Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

June 30, 2007

Loud Crowes Coming Back to Nashville

Actually, the band is called the Black Crowes; they’re coming to the Ryman Auditorium at the end of August.

I saw them play at the Grand Ole Opry House in the early 90’s, and they were fantastic.  I’d like to go see them again, but I’m not sure my ears could take it.

At the time, that was the loudest concert I’d ever been to. It surpassed the Boston concert I’d seen in the 70’s by quite a bit.

As a former soundman, I’ve never understood the reasoning behind  making everyone’s ears bleed. I’ve often wondered why OSHA or the FTC or some other government agency hasn’t enacted some rule regarding sound pressure levels, either for the workers or the patrons.

There’s this myth that “louder is better”. It may be true to some extent, but louder than a jet engine isn’t better; it’s dangerous.

I started  wearing ear plugs to concerts and club shows about four years ago. I’d gone to a show at the Mercy Lounge and my ears rang for a month afterwards. I ended up having a hearing test that showed some damage in the 4kHz range. Luckily it was only temporary, but I learned my lesson.

That show at the Mercy Lounge now ranks as the loudest one I’ve ever heard. The performer was Sonny Landreth, and the sad part about the loudness was that it takes away the subtleties in the music. I’ve seen him at another venue since then and it was a lot better. I saw Hillbilly Casino at the Mercy Lounge a couple of months ago, and again, it was way too loud for the venue (even with ear plugs in it was borderline uncomfortable), which suggests that  the sound engineers they’re using don’t know how to deal with the live room.

Anyway, I doubt I’ll go see the Crowes. The ticket prices start at $35, and that’s just way too much to pay for a band that hasn’t had a decent album out in a decade.

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