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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Neil D The fine line between MUSIC and NOISE! (53* d) RE: The fine line between MUSIC and NOISE! 24 Mar 19

About ten years ago I saw Dylan in a mid-sized sports arena with poor acoustics. It was overly loud, but also the mix was bad. Johnny Sexton's guitar drowned out anything Dylan was doing. The only relief was the couple songs he did solo. Four months later I saw Leonard Cohen and the difference was like night and day. Firstly, the Cohen concert was in a grand old theatre in Cleveland's Playhouse Square, with excellent acoustics. (I can't really fault Dylan on the choice of venue because it was a hastily scheduled show to replaced a cancelled one.) Secondly, such great effort was taken to create the best possible sound mix at the Cohen show. At least 40 prime lower level seats were removed to block out space for the sound engineers and their equipment. Including the backing singers there were nine musicians on the stage and every note was pristine. Dylan's show sounded nothing like his records (tapes, CDs, etc), whereas Cohens's offerings were true. I have no intention of dissing Dylan or compare the two as to creativity. Both are in my top five all time, but the Cohen show was by far the most enjoyable I've heard and I've heard plenty over the last 50 years.

All that being said I still think some types of music absolutely must be played at max volume. I don't regret one second of the time spent in mosh pits, a few feet away from a speaker the size of a small house, at punk clubs during my misspent youth. Hearing loss be damned.

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