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Sunday, January 25, 2009

What was up with Audience in Sydney, Australia Neil Young Concert - 01/24/09???

Lots of reaction to the audience behavior at Neil Young in Sydney, Australia Neil Young Concert Reviews - 01/24/09.

From Tom:
This is the 3rd time I have seen Neil perform at the Entertainment Centre in Sydney. I was 21 when I saw him in 1985 and the average age of the audience would have been between 10 and 15 years older than me—the same could be said on Friday night. SO, we have the same venue—it is certainly a poor venue but the dynamics of the venue are the same as they were some 24 years ago). What has changed is the age profile—much older audience with greater variance (ie. teens—70s). Perhaps the audience had mellowed (presumably with age) but given there was only one concert (rather than 3 or more on previous visits) you would think that the more “hard core” fans got a seat. Moreover, I would have imagined the age profile in Sydney would be similar to most places around the world—so Neil would not be surprised by that and certainly not surprised by the venue—he has played there at least 10 times! The “laid back” crowd has NEVER worried him before in Sydney. Not much has changed here.

A challenge Neil has increasingly faced has been the diversity of his fans—but this diversity runs in parallel to his own musical changes. One the one hand you do get all those one-album Harvest folk wanting to re-live a snapshot of time with others (as the age profile of the audience changes) wanting different snapshots of time—from On the Beach, to Weld to Harvest Moon. Everyone wants a piece of Neil and the pieces are not all the same. But not much has changed here…perhaps only the extent of the challenge. After all he wrote the songs not us!

So what happened? He seemed to play with more passion than I can remember in 85 or when he was touring just with Crazy Horse. Or is that what I want to think as I get older? Neil plays much better when no one is competing with him—which Crazy Horse sometimes do? He certainly put in—and obviously felt he wasn’t getting enough in return! It is pretty confounding when you think that he sublimely played Words and within 3 minutes was hypocritically singing Just Singing the Words—BUT that is why we love Neil and why he isn’t pedestrian! What he has never done before is pull the plug and walk off early! That is what changed? His performance at the BDO was phenomenal—my two children can testify to that (as many on this site have maintained).

Perhaps he couldn’t back up 2 nights in a row?
Perhaps he wanted all the under 20s screaming back at him again?
Perhaps he was in a very bad mood from the start—and it wasn’t about us?

Who knows—but what is certain is that if he had played just four more songs (let’s say Hey Hey, Powderfinger, another new one, and any other song from the 100s he has!) we would have all gone home thinking the concert was totally amazing and most of the blogs would have been about the music and not the audience.

Don’t blame Sydneysiders—they haven’t really changed (apart from their age) and Neil knows them well
Don’t blame the crap venue—he has played here many times before and his dominate personality would have stepped in if he thought it was as bad a place as most of us think
Don’t blame us not dancing—the silent disco at the BDO was the day before!

NEIL just had to guts-it-out for 4 more songs! He didn’t, that’s Neil and that’s WHY WE LOVE HIM

Wagga Wagga

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At 1/25/2009 09:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You fuckers didn't show the love, so tough shit!

At 1/26/2009 01:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the show, but I just don't understand what all this "get up off your arses" thing is all about. Since when do you have to stand up to appreciate music? I got into Neil by listening to the records while laying on the bed. I never once felt inclined to stand up.

At 1/26/2009 01:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the Neil who didn't mind if the audience booed? Now if they don't kiss his feet he cuts the show short!

At 1/26/2009 10:09:00 AM, Blogger Greg McGarvey said...

"Since when do you have to stand up to appreciate music? " I agree, but we are talking about a rock & roll concert (barring a few songs).

At 1/26/2009 03:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect good ol' Neil wants to have his cake and have us dance to it too. He chose to tour Europe last winter in small ball rooms, seats only (150$ a piece), because he 'loves the sound of these old places'. So we got used to sitting through the show. And now suddenly he's pissed off because we won't jump up like beered-up assholes and dance? Come on! And by the way, the Time Fades Away tour was a different gig!

At 1/26/2009 05:05:00 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

In a stadium like the Sydney Ent Cent, the only punters who have the possibility of dancing around are those in the floor seats. A few hundred out of a few thousand in the stadium.
For those camped up high in the bleachers, it's not really an option.

At 1/27/2009 03:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same in Brisbane. No-one was up and rocking till he played Rocking in the Free World. The fun police didn't allow you to get up and move anywhere. you paid your 150 bucks for your 3/4 of a square metre and thats where you belong according to them. The playlist of songs didn't allow you to get into any rhythm. He'd bring you up and he'd let you down. But there is no denying the fact he is getting better as he getter older. Next time Neil, all seats within 50 metres of the stage are to be removed, standing room only, then the rest have to stand to. Easy.

Micahel St J

At 1/27/2009 06:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The venue was crap, the mix was crap, and Neil seemed completely incapable of ending a song. It's hard to keep the crowd cheering when every song just keeps going and going and going. Can't blame the audience for everything.


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