Joni Mitchell gives first full live performance since 2002
| Joni Jam … Mitchell performing at the Newport folk festival on Sunday.
Joni Mitchell gave her first full live performance since 2002 at this weekend’s Newport Folk festival. Mitchell, 78, joined country musician and friend Brandi Carlile at the festival to perform Mitchell classics including A Case of You, Both Sides Now and Big Yellow Taxi. During the 13-song set, Mitchell also performed the guitar solo from Just Like This Train.
Joining her and Carlile – who has covered Mitchell’s 1971 album Blue in full – were Marcus Mumford, Wynonna Judd, Blake Mills, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the band Lucius, and Mitchell’s bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth and Celisse Henderson: a live version of the private “Joni Jam” nights that Mitchell has held at her Los Angeles home in recent years with the likes of Elton John, Bonnie Raitt and Herbie Hancock.
“I just realised, Joni’s the least nervous person up here,” Carlile told the crowd.
As well as renditions of Mitchell songs including Carey, Amelia and Circle Game, the group also covered Gershwin’s Summertime, Frankie Lymon’s Why Do Fools Fall in Love and Leiber and Stoller’s Love Potion No 9. Watch videos of the performance at Pitchfork and read the setlist below.
Mitchell’s last full live show was at the Wiltern in Los Angeles on 13 November 2002. She last appeared at the Newport folk festival in 1969 on the same bill as Arlo Guthrie and the Everly Brothers.
To mark the 50th anniversary of Blue in June 2021, Mitchell shared a video thanking fans for “getting” an album that originally “fell air to a lot of criticism” – namely that her candid lyrics were undignified oversharing. She appeared at the Kennedy Center Honors gala in December 2021 – telling reporters, “I’m hobbling along but I’m doing all right” – where she was among the recipients. In April, Mitchell was named MusiCares person of the year and gave a brief performance at the ceremony to honour her.
Big Yellow Taxi
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