Why does rock concert sound suck?

I have been to two rock concert in the past year : Brit Floyd in Bridgeport CT and Eric Clapton at Madison Square Garden, NYC (last Monday)

For Brit Floyd I was about 40 feet form the stage and treble end was an ear-splitting distorted sound - the soprano solo on Dark Side of the Moon sounded like a chain saw running at 5x speed.

For Eric Clapton I was sitting at floor level about 20 rows behind the mixing desk - i.e., the opposite end from the stage. In this case the high top end was not so distorted, but the voices were still very harsh - seemingly a massive response peak at ~1500hz. Imagine AM radio with the treble turned up 20db.

I knew a lot of the words form the songs ahead of time of course, and just about recognized them, but otherwise the lyrics were unintelligible. The only exceptions were when he sang a quieter song - e.g., “Tears in Heaven” . Clapton moved back from the mic rather than place his mouth right next to it. Then the sound was quite listenable .

Of course managing the acoustics in such a big venue is no doubt a challenge — but does it have to be this bad?


Especially since they have had Rock Concerts for decades now and all the money spent, you would think they could do a better job.


Because they think that louder is better. Gone are the days of making good sound in any venue, The Dead and ELP come to mind for QC.

By now many soundmen are deaf above 5kHz.

In the 70’s I sat 5th row for ZZ Top. Loud AND sweet.

Or maybe it was the Mad Dog 2020.

Agree with above, the musicians are also deaf I went to see Carl Palmer at a small venue and he kept ordering the volume to be increased until it was painful and drove folks out, the same with Mick Taylor and also The Other Ones.

The House of Blues when in Cambridge was the same concert going should be enjoyable.

What's there to fix. Go to concert, look around, masses loving it, you, the audiophile cringing, too bad for you. Live rock concerts and audiophiles hardly ever mix well.

"In the 70’s I sat 5th row for ZZ Top. Loud AND sweet.

Or maybe it was the Mad Dog 2020."

I bet you still have a thumpin'  headache...