putting it diplomatically.

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16 minutes ago, chris_b said:

Since then, one of the loudest experiences, after Santa Pod, was seeing the Saints in NOLA a couple of years ago. The sound system must have been on 21. It was painful and I spent the whole match with my fingers in my ears!

Just on that Santa Pod thing (and for the OP, Motorhead and Manowar have both been pointlessly, painfully loud), I was at the TT a few years ago and some lunatic had brought a jet-powered dragster thing to loon up and down the prom for a show one evening. I was standing just the other side of the barrier (nearer than you can get at the Pod, unfortunately) when he let it rip, and it was as if you could hear the air tearing; it went beyond a noise into a slap in both ears...horrible...

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Long long time ago Terrorvision played a promo gig in either Virgin or HMV in Bradford upstairs. Not a huge fan but the singer liked them so we all went along and I found myself in front of the bass bin. I thought it would have been an acoustic session so did not bring ear plugs......I got punched in the chest with every note the bass played and my ears rang for about a week afterwards......

Years later met Lee Marklew as we both had Alfa 159 Sportwagons and only lived around 5 minutes away. At the time I was storing around a dozen high end bases (Aleva Copolla etc) for a local Bass Retailer prior to the LBS so  gave him a quick tour of them all, it would have been rude not to!

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3 minutes ago, Muzz said:

I was standing just the other side of the barrier (nearer than you can get at the Pod, unfortunately) when he let it rip, and it was as if you could hear the air tearing; it went beyond a noise into a slap in both ears...horrible...

I wear 28db ear defenders over 20db moulded ear plugs whenever I'm near those things!

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To this day , 2 gigs standout : Iron maiden on the metal for Muthas gig at the Lyceum . Paul Di'Anno was actually asking mr sound engineer to turn it up more . We lasted about 2 songs into the encore but couldn't take anymore , and even die hard muthas were leaving also.

Then there was the Mano war gig at the hammy o in '87 on the blow your speakers tour . They were good , lots of Marshall's on display 

My very first gig ( quartz, girl , praying mantis ) was ok until girl came on and deafened me . Didn't like them at all, but the sound was like the birds film . Lots of high screeching . Then again , it was my first gig...

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My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade tour, Cardiff International Arena, 25th March 2007. MCR were fine, but their support (according to tinternet it was either LostAlone, Rise Against or Thursday... I can't remember which) was absurd. I don't know if their engineer was trying to impress through sheer volume, but he failed. Nothing was discernible through the wall of noise.

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I went to many metal gigs (of many sub-genres) during the 80s and nearly always came away with ringing ears. Over time PA tech advanced and volumes dropped...


In recent years the loudest gig I've witnessed was 115dB (displayed on the soundman's rig) during a performance at the Supersonic Festival. But the performance was engineered to be uncomfortable in as many ways as possible: Volume, lit only with strobes, massive amounts of fog machines, the performers spread across the stage and audience areas and two 1/2 naked women to invade peoples personal space.

Second to that were LOOP. 114 dB in the Exchange in Bristol. Very, very loud, but clear as a bell.

I saw JK Flesh (Justine Broadrick) a few years back and the bass was loud and low enough to modulate your vocal chords. Not that you could really talk to anyone any way.

Special mentions to Sunn O))), Sleep, OM, Earth and Merzbow gigs.

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1 hour ago, toneknob said:

MOTORHEAD AT HAMMERSMITH ODEON

WHAT?

Loudest was the G3. Satriani, Vai, Fripp, Sheehan. I had a Nokia phone with a loudness meter (kind of). The top levels were around 126 dB. Me and my friends left after maybe 25 minutes. It was a disaster.

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43 minutes ago, itu said:

The top levels were around 126 dB.

You'll no doubt be either impressed or deeply appalled to hear that I managed to get 123dB peaks in my living room, using my hifi! It was uncomfortably loud, and I realise now it wasn't big, and it wasn't clever. Still got the same hifi, cos I just know...

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Status Quo at Wembley Arena in the 90s.  Our seats wer fairly well back and high on the side, I could feel the sound hitting my chest.

Didn’t put me off though, I went back a few days later, a friend finished up with a spare ticket.........

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