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Neil Young Snaps at Clapping Fans, Chides Talkers at Concert: Report

By Michael Mullins   |   Thursday, 09 Jan 2014 02:42 PM

Neil Young seemed to display an edge toward some of his fans during a concert in New York's Carnegie Hall on Monday, telling them "wrong!" when several members of the audience started clapping along to a song, then refusing to resume playing until they stopped.

The 68-year-old Canadian rocker, whose career spans more than five decades and is known for such songs as "Rockin' In The Free World," "Ohio," and "Cinnamon Girl," appeared to talk down to his fans with a smile during the performance, Sky News reports.

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"It’s something that you probably don’t know but there’s a hell of a distance between you and me," Young apparently told his fans after he stopped performing because of the clapping.

"Just another perspective on a happy crowd," he added. "Funny thing about music."

Young also reportedly turned to a couple of audience members who were talking while he tuned his harmonica and told them, "You guys finished? ... No? You paid real good money to get in here, so you should be able to listen to each other," Sky News reported.

According to The Telegraph's Neil McCormick, Young's apparent grumpiness toward his fans illustrates the "increasing distance between performer and audience" in popular culture.

"The role of a troubadour used to be to sing for his supper; he was a provider of entertainment serving the needs of the audience," McCormick wrote. "The elevation of pop culture has turned that relationship on its head, with the entertainer taking on the role of artist, and the audience turned into acolytes, worshiping at their feet."

Young has yet to discuss the matter and according to several critics, the veteran rocker's concert was, aside from his apparent snark, one of his best recent performances.

"Neil's voice has changed with the years but still maintains its essential power, which was blissfully well-served by the famous Carnegie Hall acoustics," Billboard's Caryn Rose wrote.

Neil Young "treated [his fans] to an absolutely jaw-dropping two hour and 20-minute show ... [that] was, without a doubt, one of the greatest Neil Young shows of the past decade," Rolling Stone's Andy Greene wrote.

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