I was downtown this weekend where we have tons of no cover bars with great music. I saw five or six bands this weekend (everything from country to hard rock) and I am still blown away at how loud many of them push it. Why? What is it with the volume? BTW, I forgot my ear plugs which I sometimes take at home. Most were mid sized places but even the folks in the back had to scream in each others ears to have a conversation. Some sounded very good and had a great mix but it was just too much. The worst offenders usually had a guitarist over powering every one. One had a drummer that was beating a snare so hard that it distracted from everything. These were mostly very talented people. Some bars were filled others not so much. Why do they play like this? Why do bar owners put up with it? I like it nice and loud especially up front but this was sometimes painful. There must be a reason because it is so common.