Last night a friend of mine talked me into going to a local club to check out a band he is trying to represent (he's an entertainment lawyer). Their from Minnesota but I can't remember their name. I was impressed that the band had a solid following in Chicago, being from hundreds of miles away. To me, that speaks volumes! When they came on and started to play, I got completely turned off! What was apparent to me was that they began by mixing all the drums so they're balanced through the sound system, then they turned up all the other instruments and vox to match the output volume of the drums. The only problem was that they were one loud, distorted, crazy, droning mess. I left after 1 hour in disgust, my ears still ringing the next day! To put this in perspective, this particular club has 2 rooms, both of which have the same crappy acoustics. But, the band in the second room sounded FAR better than the one I was there to watch. Why? While I definitely don't have a problem with loud music, I can't understand why a band, particularly one big enough to have a multi-state following (and growing???) can't ensure they have good sound. Here's my thoughts: a band is out to play and grow itself, perhaps take pride in what they do and have an audience appreciate their work. If they can take the time to learn the material (or write it themselves), practice, travel, and invest in good gear, why can't they make it a point to have a good mix? In the end, they're marketing themselves. If I don't like what I hear, I'm not excited to go back and hear them again next time they're in town.