By Thomas Cowley
The iconic heavy metal band Iron Maiden has a large number of angry fans due to the reportedly poor sound quality throughout the bands recent “Maiden England World Tour”. While the tour ran from late June 2012 until early October of this year, it wasn't until the band performed at Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden this past July that the sound quality was apparently so poor, that many fans are clamoring for a refund.
According to Sveriges Television, concert attendee Per Svedenbring said, “It's the worst sound I've heard in 40 years. I felt that I had been completely duped out of all my money...I would rather have sat at home and watched the concert on television.”
While some may say this is just the word of a fan and fans are never truly happy, a more professional party has also taken the same side in the issue. A review from MaidenRevelations.com stated:
“The sound where I stood was not critically bad, but some issues are obvious. The general sound level seems a little low for such a huge arena, and the guitars are sorely missing in the mix, with even the solos sometimes being hard to discern. Nicko's drums are booming and present throughout, but Steve's bass (of all things) go missing with regularity. There's something weird about hearing the intro to 'The Clairvoyant' without actually feeling the bass in your gut...It's been an ongoing complaint since the first gig of 2012, and over a year later I have to agree – the sound lets the band down, and is also a lot less than fans deserve.”
The bands concert organizer, Live Nation, disagreed. “Sound experience is subjective,” and presented an argument of their own saying, “Should a refund be considered for the concert goers who are displeased with the sound but not for those sitting beside them who are content with the sound?”
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but not being able to hear the instruments at a live concert would in fact seem “critically bad” to me. That would be like having entire portions of the screen go fuzzy and blacked out at a movie theater. Every ticket holder would be angry and want their money back, as would be their right. So why to we qualify a dramatic dip is sound quality as being “subjective”?
There are two schools of thought here and just to play the devil's advocate, I can see both sides.
Those who were angry or disappointed by the quality of sound have a fair stance in wanting a refund for a poor product that they paid full price for. However, a concert or a movie is a lot like a meal at a restaurant; you can't expect to get your money back after staying through or consuming the whole thing. If you really felt that it was poor enough to warrant a refund, then you should leave before the concert is over. Would it be fair to refund the money of those who walked out, but not for those who stayed the who time? And those who enjoyed it would not want a refund in the first place.
The bigger issue here to me is that Iron Maiden and their people had not yet solved a sound issue for a band after a year of complaints.