So I played a show this past Saturday at a local club. Nice room, very "warm" sound. The 75 or so folks in attendance pretty much filled up the main room, which has a tall ceiling and is deeper than it is wide. We do not have a sound man and basically mix from the stage. Drums are not mic'd nor is my bass amp. We usually mic the other instrument amps so that we can put them in the monitors but not the mains. We always consult members of the 'entourage' about the mix and levels. So, we play our first set at a very restrained volume. Minimal crowd interaction, quiet clapping but that was about all. The second set we take the volume up a notch and whammo! the place is rocking. In-between several of the songs in the set we inquire as to the volume, because it feels great on-stage. Nothing but positive response...The next day I ask a friend about it and she said we were "way too loud" and that it took away from the performance. I always strive to keep the volume in check so I was a bit concerned. This raises several questions in my mind...Whom do you adjust the volume to? The folks getting into it? The folks that want to hang out and talk? Consult with the bartender? Should people be able to sit 10 feet away from a full band (drummer and percussionist) and be able to carry on a conversation? I asked my friend why she didn't just move to the back of the room (she was in the suicide booth right in front of the stage)...and she said it was too loud there too. She did say we had a good mix and that she could hear everyone on stage and the vocals were clear. Some guidance on the approach you all take to setting overall band levels would be much appreciated!