Ridiculously loud rock concert – thanks for the pain, Foreigner

At the severe risk of being off-handedly dismissed by everyone as “an old fart”…

I have been to quite a few rock concerts in my years.  Some are good, and some are bad, but the good ones are so good that you keep trying and are sometimes rewarded by another good one.

My wife and I went to the Styx / Kansas / Foreigner concert in Ontario, CA on May 19th.  Kansas led the charge with 5 band members on stage, and did an admirable job.  The music was great, and the talent of the musicians shone through.

Styx came second (a little odd, putting the “headliner” in the middle, but I don’t mind).  They also started with 5 band members, then brought Chuck Pannozo (one of the founding members) on stage where he remained for the rest of the set, adding a his bass guitar to the fun.  Again, the music was great!

Third, came Foreigner with 6 band members, and they proceeded to run down their considerable list of hits.  The music was great yet again!  However, one thing spoiled it.  It was too loud.  Yes, I know rock concerts are loud, but this was stupid loud.  Kansas and Styx were loud, but at a good listening / experience volume.  The guys running the mixing board for Foreigner have apparently been doing this for way too long without earplugs.  We saw several other people around us grimacing from the audio onslaught from time to time, so I’m pretty sure it’s not just “old fart syndrome” on my part.  For me, being uncomfortable ruined my enjoyment of an otherwise great band.  It’s now a week later and my ears are still ringing (no I am not making it up).  That is ridiculous (see what Men’s Health has to say on the subject).

Not only was it too loud, but the mix was poor.  The vocals were frequently buried in the instrumentals.  Somebody on the mixer apparently really liked guitar.  What a shame.