Too Damn Loud

I’ve gone to several concerts and shows over the past few weeks:

  • Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally (May 10 – Peabody)
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson (May 13 – Peabody)
  • Rush (May 14 – Scottrade)
  • Zac Brown Band (May 21 – Riverport)

I enjoyed them all to varying degrees.

But I was rather disappointed by Rush. As seems to be the case too often, it was just too loud. It was so loud as to hurt my ears. More importantly, the loudness seriously distorted the music, making it hard to listen to.

All 3 members of Rush are known for their technical proficiency. To distort their music to that degree is an unforgivable sin. I was bored the first half of the show, because I had a hard time picking out words and melodies. I’m not a Rush superfan, but I’m pretty familiar with most of their music (excluding the last few albums). And I enjoy their music enough that I can appreciate listening to their songs that I’ve never heard. But not when it’s a jumbled mess.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We were in the pit in front of the stage at Zac Brown. I was directly below a huge stack of speakers. It was loud, but not to the point of hurting or distorting the vocals or music. So I know it can be done well. And I’ve been to concerts at Scottrade Center that weren’t so loud as to be distorted. (Although the problem seems to be a lot more common at Scottrade.)

So I don’t understand why bands would allow such crappy sound at their concerts. There doesn’t seem to be any legitimate reason for it, and it detracts from the concert-going experience.

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