LOUDEST Concert and Tinnitus

This is a two part question.

1. What is the loudest concert (or event) that you have attended?

2. How long have you had tinnitus, is it getting better or worse and how are you dealing with it?

Personally, the loudest concert was UB40 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Loudest event was drag racing at SIR (Seattle International Raceway) which was like sticking your head in a jet engine.

Regarding tinnitus. Over the past year or so I have noticed a constant high pitched "sound" in my ears. Mostly the left ear. At this point I don't actually know if it is constant or whether I just forget about it sometimes. I know use a white noise box when I go to sleep. Otherwise I tend to fixate on the ringing.


Lots of loud bands and clubs, and the ringing always stopped. Except for one fateful day. Treated myself to titanium dome tweeters for the car. Pioneer separates. Subwoofers. An hour driving to the fantastic The The - Mind Bomb as loud as it could go. Had tinnitus ever since. Over 20 years. Not too severe but it's never silent anymore. 

Loudest concert I've been to that made my ears ring for days was Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the Civic theater. It was a combination of loudness and a poor sound engineer that made it hard to enjoy. Ears rang for a few days after. 

Worst loudest concert was the Go! Team at the Black Cat in DC where distortion, loud volume, and a terribly designed acoustical space combined to make it painful to listen to. I had to resort to tearing off pieces of cocktail napkin and making impromptu ear plugs. It helped but only modestly. 

Best loudest concert was Front 242 at the Mammoth. I had ear plugs for that but they just didn't matter. Bass you could feel deep inside your guts. Chest getting hit w/ soundwaves and I was mid-crowd. 

I have tinnitus in my left ear and it's a constant high pitch frequency. Sometimes it bothers me sometimes not. I have to have absolute silence when I sleep because even white noise machines bother me.  


Bass you could feel deep inside your guts.


Yes, it’s quite shocking when you first experience it.

I’m too much of a coward to enjoy it, I couldn’t bear to damage my hearing. Music matters far too much to me.

The only times I have enjoyed being bathed in pulverising sound were those times when I was drunk. Unfortunately I’m not very good with drink, I have trouble knowing when to stop.

There’s been a few occasions where I let it get the better of me and then spent the next few days paying the price.

The last occasion, some 20 years ago, was so bad that I’ve never got blind drunk since.


There were a couple of mentions of Electric Hot Tuna and I would agree. I went to a Hot Tuna concert at Plattsburg State College in NY back in 1972 and it was deafening and painful. If I remember correctly, it was held in the gym so the acoustics were terrible. It was just LOUD. After a while it was like getting an earful of pain. I walked out after 3/4 of the concert was over and was half expecting to see many people in the lobby trying to escape the painful experience, but surprise, I was the only person in the lobby! In the car driving back from the concert with my friend Dennis, we were almost screaming at each other and we still couldn’t hear or understand each other. I couldn’t hear a thing for 10 days and looking back I’m surprised that I didn’t suffer long term hearing damage. I’m 70 years old, do not have tinnitus, and can still hear up to 16kHz. Lucky me.

Top three:

1. The Who 

2. ELP


The Who and Kiss were so loud and distorted it was hard to know what they were playing  ELP was amazingly loud and relatively clean sounding.