I don’t like live albums generally, mainly because most of the ones I’ve heard have been by American artists in front of American audiences and what normally happens is the singer will start singing and then half the audience recognise what they’re singing and start whistling, cheering and shouting “yeah” at a volume that drowns out the music altogether. This wouldn’t be so bad but they do it throughout the song.
Showing that you appreciate that they’re playing a song you like is fine but what’s the point when you can’t hear the song for all the hollarin’ goin’ on. You might as well sit at home and listen to the album. It seems, like so much such behaviour, to be about self again – a kind of exclamation of how much more you appreciate it than everyone else, a kind of competitive congratulating, as though the artist will notice you specifically.
I don’t mind the audience singing along however, I myself remember singing loudly, along with everyone else in the crowd, to “Vienna” when Midge Ure played a free live concert here in Newark many, (oh heck, many) years ago. That felt like a magical experience, a shared experience, being part of the song as we were all in harmony with the singer on stage, but whistling and shouting “yeah” isn’t being part of it.
I recently heard an artist interviewed in the sixties mention that audiences in the UK were different, more attentive – that’ll mean less hollarin’, I’d assume.
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