Ask yourself: When was the last time you went to a metal show that actually had great sound? Where you could hear both guitars clearly, all the solos, vocals and feel the punch of the bass drum and bass guitar? I don't really know if I'm just plain unlucky, but this is true for about 1/50 of metal shows I go to. I always have high hopes when seeing new local bands or other bigger bands that I haven't heard before live, but just about every time they start playing, the mix is all over the place. Guitars, or at least one of the guitars always get lost, the vocals are often overpowering and I end up hearing a bunch of mud with drums in it. And that's just horribly disappointing, every single time. Why can't metal sound good live all the time? People always tell me to stop putting stuff in my ears to dampen the volume. Well, ringing ears and damaged hearing isn't really for me, and all the shows I've been to in a medium/small venue are comparable to the noise of a fighter jet taking off anyways. I've tried with regular ear plugs, which totally destroy the sound, and "musician's" ear plugs which do just the same, and toilet paper which actually works like a charm. But not when the mix sucks. I'm thinking that what's ruining the day for the sound guys are the amps we constantly push to 11 to get our "tones", and the drums which are way too loud for controlled stage volumes. Then everything has to be miced and turned up to 12, pushing the PA to it's limits and just making everything incredibly loud. And now for the can of worms: Imagine the sound if the drummer played on an electric kit, guitars and bass through Axe FX's or similar, and the volume was low enough so that nobody had to wear hearing protection? Now that would be great! Wouldn't it?