13 Loudest Bands Ever
We’ve all been to loud gigs, but just how loud is too loud? And who indeed is the loudest? The pain threshold for human hearing is 120-130 Decibels, but any sound above 85dB can cause hearing loss or damage. Interestingly, the loudest ever sound is estimated at coming from the Tunguska Meteor event that happened near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in what is now Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia back on June 30, 1908. According to Wikipedia, “The explosion was most likely caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5 to 10 kilometers (3–6 mi) above Earth’s surface. It was measured with the similar impact of a 1000-Mega-ton bomb with a decibel rating 300-315. This is often considered to be the loudest single-event in history.” So that was a big rock that caused a lot of noise, but what about the act of rock? Just who are the loudest bands ever? Guinness will no longer recognize records in this category due to potential hearing damage so there are a few estimates in this lot.
1. Sleazy Joe
In 2008 the Swedish rockers reportedly hit 143.2dB in Hassleholm, Sweden.
Manowar apparently hit a SPL of 139 dB during the sound check at the Magic Circle Fest in 2008.
In 1996 the English House/Electronica band Leftfield caused dust and plaster to fall from the roof of the Brixton Academy when they hit 137 dB.
Hit 136dB during a show in Ottowa in 2009. This clip is from that gig!
British punk band Gallows wanted to set a new record so locked themselves into a studio and turned the amps up to a flab-wobbling 132.5db.
In 1986, Motorhead reached a reported decibel level of 130 at the Cleveland Variety Theater.
During the 1980s Back in Black tour, the group churned out a series of concerts at a whopping 130 dB.
8. Led Zeppelin
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has proven Zep’s big sound status by measuring a performance of Heartbreaker at 130 dB.
9. The Who
A record breaking 126 decibel show in London, 1976 may have contributed to Pete Townshend’s damaged hearing…
10. Deep Purple
In 1968 at the London Rainbow Theatre reached 117 dB. Three audience members were rendered unconscious!
11. Foo Fighters
When the Foo Fighters played in New Zealand on December 13, 2011 when, their concert was recorded on the GeoNet seismograph for the duration of the gig.
12. Blue Cheer
While recording of Outsideinside, they were forced to record some songs somewhere else for being too loud. The next session had people on boats 14 kilometers complaining they could hear the noise.
13. Spinal Tap
Well they did turn up to 11…