First Caveat: I am primarily a club player and don't have a lot of experience with large venues. That said, I just did my 4th (or so) gig with a contracted soundman with 6000 W, massive subs etc. etc. We were one of several acts at a fairly large Scottsdale NYE extravaganza. Our front guy didn't feel like dealing with sound, and so opted for the contracted sound option. The fellow we drew seemed to have a lot of experience, and the gear was all top quality. However, it was just too freakin' loud. After the Scottsdale PD informed him that it would have to come down because it was violating the city noise ordinance, he brought the levels down, but the mix was gone. Played the last set without being able to hear the bass at all and came home with my ears ringing. And this is a blues/funk band. I detest large systems. I have never once, in my limited experience, played in a large format that sounded remotely good. They remind me of the overdriven subwoofers in the cars. I feel sorry for the touring acts that have to put up with this situation on a regular basis. I'll get back to my clubs where the sound levels and mix are musical. End of rant.