Pet Peeve #34: Obnoxiously Loud Bar Bands

When I go to a bar–not a club, a bar–I’m there to talk with friends. Emphasis on the word talk. Not scream, not yell, but talk. Granted, it’s going to be fairly loud at any crowded bar, but there’s one factor that can really hurt your chances of hearing what other people are saying:

The bar band.
I was at a bar the other night where the band was playing so loud that it was as if they were playing for an audience in another bar, possibly another city. It was the type of band that takes nostalgic favorites like “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” and plays them with a little pep, as if people will start dancing and singing, but it wasn’t that type of bar. As a result, there were a hundred voices of people screaming at one another to add to the din.
Why do bands play so loud in settings where it’s clearly not appropriate? I think it’s ego. I think that the type of person who plays in a bar band wants more attention than they get if they just strum a guitar in the corner. They want people to hear there music and nothing else.
Bar bands, turn it down a notch. I bet you’ll attract a lot more fans if your music creeps up on them from the side instead of blasting its way into their attempted conversations.
Coming Up: Top 10 lists for books and movies, as well as my 2008 playlist.

4 thoughts on “Pet Peeve #34: Obnoxiously Loud Bar Bands”

  1. I completely agree with this! I'm so much less inclined to go to a bar if I know a band is playing there because 90% of them play too loud to allow for conversation, which is also my primary reason for going to a bar (well, that and getting wasted & imitating Leonardo Dicaprio's "I'm the king of the world" ship's bow performance on the corner of many a bar while receiving annoyed looks from bartenders and customers alike). I would love a bar with good live music that served to complement my conversation, not to overwhelm it.


  2. T-
    Next time we hang out, i’d like to see that imitation. You owe me anyway for the shot of Patron. I’ll be in St. Louis in 7 hours or so. Start practicing. I expect greatness.

    P.S.–I hope this is the “T” I think it is…

  3. Oh and Jamey, yes, you are correct. That band was extremely loud. But, they were very good! Van Morrison, Ray Lamontagne…you can’t beat that! Maybe I should be in a bar band instead of sitting in the corner strumming my guitar singing Bonnie Raitt or Amy Grant “Jamz.” Hmmm…

  4. Really? “They want people to hear there music and nothing else.”

    I am disappointed.

    Way to completely ignore your homophone-dar.

    Ya jerk.


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