‘You’re way late’: Neil Young stops concert to tell audience they’re clapping wrong

Don’t expect Neil Young to keep on rocking in the free world if you’re not clapping in time. He actually halted a Carnegie Hall appearance this week for a friendly scolding.

“You’re not on the beat — you’re way late,” Young said, as the concert venue went quiet. The assembled crowd then burst into laughter before he jokingly threatened to “call the musician’s union.”

During this on-going four-night run, Young has dedicated “On The Way Home” to David Geffen, a cover of “Changes” to hero Phil Ochs, and a version of “Needle of Death” to Bert Jansch. Just don’t break the moment by clapping wrong, OK? Actually, the acoustics in the great hall apparently were to blame for the audience participation being out of time with Young’s performance — which has focused on stripped-down renditions of many of his early hits.

Young even took to the keyboard — echoing a key moment on his recently released Cellar Door concert — for a portion of these shows, which continue at the venerable New York City performance space tonight and on Friday, January 10, 2014. Young heads to his native Canada from there, performing with Diana Krall during a series of dates that benefit the legal fund for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations group.

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