A CHRONOLOGY OF APPEARANCES
Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001
 

1998.05.14  General Motors Place  Vancouver, BC

» This Concert is a part of the 1998 West Coast Tour.

Image Gallery   [click to enlarge, then arrow keys to browse]:
Ticket stub
Tour Poster
Photo by H. Ruckemann, © UPI
Photo by H. Ruckemann, © UPI
Photo by H. Ruckemann, © UPI
Tour t-shirt back [DougSprenger]
Tour t-shirt front [DougSprenger]
[thomas27]

Register or login to upload one of your own.

Related articles from the Library:
» Animated Dylan steals revival tour spotlight (San Jose Mercury News, 1998)
» Bob Dylan leads excellent triple bill (Jam! Website, 1998)
» Cool Dylan a hard act to follow in concert (Toronto Sun, 1998)
» Dylan Dominates Sizzling Concert (Victoria Times Colonist, 1998)
» Historic Night Like Revisiting the Past (Vancouver Province, 1998)
» Robert Holliston's Response (Toronto Globe and Mail, 1998)
» Rock legends bring out the boomers (Edmonton Journal, 1998)
» Stuff of Legends (Rocktropolis website, 1998)
» Trio Effort Makes Return of '60's Icons Memorable (Vancouver Sun, 1998)
» Trio, Fans More Subdued Than In their Rocking Youth (Vancouver Province, 1998)
» Triple Bill Thrill (Edmonton Sun, 1998)
» Unpredictable Icons Can Still Rock When They Want To (Toronto Globe and Mail, 1998)

Comments on this appearance


You can comment using your Facebook profile, or by registering and logging in through this website. Registered comments are indexed and are a permanent part of the website - Facebook comments are not indexed, and may eventually disappear.


» Register and log in to be the first to add a permanent comment.



Archival comments


Wally's Tour Report:

Joni played the first of the seven shows on her west coast tour with Bob Dylan and Van Morrison here at General Motors Place. The venue is huge, with over 21,000 seats; The show has been sold out for weeks, with ticket demand fierce up to the last minute due to the possibility of additional seating space opening up.

Joni's set was sandwiched between Van's and Bob's. She appeared centerstage with her brown VG-8 guitar, dressed in a long clingy houndstooth yellow skirt with black threading, a blue blouse with brass clasps, a blue-black jacket and black strapped shoes. Larry Klein stood directly to her left on bass, while Brian Blade sat at her far left on drums (the drum set was facing Joni instead of the audience, an unusual configuration). Pedal steel guitarist Greg Liesz sat on Joni's right, also facing her.

She was in good voice and had a loose interplay with the band, playing for 75 minutes. She performed songs from almost all phases of her career, going back as far as 1969's "Big Yellow Taxi." She played that song and "Just Like This Train" solo. The audience was not the quietest I've ever encountered but Joni's fans in the crowd received her warmly.

One surprise was that Joni played only two songs from her next album, Taming the Tiger. Perhaps she's saving them for a solo tour after the album is released in September.

At the back of the stage were four hanging panels. These panels are a reproduction of a painting that Joni did of herself sitting on the cliff by her home north of Vancouver; the painting is somewhat reminiscent of the photograph on the cover of her 1972 album, For the Roses. These four panels together make up one of the paintings that will appear as part of the packaging for Taming the Tiger.

After her performance she grooved along to Dylan's 90 minute set from the side of the stage, wearing a hat to conceal her easily spotted long blonde hair.

There were three t-shirts available for Joni - one with the cover of Turbulent Indigo, another with the painting from Taming the Tiger of Joni and her cat, El Cafe, and a third with "Happiness is the best face lift...JoniMitchell" written on the back. A t-shirt and poster that promoted all three artists was also for sale. Surprisingly, also available was a lithograph of the Taming the Tiger painting, in both autographed and unautographed versions.

The setlist was as follows:
Night Ride Home
The Crazy Cries of Love
Harry's House
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Just Like This Train
Black Crow
Amelia
Hejira
Facelift
Sex Kills
The Magdalene Laundries
Moon at the Window
Refuge of the Roads
Big Yellow Taxi

REPORTS FROM THE INTERNET COMMUNITY

(From:yvrdemo@galileocanada.ca)- I just returned from the concert. GM Place was packed but there were definitely some seats to be had. Scalpers were out in full force. Van Morrison dazzled the crowd with one hit after another. His musicians were so tight and professional. Not one to chat with the crowd, he just did what he does best.

Joni came out looking great - rested and fresh. It must be love (a Saskatoon boy, I hear!) She played mostly new stuff but a few of her older songs as well (not as many as I would have liked - I would have killed to hear "A Case of You" but not a dulcimer was in sight.) She accompanied herself on an electric guitar. The sound was a bit jumbled at the beginning but they seemed to get it sorted out pretty quickly. Because of her open tuning style of playing, many of her songs have a similar ring but what comes through so clearly is her ability to paint a picture with her music and lyrics. That never changes. She did one encore ending with a solo version of "Big Yellow Taxi" which everyone really seemed to get into. She was great.

LG - another transplanted Saskatonian.

(From: Patrick Corrigan )- I was mesmerized. I never thought that Joni would be so powerful in performance. I always thought she liked to make things and move on. Wow!! Though I had heard most of the songs in the set hundreds or thousands of times, wonderful compelling revelations were made to me during her sensual, cerebral and confoundingly poetic testimony. She was gorgeous and relaxed, played and sang masterfully, basically altering my universe in ways I won't and probably can't explain. I am so very grateful.

Patrick

(From: Cul Heath )- The fun began and the word was made flesh at Chardonnay's restaurant in Vancouver. We of the List, Kenny & Steve form NY, Chris & Ken from Montreal, Roberto and Brian from Victoria, Brett from Calgary and I met,drank, laughed talked about everything including how strange but great it was to finally put real-time personalities to the posts. "Oh...you're THAT Ken!" and so-on...

After eating most of the group walked the few blocks to the arena and a night of dreams come true. I drove Roberto to his hotel where we unloaded a couple of guitars and cameras,etc. for the after concert fete.

We arrived by cab about 30 minutes before show time and went to our respective entry gates. I went in immediately to scope the scene. It was nice new hall with a huge array of speakers and lights suspended over a sparse stage. As people trickled in, I wondered what percentage of them were here to see Joni. From snippets of conversation I took in from the people sitting in my section, the majority seemed more keen of Van and Dylan. One guy even said, "So, who's this Mitchell chick?"...I winced. I turned around and said:"Probably the best song writer on the planet." "How come I never heard of her then?" I just shrugged. I thought about that. How COULD someone never have heard of her? Not appreciate her...ok, I've encountered that, but never heard of her?

My friends arrived ten minutes to show time and we spent it chortling about Joni and just feeling great that it was going to happen.

Here's a first; at exactly 7:30pm, just as printed on the tickets, the lights went down and a man ran out onto the stage announcing, "Ladies and gentlemen,...Van Morrison. The arena was maybe 1/4 full, people still streaming in. It took maybe thirty seconds for the musicians to take their places and BAM! they were off into the first tune! That crowd spilling in lost their shuffle, I can tell you. Good for you!, I thought. Hey, we're middle aged, we told you what time the party was starting and the hell if we're going to stay up late again...lets get this show on the road boys and girls!! Cool.

By the end of the second tune the place was packed and enjoying an excellent set. Very tight band and Van Morrison was right on the mark. I'm not a huge fan of his, but I thoroughly enjoyed him. There was a young singer with him that has the most incredible voice. He gets show cased in one tune and it will knock your socks off.

I ran out at intermission to load up on nicotine and assessed the crowd, which struck me as a cross spectrum melange heavy on the blues type.God, I hope they don't make noise during Mitchell.

Back in my seat, heart apounding. Then... Huge applause...as she entered...alright!! She's being received well. It begins...Night Ride Home...in heaven but for this booming bass, which at first I thought was Klien, but by the second tune realized it was coming from open strings on her guitar. It was eventually tamed down. When she started Slouching Toward Bethlehem, I was just in awe that she would even attempt such a deep song live. It was so Joni the uncompromising artist. And that played itself out song afyter song. She wasn't going for the easy,"hit" path that the other performers chose. She was being her demanding self all the way. Miss Integrity 1998. I loved it.

Of course it did leave some people in the dust and a general murmering was evident by the middle of the set. I endured this woman behind me who talked for two straight tunes and then turned around and told her to shut up! Her man friend said stuff it. So I said I didn't pay $80. and wait a decade to listen to her or him be asses. If they didn't want to listen they should go get a smoke or a drink or something. They stopped talking so I sat down. (Its great sometimes to have my American aggression come to the rescue. Several people around me thanked me out loud and I think that reinforced to messgae to the offenders. Anyway they didn't peep for the rest of the show.

Black Crow had huge momentum and I think was one of the best spots in the set. She plays with the melodies in the tunes alot, and by that, makes them even more interesting.

She did this introduction to Magdalene Laundries that was hysterical. In case she repeats it I won't tell you what it is. I'll just say that it has to do with advice from her landskeeper up here regarding her tendency to write "sad" songs.

I liked the solo parts the best because thing s were clearer and she seemed to emote more durings those spots. The drummer though is a perfect match for her. Really an amazingly adroit player.

All too quickly even the encore was over. But after a short discussion with Klien, she grabbed her guitar again and moved to the mic and said, "This one's for free, I want to milk this"...meaning the on-going applause.

What can I say, it was heaven. You'll love it.

I'll just add that we had a great time after back at Roberto's place talking laughing and playing music until 5:30 in the morning.

What a treat.

love, cul heath -----

(From: Frank Chaffee / John Gliessman )- My partner John and I were fortunate to enjoy the Vancouver concert from seats in the 15th row on the floor, due largely to the Joni Mitchell Homepage.

(A little background: At about 11pm one night I was checking out the JMHP and noticed a posting that tickets for the Vancouver show would go on sale at 9am the next morning. I had last seen Joni in concert at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in 1976. Since then, I had vowed that I would do whatever it took to see her again. So, at 4:30am the next morning I left on the 3 hour drive to Vancouver B.C. determined to be first in line to get the best seats possible. I was 5th in line, and purchased the 8 ticket maximum of the "best seats available." I'm still wondering how all those hundreds of people in the first 14 rows got their tickets. Anyway, Wally, thanks for the great service the JMHP provides.)

Anyway, Joni was in fine voice and the concert was a peak experience for meƒ. With one exception: IMHO the sound engineering sucked! The volume of the instrumentals overpowered Joni's voice, and too many chords were sustained over other chords, creating a sort of audio mush. I have always loved the way that Joni flirts with dissonance, yet always maintains a melodic and poetic through-line. Unfortunately, at the Vancouver concert the instrumentals frequently overpowered that through-line.

Before the tour ends, I hope the road crew has a chance to read this, and take these comments in the respectful spirit with which they are intended. Back off on the instrumental volume, let Joni's voice have some room, and encourage everyone to use a little less sustanato.

Despite that one gripe, it was wonderful to hear Joni interpret a lyric live and to follow her to those places only she can create. Thanks Joni, for taking it to the road again!

(From: Lori Century )- Here is a concert reveiw from a friend who went. I wish I could have been there since I adore all three artists.

I am neither a music expert or a fan club member of the great performing artists I saw last night, but I was there, at GM Place and took my place in history and these are the impressions I carried away. At first glance I saw mostly baby boomers, many who have never quite let go of the Woodstock era fashion-wise. But really, the audience ranged from sixteen to near sixty I figure. At 7:30 sharp Van Morrison belted out the first note to a stadium half full! The boomers were still in line securing their beers for the evening! Missing a song or two was not a great loss in my opinion. Van kept up for over an hour at pretty much the same intensity, but all done with a polished and tight full band sound which included a sax and trumpet. One of the thrills of a live concert is to lay eyes on the star in person. So I was disappointed to look down on this little guy in a dark suit with a wide brimmed mobster hat and sunglasses. Actually, he could have been Danny Devito for all I knew. The couple beside me, seeing my lack of binoculars, offered to share for the evening and after a time I could confirm, it might be Danny, just lighter skinned - who knows! Before my close up look I was thrilled with the back-up vocalist who had a wonderful range of sultry alto to soprano. I was too shocked to later realize that she was a he! I am still wondering how he sang like that. Van's vocals were also rich and fluid and overall he "done good".

Back to the concession line up during the break, the crowd was clearly content so far. "Hard to top Van" said the guys behind me. Being in the Joni camp, I shrugged confidently. And then it was time. The opening chords were sweet and familiar - finally a tune I knew, "Night Ride Home". She stuck to the electric guitar for her set, but kept it light for the most part. A few years back during an interview I recall her saying that she didn't like performing the old songs when the new ones were burning holes in her pockets waiting to get out. And so it was with a fresh but familiar sound of sad and serious songs, with a few insertions from "Night Ride Home" and "Turbulent Indigo". About halfway through the set the crowd seemed restless. Although I am a long term faithful fan, I am not of a "Joni can do no wrong" mentality. And so I have to say that vocally she was wanting. Her voice was husky and thin, but her fingers flew over the guitar strings. She seemed at ease and in sync with her backup. Perhaps it was the stage backdrop which was a West Coast shoreline scene from her place in Sechelt, hanging down in four long sections. The lighting crew did wonderful things with the colors. I think the most telling moment was when she was in part two of her encore. Off the cuff she said, "I haven't played this one in awhile" and broke solo into "Paved Paradise". The crowd was thrilled and responded loudly with adoration. Even though the lyrics are true Mitchell melancholy, the tune is upbeat and her set ended on a positive note.

By now it's 10:30 and we are only two-thirds through. Talk about value for your money. The thirty plus crowd looks weary and I see lots of coffee and ice cream flowing. As with the others, Bob Dylan is introduced without fanfare. Volume is up and my chest wall reverberates with bass. His band gets the best dressed award, all gangster like. But Bob is in one of his suits complete with white paten loafers (yech!). I have to say it was good music though. Here is where the youth in the audience suddenly emerge dancing down the aisles and stealing seats in the front section. Security is tightened and I admit it is sometimes more interesting to watch "Bubba" bounce them back where they belong. Mid-set the lights dim and all the musicians don acoustic instruments including bass and mandolin. This is the first of the evening, which is curious for a folkie line-up. My ears are relieved and soothed by the sounds. The crowd sways to "Mr. Tamborineman". But it's short-lived and Bobby goes out with an electric bang - fours encores to be exact.

The audience has been thinning out for the last half hour. I am staying put, hoping for some collaboration of all three, but it does not happen. It was like three separate concerts all on the same night. No one referred to the other. In fact, they barely acknowledged their fans. I would have liked more connection. Yet it still worked, fueled by devotion and expertise musicianship. I can acknowledge the gift they shared and the chance to listen live. And then it's midnight and time for 17,000 people to get home. Studying the faces I see under the tired lines, content, and I think of one song Joni played, "Happiness is the Best Facelift."

(From: Corinne Allyson Lee, clee@bc.sympatico.ca)-Maybe it is too much to ask that we get some of that same ol' feeling back, 19 years ago when Joni played the PNE in Vancouver. Darkened stage. Her solo encore, permed hair and austere but complicated, unconventional guitar artistry carried the haunting drones of "Woodstock" while we were taken back to a place of the bittersweet innocence of the 60s. Slow, steady chords decrescendoing into the darkness for her final exit from the stage. Completeness.

But May 14, 1998 left us with a sense of unrequited longing. She could almost have been just anyone. Only the occasional glimmerance of a familiar note, style of playing, tone of voice, hinted at the identity of a woman long remembered as an icon, legendary musical poet and visionary. Speculation that perhaps she wouldn't want to be remembered for her older, signature masterpieces. Or that she simply wanted to promote newer work. Nonetheless, disappointing because we came expecting to be treated to old favorites.

Etchings of 1979 will be even more steadfastly engraved in the corridors of my memory.

(From: halln@ibm.net)- Joni was enchanting once again. I had not seen her in Vancouver since the first Greenpeace fundraiser concert for Amchitka (where nuclear underground blasts were set off; Greenpeace arose in Vancouver from a group that previously called itself the Don't Make a Wave Committee until one fateful night when one person said goodnight with the familiar, "Peace," and another replied, "Make it a Green Peace," and an soon-to-be global environmental group was born). I think that concert was 1970. Joni played that night with Phil Ochs (now departed from this world) and a Vancouver band named Chilliwack (the lead singer, Bill Henderson, is still performing).

Joni's show with Bob and Van Morrison brought back a lot of memories, the heartache of lost loves in the '60s and '70; back then, Joni Mitchell albums were the soundtracks to our late night after-the-parties-were-over-and-let's-talk-about-life conversations that went til dawn. And then we would go down to Kits beach and watch the sunrise.

Some of the fans I talked to at the Vancouver show had hoped for more of the Mitchell greatest hits, but I thought her guitar playing was lucid and dreamy in a coffee and creamy sort of way. Her strumming was like brush strokes, splashing emotional color on her languid storytelling of matters of the heart.

Certainly the backdrop was the perfect accompaniment to the Canadian West Coast date -- the Gulf Island and Sunshine Coast are an essential part of the physcial and intellectual landscape in this part of the world.

My only complaint was the size of the venue. Too bad Joni didn't do as Bob Dylan did -- he played a 1,000 seat hall the night before that was, according to a friend who attended, mesmerizing.

Joni, you've been away too long.


Artwork by KEN CORRAL
First Set: Van Morrison
Second Set: Joni Mitchell
Third Set: Bob Dylan

JMDL Member Comments


JULIE: Top 5 reasons why last night's concertgoers haven't posted their comments to the list yet:

5. They're watching the Seinfeld finale on tape, of course
4. Still in the arena, lighters up, waiting for an encore
3. Quitting their jobs, leaving their spouses, and joining the tour
2. Out pursing those English degrees, so they can understand what Joni was singing about
1. Died and went to heaven, after Joni's set!

ROBERT: Hey everyone,
Just got home. And it's still difficult to put things into words, but: Joni was stupendous - she does nothing but get better and better. Her singing is so powerful, her playing unique. And the songs!! Utterly fantastic and awesome - the set was not in the least "self-indulgent"!!!

Julius has already posted the set list - three in a row from Hejira (and then one of the encores!) - a beautiful Magdalene laundries (she introduced it by telling the story of her Sechelt caretaker, who suggested she write more songs during the day, so there would be some happy ones. She went outside and "tuned to the day" - hard with all the crows - and came up with what she thought had the potential to be an upbeat number. Then she went to the store and made the mistake of reading the paper (the report of all the bodies that were dug up). "So, this is a nice happy one!) There was a beautiful (IMHO) backdrop behind her depicting Joni at home on the Sunshine Coast.

Black Crow was stunning. (High notes still there, Marsha - just a bit less pure than before but more than made up for in sheer power) Night Ride Home was a beautiful, moving way to open up. Then she shouted: "Hellooooo Vancouver!!! Hello transplanted Saskatonians!!!" And then introduced Crazy Cries of Love. Harry's House (no Centrepiece)

Just Like This Train was solo.

Wonderful introduction to Amelia (which was great to hear - and she made a couple of chord mistakes!!)

After Hejira, she went over and gave Klein a big hug, and the next song referred to Don :-D

There were a couple of bozos in my section - after Hejira some guy shouted out: "Play some old songs!" and an even more ignorant creature started to chant "Dylan! Bob Dylan!" The other Vancouverites may have similar stories for you from their sections, but it was too depressing. There are other things to do at GM Place - why didn't they just go into the mall and wrap their stupid fingers around yet another beer if they didn't want to be there??

I'm getting sidetracked. We shouted out "WE LOVE YOU JONI" and the naysayers near us shut up after that.

I nearly died when she came out for her encore and started Refuge - I was expecting only BYT (which she introduced with great humour, BTW). I am almost late for work and have to hurry up - if it's OK, I'll post again later when I have more time. You need time to digest an experience like this. Ken, Kenny and Brett won't be home for days - you'll probably hear from cul soon.

Merchandise for sale:

Tour shirts (great picture of Joni!) in Black or White ($40 Cdn) -
Turbulent Indigo shirts ($35) and Joni With Cat shirts ($35) - plus a t-shirt with "Happiness is the best facelift"
Joni With Cat lithographs for $105
SIGNED Joni With Cat lithographs for $210

I left before Dylan and perhaps should feel foolish but I don't. Hearing and seeing Joni live is a once in a lifetime experience no matter how many times it happens, and I can still hear her and her songs in my tired old head.

We had a fantastic time at Chardonnay's - excellent food and very patient waitpersons - and a fun time back at the Sunset which at least some of us are paying for right now...

Excellent to meet Ken, Chris, Cul, Kenny, Steven, Brett and hope it'll happen again soon!!!!

Still very overwhelmed.

Being in the presence of a genius does that.

She is peerless.

I envy everyone who's waiting in the wings!

Much love and will follow with further thoughts, Roberto

CUL: Very hung over...will try...

The fun began and the word was made flesh at Chardonnay's restaurant in Vancouver. We of the List, Kenny & Steve form NY, Chris & Ken from Montreal, Roberto and Brian from Victoria, Brett from Calgary and I met,drank, laughed talked about everything including how strange but great it was to finally put real-time personalities to the posts. "Oh...you're THAT Ken!" and so-on...

After eating most of the group walked the few blocks to the arena and a night of dreams come true. I drove Roberto to his hotel where we unloaded a couple of guitars and cameras,etc. for the after concert fete.

We arrived by cab about 30 minutes before show time and went to our respective entry gates. I went in immediately to scope the scene. It was nice new hall with a huge array of speakers and lights suspended over a sparse stage. As people trickled in, I wondered what percentage of them were here to see Joni. From snippets of conversation I took in from the people sitting in my section, the majority seemed more keen of Van and Dylan. One guy even said, "So, who's this Mitchell chick?"...I winced. I turned around and said:"Probably the best song writer on the planet." "How come I never heard of her then?"

I just shrugged. I thought about that. How COULD someone never have heard of her? Not appreciate her...ok, I've encountered that, but never heard of her?

My friends arrived ten minutes to show time and we spent it chortling about Joni and just feeling great that it was going to happen.

Here's a first; at exactly 7:30pm, just as printed on the tickets, the lights went down and a man ran out onto the stage announcing, "Ladies and gentlemen,...Van Morrison. The arena was maybe 1/4 full, people still streaming in. It took maybe thirty seconds for the musicians to take their places and BAM! they were off into the first tune! That crowd spilling in lost their shuffle, I can tell you. Good for you!, I thought. Hey, we're middle aged, we told you what time the party was starting and the hell if we're going to stay up late again...lets get this show on the road boys and girls!! Cool.

By the end of the second tune the place was packed and enjoying an excellent set. Very tight band and Van Morrison was right on the mark. I'm not a huge fan of his, but I thoroughly enjoyed him. There was a young singer with him that has the most incredible voice. He gets show cased in one tune and it will knock your socks off.

I ran out at intermission to load up on nicotine and assessed the crowd, which struck me as a cross spectrum melange heavy on the blues type.God, I hope they don't make noise during Mitchell.

Back in my seat, heart apounding. Then...

Huge applause...as she entered...alright!! She's being received well. It begins...Night Ride Home...in heaven but for this booming bass, which at first I thought was Klien, but by the second tune realized it was coming from open strings on her guitar. It was eventually tamed down. When she started Slouching Toward Bethlehem, I was just in awe that she would even attempt such a deep song live. It was so Joni the uncompromising artist. And that played itself out song afyter song. She wasn't going for the easy,"hit" path that the other performers chose. She was being her demanding self all the way. Miss Integrity 1998. I loved it.

Of course it did leave some people in the dust and a general murming was evident by the middle of the set. I endured this woman behind me who talked for two straight tunes and then turned around and told her to shut the fuck up! Her man friend said stuff it. So I said I didn't pay $80. and wait a decade to listen to her or him be assholes. If they didn't want to listen they should go get a smoke or a drink or something. They stopped talking so I sat down. (Its great sometimes to have my American aggression come to the rescue. Several people around me thanked me out loud and I think that reinforced to messgae to the offenders. Anyway they didn't peep for the rest of the show.

Black Crow had huge momentum and I think was one of the best spots in the set. She plays with the melodies in the tunes alot, and by that, makes them even more interesting.

She did this introduction to Magdalene Laundries that was hysterical. In case she repeats it I won't tell you what it is. I'll just say that it has to do with advice from her landskeeper up here regarding her tendency to write "sad" songs.

I liked the solo parts the best because thing s were clearer and she seemed to emote more durings those spots. The drummer though is a perfect match for her. Really an amazingly adroit player.

All too quickly even the encore was over. But after a short discussion with Klien, she grabbed her guitar again and moved to the mic and said, "This one's for free, I want to milk this"...meaning the on-going applause.

What can I say it was heaven. You'll love it.

I'm runnign out of steam here...but I'll just add that we had a great time after back at Roberto's place talking laughing and playing music until 5:30 in the morning.

What a treat.

Sorry this is so scattered...but my brain is still melting. Maybe some others will be more coherent.

ROBERT: To those who got a bit impatient waiting for Vancouver reviews, you probably didn't know this, but there was only one JMDLer in our party who actually lives there - and not exactly next door to GM Place. So, we partied hearty and then went about the business of getting back to our respective cities.

I promised to email several people personally. Please know that I went immediately to the Internet Cafe around the corner from our hotel, but every computer was taken. So, I sighed quietly and went to party central. Cul can vouch for me....

OK. I've been thinking of Joni and her marvellous, inspiring performance all day, of course. But I've got to get something off my chest. Fast forward through this paragraph if you want to avoid all negative thoughts. Maybe I need anger management therapy or something, but I've been doing a slow burn all day, partly at myself. Cul already told you about the insensitive (and that's kind) couple who talked all the way through two of Joni's songs. When that clown shouted out "Do some old songs" it actually sounded threatening - we had no way of knowing that this would be his only outburst. Then there was the woman who hollered out, "Dylan! Bob Dylan" - as if to say, hey lady, I didn't come here to listen to you! I don't care at all if people don't like Joni Mitchell or aren't interested in getting to know her work. It's their loss. But paying $90 for your ticket does NOT give you the right to insult the performers and distress other concertgoers. And here is my point: I let this ruin my enjoyment of two songs. I had to force myself to focus on the performance and not on feeling outraged and worried just downright offended, and that's how long it took. That's MY loss.

And knowing that these two ignoramuses haven't given this matter a second's thought just makes it worse.

My young friends Cara and Adam went with us to the concert. They know mostly early Joni - Blue and Hits. They loved everything, Cara fell particularly in love with Slouching Toward Bethlehem and Amelia, even though she was grateful for Big Yellow Taxi.

One last observation in this already too-long paragraph, and that is: I thought that review sucked! How patronizing! Self-indulgent??!! Jeeze Louize!! (I borrowed that from Julie and it says it all!)

I really enjoyed Van Morrison's set! It was so much fun, in fact, that quite a few people in our area were moved to smoke that stuff, which is, for reasons best left unknown to everybody but politicians, still illegal here.

Cul is right - watch out for that back up singer! Awesome.

Dylan and Morrison fans out there, please allow me this indulgence. Only 24 hours ago, I was listening to her and seeing her. To my ears, and IMHO, and all those things, she is peerless. The soundscape she creates is unique. Nobody plays guitar like her, nobody sings like her, nobody writes music anything at all like hers, nobody writes lyrics like hers. (To RickieLee, hoping to put a smile on his mug: that means nobody, man. Not even Sondheim. She's better. So there.) At our pre- and post concert celebrations, people often brought up lines and just asked, "how the hell did she think of that? Javex bottles on the tide??....." And nobody moves like her - she moves sinuously and constantly, pictures don't begin to capture this hypnotic, liquid quality she has. I'll stop now ;-) And she's sooooooo beautiful! Every song was a highlight last night because she put 100% into every one. When my friend Patrick and I were walking back to the hotel (via Internet Cafe, honest!) we didn't talk much. But he said one thing I can't help agreeing with (I think Cul said the same in his post): this woman has such integrity! Now you all have to learn how Patrick and Roberto became best buds: when we met in 1991, I mentioned Joni Mitchell, as always within 5 minutes. Instead of saying, "Oh, yeah, I like her too" he sang Cotton Avenue, word perfect. Head voice and all. Hey, I can think of less good reasons to bond!

OK, now I'll stop! ;-D

Forgot to say earlier that her spoken introduction to Slouching Towards Bethlehem was excellent. Also that Moon At The Window is quite a re-working!

Maybe she'll do more TTT songs - I was surprised there were only two.

Forgot also that posters were available for sale at $30 Cdn. The poster and tour t-shirt have written at the bottom: *Don't you dare miss it!!!* The photo of Joni is a stunner. I doubt very much that the signed lithograph (as Wally has pointed out, it's from TTT) is framed. It would cost more than $210.

So, we had quite a time at our bashes! Cul is an amazing guitarist and singer and we just kept going until we got complained about. And even after. Ken is also a fine guitarist and knows about open tunings: he could play on both Cul's guitars. After a brief lesson, I could manage one major and one minor chord, but was generally pretty atrocious. Cul and Ken both took pictures, which will find their way to Les, and then who knows? Kenny G. knows all the words and has such a sweet voice, and Brett sat eight rows from the stage (I sure hope he posts when he gets home....) Such nice people!!

It was a wonderful, unforgettable evening - from 4 in the afternoon at Chardonnay's, until whatever time it was the hay was hit, pure magic!

Thanks JMDL!!

Thanks Ken, Cul, Kenny, Brett (and all other Vancouver partiers)!!

And thank YOU Joni!!!!!

DUNCAN: First, i would like to introduce myself to all of you fine people. i am a new recipient of the list with a 25 year history of adoration for joni.

the concert had its highs and lows...van morrison was amazingly lucid. i had wondered what to expect given the history of oddball concert behavior i was warned of. This was just good old fashioned great blue eyed soul.....a very nice suprise.

on the joni front, i think her set list was really amazing. of course i also truly believe that hejira is the greatest album of all time so my opinion is probably a little skewed. the set list is probably one that would have worked much better at a solo joni show as about 20 minutes in she really began to lose the audience around me. by the end of the set my brother and i were the only ones left in our row. the group in the luxury skybox across from us had turned on the tv in the box and were watching a hockey game {gawd, those cheeseheads love their hockey!! ;-) }. the mood set by the song list was a little too dark and uniform for the casual listener but for those who love her it was abolutely great. i would recommend to her that she place another "hit" somewhere near the front end of the set to keep the unwashed masses interested. i know i will be accused of heracy but remember a lot of people were there to see van and bob. if i had a nickle for every derogatory joni comment i heard both before and after the set i coulda bought a lithograph!. one last "miss", while i love the sound that joni's guitar makes (VG-5??) it can be monotonous after 75 minutes. an accoustic moment would break this up nicely.

now for all that want to clock me for criticism let me say that i loved every minute of the show. hejira, with her deep, rich vocals was absolutely mesmerizing. i agree with an earlier post, you have to hand it to joni for her integrity. this set was not put together to be a greatest hits package. i think it was designed to reflect her mood artistically and honor her fans. i just think she could hold a few more potential converts in their seats with a little diversity and homage to the past. ok everyone...clock me!

by the way, dylan was fantastic too. i saw him about a year ago in seattle and he has lost none of his edge. the middle section of cocaine blues, tangled up in blue, mr tamborine man and stuck inside was nothing short of heavenly. each song was substantially modified from the original (bob's greatest gift) and it was like hearing greatest hits for the first time.

for those waiting to see a show you are in for a wonderful evening...

BRETT: After the Joni show last Thursday, I went straight to Ventura, where I was sailing for 5 days. The entire time, I wondered what people were saying on the list. And I must have repeated a hundred times, to my non-Joni fan friend, "Wow, that was fantastic; I can't believe I just saw the greatest show of the decade!" I wore my 3 Joni t-shirts the entire time - I was upset that I couldn't wear all 3 at once. Only at Venice beach did I get a comment or question, from a guy who is going to see her in Anaheim. I revved him up for it by a 10-minute rave review which permitted no interruption. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

I was in row 8, just right of centre at GM Place. No hecklers down there (the only words I heard shouted were: "Play Raised on Robbery" Joni heard it and, although I couldn't tell for sure, she appeared tempted, looked at Larry and then, I guess, decided to carry on as planned. She then played Just Like This Train, and a fellow behind me said: "This is from Court and Spark." Giving Joni lessons.) The people around me had either been lucky, like I was, or paid big bucks to get their extraordinary seats. The couple right beside me paid a ticket broker $250 per ticket. They were not therE to heckle. Joni kept us intrigued, overwhelmed, entranced. Yes, it was entrancing.

She came out smiling and proud - happy to be on stage in a sold out arena, happy to be at the top of her career, proud to be playing on the same stage as a couple of the big boys, proud to be getting the recognition she deserved as one of the greatest songwriters of the last 2 or 3 generations (How does one count a generation?).

Night Ride Home was brilliant; my mind supplied the cricket's rhythmic chant. Speaking of rhythm, I totally agree with Eric on the way Joni moves. Eric G. Postel wrote: She sways but not in some sort of gentle folk like unspecific matter. She moves to the beat in a very African way. She definitely feels the rhythm and all the things she has explored since Mingus. While I watched, entranced, I could not help but notice how fluidly she moved - her heart center obviously leading the way, controlling and freeing her body which moves from the hips, in a somewhat magical way. She constantly reminded me of the gentle sway of Nigerian women at various celebrations I have attended. The smile just flowed from that central source of happiness, pride, ability and magic that only Joni has. While I loved hearing Crazy Cries of Love, I couldn't help but think that I preferred "Love's Cries", and I think I substituted the words I liked. Kenny G has a theory on that change, which he'll probably share with you one day. As to singing along, I did, to each song, out loud, and I enjoyed myself. I couldn't help thinking a couple times of an old joke said to people whose voices, like mine, are no good Question, sarcastically: "Who sings this song again? Answer, innocently or self-rigtheously: "Joni Mitchell" Reproach, scornfully or sarcastically: "Let's keep it that way - (which is to say: I'm listening to Joni, anmd I don't want to hear your version of it, no matter how heartfelt!)

I sang anyway.

Harry's House was a marvellous gift, but it did not prepare me for Slouching. For weeks before the show, I'd been wandering around singing the title words, quietly but always loud enough to be heard by passers by. I love that song - it moves me to tears. It moved me there again.

Then, Joni took a step back - Just Like This Train - only to take a great leap forward. Black Crow was amazing - a rhythmically rolling, dynamic and forceful masterpiece. It changed the tone in the arena - at least in my section, there was hushed awe. And I thought: "Can this song really be more than 20 years old?" If only there had been time to have a little seminar discussion, build on our awe, tell her how much musical force she had, real, deep thrilling force.

But we didn't, we were off driving across the burning desert, flying toward the sun and crashing into the Cactus Tree Hotel. If anyone had told me I'd be hearing Amelia, I'd have told them they were crazy. I heard the opening words, looked upward, eyes rolled back and felt this overwhelming joy - Amelia, live! I couldn't believe it, thought I was dreaming and realized why she had played 'Slouching' - a revelation truly was at hand.

Then Hejira. Can you believe that? Over the top. I was lost, barely present - a soul floating around, dancing in dreamland. I love Joni.

Then came Facelift which has real meaning for me these days. My partner of 13 years has been away for 5 months at an Ashram - we're trying to figure out where we're going and whether we'll be going there together. I visited her there lately, and she is so happy that she looks at least 5 years younger, 5 years more beautiful. Happiness, for Clare, is the best facelift. But the change is real and profound, not superficial, which, rather obviously, is why it is the best. After the show, sitting around in Roberto's hotel room, Cul Heath said something like - she's my spiritual centre, tracking my personal life and times, guiding, comforting. I agree, but so deeply - and my partner has just had a spiritual facelift - you'd be amazed; I am amazed that Joni has so recently written about an occurrence that is so real for me. It's as though she was sriting for me. Much like I felt she must have been performing her show for us, for the jmdlers, the believers, since no one else could get it. (Is that idea anything more than purely pretentious?)

Sex Kills was the highlight for me. The lights all red and intensity abounding, Joni's smile disappeared. Her look was one of "Listen to me people - I've got something important to say (again); this is not only about music and blue, 'heavenly' scented smoke. I'm going to try to slap you awake with this. Can you still hear? Can you act? Can you learn? Change?" That version of Sex Kills changed my world.

The remaining songs, I loved, but it was denouement, waiting for it to end, hoping it wouldn't end.

KENNY: Hi Joni friends,

I got back into NY from my 4-day (turned 5-day due to problems on both Northwest and Air Canada) weekend last night and spent hours catching up on posts and reading concert reviews with great interest. The reviews from my fellow JMDLrs were so well written that I began to wonder what I could possibly add...but in the spirit of contributing to the list I'll just chime in anyway :-)

Though I'd promised myself that next time she toured I'd splurge for great seats, airfare and hotel ate a big chunk out of my "Joni budget" so I wound up 4 sections away from the stage on the left side and one level up, in the 25th row (read "my seats su*ked"). This didn't stop me from being totally hypnotized and mystified by the crisp, clear sound of her voice, guitar and band. Although visually she was an indecipherable figure (until a kind stranger loaned me her binoculars), she was in truly excellent audio form! Much has been said about the setlist, which I too found surprising for a mixed audience, but I was totally pleased with it (both Slouching Towards Bethlehem and Black Crow were huge and pleasant surprises for me). There was another (yes ONE other) big Joni fan in my immediate area, who screamed and applauded before and after each song...most were much more subdued, though everyone courteously applauded after each song.

During Amelia (midway through the set), I realized that the couple sitting and CHATTING to my right were becoming overpowering, and it was killing my appreciation of the event, so I had no choice but to get up and walk closer, and I wound up symmetrical to the left of the stage, one level up. The usher there asked me to return to my seat, but after I'd explained that I travelled all the way from NY and that the people in my section were noisy, he let me stay (standing, even though there were a couple of empty seats nearby -- Bob or Van fans taking a break, I supposed). Now I could SEE her and hear her, and life was good!

When she began Magdalene Laundries I stood awestruck. Ever since receiving tape tree 2 with the Just Ice concert from Toronto, I've been blown away by the absolute beauty of the guitar into here (totally muted and overpowered by production on the TI studio cut), there is just so MUCH going on, rhythms and chords climaxing into a percussive crescendo, then fading, then returning...she's like an orchestra unto herself, I can think of few other places where her musical gift is so evident...and when the music doesn't bring tears to my eyes, the words do (like some lame bulb that never blooms come any spring)...

When she finished the intro I was about to scream "you GO girl" but I was afraid of possibly distracting her, and of being evicted by the kind usher who was letting me stand there. But when she finished playing, I did scream "Joni that was beautiful" -- and I think she heard me :-)

It was great to meet other list members in Vancouver, both before and after the show: Roberto Holliston, Cul Heath, Ken Slarty, and Brett Code...all of whom were warm, witty, and FUN, not to mention full of great Joni insights. So sorry to miss Susan LA who was called out of town, but Roberto did a bang up job as substitute host.

Got to spend the entire day and evening on Saturday with Cul and his partner Robert -- brunch, some sightseeing, some drinks in our hotel room with a VIEW on the 32nd floor, then a club with a great band. You guys were delightful hosts, Steve and I can't wait to reciprocate when you come to NYC!

BRETT: Yesterday, I posted my 'review' of the Vancouver show. Between then and now, I've read all the other reviews and comments that have been posted. Thank you - all emotion and abstraction - and very satisfying.

What's missing is more detail on the jmdl meetings, dinners, parties, etc. Maybe you all burned yourselves out on that subject when you discussed the Pittsburgh Gathering.

For me, meeting the other jmdlers - Roberto, Cul, Kenny, Ken and partners - was a significant part of the evening, which made it more of an event than it might otherwise have been.

We were meeting for dinner before, and I was nervous about it - didn't know how I should dress, whether I should show up on time, whether I should show up at all. Finally, just did it - and I'm glad I did. A fine, casual atmosphere in a quiet restaurant made it easy to hear and be heard, so we got to know each other a little better.

The party afterwards was terrific. I showed up late, because I ran in to a couple old friends and had to talk to them for a while, but I finally arrived and it was in full swing. Got off the elevator and knew where to go - follow the sound of the guitar playing Joni. Really, cool - everone sitting around in a circle, a little food and drink, a little smoke, big smiles of welcome, and back to the discussion, the singing, the celebration of a big event.

The magic of the show could so easily have been destroyed by any negative energy or commentary. It was great to be around people who loved it and kept on loving it - resonated with it, as Roberto said - it made the event complete. Also great to be around people who know all the words, who can play the songs and can be deep or superficial, whatever level you want to talk about Joni on. I sat rather quietly overwhelmed with the satisfying pleasure of it all, amazed at how much joy I was getting from the same people I was tempted to stand up just a few hours before. It really is amazing how much one has in common with other Joniphiles when, as Cul said, she is one's spiritual centre or at least of major spiritual, emotional or musical significance to one.

Regretfully, I had to leave at 3:30 a.m., since I had a plane to catch at 7. Wish I could've stayed all night. Still remember the hugs I received on leaving - kind of like seals, stamping the night with one final bit of magic.

Thank you, Roberto, for being our host, and to the others for attending. One day, I hope we'll meet again.

KEN: One of the themes I have seen in many posts is how loud mouths put a damper on the show for many of you. I had quite the opposite reaction. Where I was sitting it was for the most part very quiet. Too quiet. Of course there was clapping and cheering but I don't think I heard anybody SAY anything. I must have been in the couch potato section or are we actually getting THAT old!

I've been reticent to state my own feelings on the show as I'm not as fast a ducker as I used to be but non the less I feel it is my duty to be honest and fess up.

I flew from Montreal to Vancouver which for me is expensive for the main (but not only) reason of seeing Joni. If she had not been playing there I would not have gone.

What I was most unsatisfied with was that the songs she picked were(except for a few) so predictable. Most of what she did were songs that she has done live either on past TV sesions or in the many tape trees. Robert mentioned that he thought it was couragious of Joni to do those songs for such a crowd (mostly Dylan fans) but I thought it was lazyness. I would have much prefered to hear more songs that she has not done live before and more older songs(though not nessesarily her hits). Now that she has the VG-8 this should have possed no problem except that she would have to re-learn them. I was also not overly happy with the sound of the VG-8 which I find not terribly clear like her Martin or the fender-chorus guitar she used earlier. Maybe this was the sound system or maybe it was just my 40 something ears showing but this afternoon I had Ladies Of the Canyon playing on my CD player and my first thought was THIS is what was missing! Is it possible that I'm just another burned out old hippie who prefers her early work?

Sure.

Was I thrilled to see Joni live for the very first time? Yes

Was I blown away by the performance? No

For me the best part of my trip to BC was meeting the great people from the JMDL. I really enjoyed listining to Cul on guitar, the enthusiasim for Joni and our "boys choir" sing-along better than the concert itself. I can't thank the JMDL enough for this.