When it comes to obnoxious fans, only concert-goers can rival golf fans who insist on shouting “get in the hole!” at the tee box of a par five hole.
But the fans of Neil Young — he plays at the Pantages on Saturday night — pulled it off in Milwaukee this week and a music critic has had enough.
Writing in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Piet Levy says he expected the usual reaction when Young would play the initial notes of a song, but the number of “whoo’s” and “we love you, Neil” is over the top.
Maybe it’s time for concert-goers to be quiet and listen.
“You’re screwing up my tuning, making all that noise,” Young said at one point, one of the few things he actually did say Wednesday, but people in the audience still didn’t get the hint. The song requests kept coming between each tune, along with the occasional fan yelling at Young to “play what you want.” A guy even hollered happily as Young sang the sobering “War of Man” on an acoustic guitar.
During that first, often-interrupted hour, Young’s majesty at times diminished the distractions, as in during “Heart of Gold,” the show’s second song of the night. As he sang “And I’m getting old,” he certainly looked the part, hunched over his acoustic guitar, a gravity to his presence that was penetrated by the shimmering harmonica solo that immediately recalled the wide-eyed wonder of youth.
They might as well have been hollering, “Freebird!” from the sound of things.
Young is playing more intimate settings on the tour, but the crowd wanted a rock show.
The crowd settled down after about 12 songs, but the damage had been done; the vibe destroyed.
The night ultimately lived up to the special occasion as promised, but as Young left the stage, he walked past a pump organ that he never touched during the show.
You can’t help wonder, if the crowd had been more quietly respectful during the songs, if Young would have played a little bit longer.
Here’s your chance to be better than Wisconsin, Minnesota.