Without the use of a sound level meter, the loudest concert/raves ever is subjective. The only way this can
be determined is by measuring the noise levels scientifically – gauging sound decibels during live
performances. Any volume clocking in at 85 decibels (dB) and above is considered dangerous because it
can lead to hearing damage/loss. Remember that ringing you hear sometimes after concerts? It is known
as tinnitus. In this article, we are counting five of the loudest bands officially, as well as the loudest gigs
they have ever performed.
These Aussie maniacs have always being one of the loudest bands in the world from the get-go, with the
help of their Gibson S G-powered wall of amps, accredited to the sole constant member – Angus Young.
The Back in Black tour (which ran from 1980 to 1981) saw AC/DC reach 130dB, but promoter complaints
forced them to cut it back a few notches.
The third album of these prodigies of speed metal, Everything Louder Than Everyone Else, is a testament
that Mötorhead have always been louder than most. Lemmy’s thunderous bass playing sees the band
regularly hit between 120 and 123dB.
One of the loudest concerts/raves ever has to be Deep Purple’s gig in 1972 at the 3,000 seat Rainbow
Theater, London. The 117 decibels of sound in such a limited space literally left 3 fans unconscious. This led
to the band being recognized and crowned by The Guinness Book of World Records as the loudest band in
During their performance of “Heartbreak” in 1969, Led Zeppelin hit 130dB of sound, which was measured
by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. To date, Led Zeppelin remains one of the most
distinguishable names in the history of rock – an earthquake that drove shockwaves through several
generations of musicians.
At 129.5 dB, these New York-based metal veterans were recognized by Guinness for the loudest musical
performance on the metal record books back in 1984. Guinness stopped keeping track of this particular
record soon after, perhaps after realizing that it spurred some risky hearing-damage incentives.
If the title still existed, KISS seems to deserve the credit for the “world’s loudest band”. During a 2009
show in Ottawa, sound level meters picked up a staggering 136dB, but the band was forced to tune it
down after some neighbors complained to the police.
The world’s loudest concert/raves ever are a subject of dispute among musical circles. Of course, volume
will also depend on where you are standing. The Guinness World Records does not recognize the “loudest
band” anymore for fear of supporting damage to our ears. But metalheads are not really interested in
official records. Everyone has their own axmen, their go to bands and beloved vocalists. How about you?
What is the loudest gig you have ever attended?