Recently we’ve been discussing the most face-meltingly, nose-bleedingly, bone-shakingly loud gigs. We asked NME readers about their loudest ever gigs, and received a phenomenal amount of responses. Paul McCluskey @pgmccluskey kicks it off with My Bloody Valentine. “I thought the ear plugs were just a fashion accessory. I was wrong.”
Sunn O)) at Coalition Brighton in 2012. Bits of the roof were falling off.” @beardyface remembers.
Metallica at Glasgow’s SECC in 2009. @pgmccluskey commments: “Outstanding, but I could barely hear the next day!”
@WaxenWebb chose Supergrass in 1996, tweeting “#StillRinging”
The Cramps. @RedJules4 tell us “(I) had a visit to the audiologist afterwards…”
@Antwright21 picked Velvet Revolver at the MEN. “Nearly blew the roof off!”
British duo Chemical Brothers, are “louder than the rest,” says @MortenMull.
@Ksal29 picks being front row at Swans at Pitchfork Festival this summer
Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club at Oxegen 2007 was “Amazingly Loud,” remembers @Andr3wCahill
@Thisisgorilla throws down “Fuck Buttons without a doubt”
“Tribes at the NME awards tour a couple of years back for sure, Johnny’s a screamer.” says Jack Etherington via Twitter.
The Strokes left a lasting impression on @KeiranCoyne: “Partially deaf in my left ear because of The Strokes at Benicassim 2011,” at which point we remind readers that it is a good idea to wear always ear plugs at gigs to prevent hearing damage.
“The Prodigy at Empress Ballroom in Blackpool! Ears ringing for days!” writes @LeeCee91
Primal Scream at Leeds Academy, 2008. Anthony Almeida @forwardtony tells us it “left the whole crowd deaf and blind! Everyone was shout-talking walking home.”
Pulled Apart By Horses “without a doubt” says @__PrettyGreen
Pixies. “I remember my professors all sounded like Peanuts characters the next morning,” recounts Neph Basedow
Interpol in Aberdeen was the loudest gig for @calumck87
@_Estocada_ suggests The Cribs at the Kasbah in Coventry. “The Jarmans ripped it up!”
“The Verve supporting Smashing Pumpkins at the Manchester Academy, ears still blissfully ringing 20 years later,” tweets @buckhouston
AC/DC “At the O2 a few years back…my ears actually cried. Lordy it was loud.” Sent in by Matt Hughes @devilmatt
@Sophiapatriciaa saw Green Day in January 2010 in Hong Kong
@SirLeonLopez goes for Queens Of The Stone Age. “Loudest motherfuckers out there”
“Babyshambles, but maybe because I was a meter away from the speakers…” tweets @kkasab1an
Rage Against The Machine was “one of the best shows ever in life” for @Carmentownsend
“Example at Earls Court had tiles coming off the ceiling!” tweets @Hoskin96
Watching Mogwai at Oxford Brookes a few years ago, @ModerateRock “had to kneel down to stop from passing out”
Tool at Hammersmith Apollo in 2006 is @DaveFawbert’s choice. “Dear God I thought my ears were going to explode. What a way for them to go though,” he writes.
OFWGKTA. @Adrians_Space was “At the front with bass-related stomach pains”
A lot of shouts for Motörhead. @Joeturner01 tweets, “In all seriousness Motörhead tore my face off”
“Spiritualized on the Ladies and Gents tour,” says @RJBrookes. “My cheek bones are still rattling to this day”
@Willjhodgkinson writes “I kid you not: it was Cliff Richard. But everyone else had hearing aids so it was alright for them”
Phoenix at Corona Capital “felt like an earthquake” to @kevin_fcb1
@_DouglasFIeming saw Skrillex at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange and was deaf for about three days afterwards. Don’t forget your ear plugs next time.
@LibertadorCymru was working as a venue manager at the Cardiff Students Union 1996 when the bass at a Skunk Anansie gig removed the celling tiles of the hall. “As venue manager I had to evacuate,” she writes
System Of A Down in 2005 was “a mental night, ears bleeding,” writes @gavinw1266
“Breathtaking” is how @StuMakey describes Iggy & The Stooges’ Raw Power Tour at the Apollo. Not jealous at all..
@Nannymctwee remembers going to see Crystal Castles, band’s who loudness can be very vocal. “The earplugs helps when Alice Glass is screaming in your ears,” she writes.
Pendulum in 2010 at the Braehead arena in Glasgow was “the bassist gig ever,” says @TheVeganLeather
“Probably Dinosaur Jr somewhere in London,” writes @AndyWh1te. “Somewhat concerned for my hearing for a couple of days afterwards.”
“I burst my eardrum at Glastonbury 2003 standing too near the bass speaker for Flaming Lips,” remembers @lizclough86, at which point we would suggest that wearing ear plugs to gigs is a good idea
Foo Fighters at Milton Keynes Bowl was the loudest gig @nathanlong26 has ever been to. “Sure Grohl was on a mission to burst 140,000 ear drums that night. Awesome gig though!”
“The Mars Volta, at the ICA in London, left me with a buzzing sound rattling around my skull,” tweets @Brennanski
“Rammstein were heard from a campsite a 20 minute walk at @RockWerchter – that’s pretty loud I’d say,” observes @Ryan_Blackwood
@tom_billson saw Future Of The Left “in some dive bar somewhere, absolutely brutal”. “Also Falco called my mate a prick,” he recalls
@Jules2020 saw Graham Coxon at The Rig, Nottingham. “Think levels had been set for Rock City,” he quips.
@SideTwoLtd remembers watching Napalm Death at The Old Market in Hove. “No coincidence that they were signed to @EaracheRecords. I was in pain for days,” he writes
“I was front row for Nine Inch Nails on the Wave Goodbye tour. My ears have never recovered. Especially after Wish and Suck #tinnitus,” writes Chris Brindle.
Vincent Pugliese had to pick his brain off the floor after watching Deftones at Terminal 5, NYC
“My hearing has never been the same,” writes Suzy James on Facebook. That’s what a My Crooked Vultures gig will do to you.
Mogwai is Rikki Vibes Harris’s first thought before remembering Cypress Hill, who gave an ‘oddly’ loud performance.