Not sure wtf spawned this thread. Maybe a bot but some interesting and entertaining replies since then at least haha...
Related to health though, I am curious, how many of you fine folks have, do or have considered wearing earplugs to metal gigs?
The reason I ask is that I do it all the time now. Aside from being a fan, I also play guitar and write etc. A few years ago, i began pursuing a degree in music theory and discovered part way through that I was having a very hard time with some of the finer points of pitch identification. Then I found myself in a very quiet environment (no computer hum or ticking clocks etc) and discovered I had a barely discernible, constant ringing in my ears. I ended up going for tests and such and was told that I have some mild hearing damage at certain ranges and that, although we all encounter some over age, much of mine could easily be attributed to my years of attending shows and rehearsals where my ears would ring for a day or so afterward. It could also be attributed to other factors like workplace noise from working on construction sites when I was in my 20's but I definitely have more damage than what's considered normal for someone my age.
It really messed me up at the time and I actually dropped the course as a result, although there were other factors and I may return some day. I don't let this stop me from going go gigs or playing or anything but it does kind of suck. So yeah, I've since found some pretty cool earplugs designed for musicians that cut the overall volume but don't target specific frequencies, thus maintaining the integrity of the performances I attend. Just thought I'd ask if anyone else had any similar experiences and maybe just a caution to others... If ya wanna be sure to still be enjoying your metal when you're in your 50's or 60's and so on, some precautions now may go a long ways towards keeping it loud AND discernible