Can we say excruciatingly painful performance by the singer. Or there any other words , phrases that could be used instead?

  • Yes, that gets the message across...
    – user6951
    Apr 19, 2015 at 9:18
  • Awfully bad, terribly bad, very lousy.
    – Khan
    Apr 19, 2015 at 10:19
  • "Excruciatingly painful" would be understood as hyperbole. But it would probably just be "excruciating".
    – TimR
    Apr 19, 2015 at 11:04
  • 1
    You can go to a thesaurus and look up synonyms for "bad" and then use Google to see which of them tend to be used in reviews of musical performances. Your question is too open-ended.
    – TimR
    Apr 19, 2015 at 11:07
  • Lots of performing artists, and particularly comedians, use the verb bombed.
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 19, 2015 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


Bombed is a good all-purpose word, as Dan mentions. Other common phrases are blew it, stunk it up (slang, because the correct grammar would be stank) and sometimes loused it up or crumbed it up. A couple of more colorful ones are laid an egg and crashed and burned. Messed up and fouled up are a bit gentler, while flopped and fell flat are more polite terms.

Of these, a performance can bomb, stink, flop or fall flat, and so can an artist. Only the artist can blow it, or louse, crumb, mess or foul up (a performance). While it's possible for a performance to lay an egg or crash and burn, it's much more common for the artist(s) to do so.


The phrase you used works. You could also talk about wanting to throw rotten tomatoes, as they did for the premiere of Stravinsky's wonderful ballet, Rite of Spring.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .