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.
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
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