A CHRONOLOGY OF APPEARANCES
Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001
 

1998.05.21  Pauley Pavilion, UCLA  Westwood, CA

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

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Related articles from the Library:
» Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison (Mojo, 1998)
» Dylan & Company Full of Surprises (Reuters/Variety, 1998)
» Van Morrison; Joni Mitchell; Bob Dylan (Variety, 1998)

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Archival comments


Wally's Tour Report

Last night was show #5 of 7 and I decided to stir things up a bit. Right before Joni came out on stage for her set, I played assistant and joined Karl, my photographer, in the pit directly at the front of the stage. I smiled and said "Hi" to the other photographers there, including one of the guys I'd noticed video-taping Joni's performance at every show. I introduced myself as being from JoniMitchell.com, and he said "Oh, you're Wally! I'm Don Freed." (Joni's fellow Saskatoonian and current boyfriend.) We talked for maybe two minutes, then the lights dimmed and Joni's band walked out on stage. The announcer said "Ladies and Gentlemen - Joni Mitchell!" and Joni came out, picking up her VG-8 and walking to her microphone. The opening chords to "Night Ride Home" rang out and the show began. Standing just a foot from the edge of the stage, looking up at Joni and her band, was a new and unique perspective for me. She smiled at the photographers and when she saw me, she gave me a big grin, too. I was all smiles myself, of course, being so close to the source of the music.

At the beginning of the third song, all photographers (except Don and his assistant, Paul) were told to leave the pit, so Karl and I walked around and through the audience onto the stage at the right side, watching for a few minutes there with a small group of people. Then I went to my assigned seat for the remainder of Joni's set and rejoined an internet buddy, Bill Dollinger, who had flown in from Washington, D.C. for the show.

Joni was wearing the same red Chinese silk outfit she wore in San Jose and was very talkative, enlarging her pre-song intros with new stories and bits of information. For the first time she talked about how "Harry's House" was inspired by the movie "Diary of a Mad Housewife," which starred Carrie Snodgress. She talked (complete with a right on Irish accent) about how a young Irish woman came up to her and bitched about Joni writing "The Magdalene Laundries" because Joni wasn't Irish or Catholic; the woman was nevertheless going to play the song for her mother, who didn't know that she's married to a Protestant. In her intro to "Sex Kills," she talked about how she asked people about their conception of justice, even asking lawyers and critics their opinions.

Which brings me to the subject of the diabolical critics. Joni's stellar performance Tuesday night in San Jose was blasted by the San Jose and San Francisco newspaper critics. I simply don't understand how they could've missed how special her set was, but they did. Now Joni doesn't usually read reviews but just as she was boarding the plane Wednesday to fly from San Jose to L.A., some thoughtless person ran up and gave her one of the local reviews. Joni was, I think, naturally upset by the unfair criticism and I could tell that she was a bit angry and hurt last night. Not that anyone who was there for just that one show would have noticed, but I certainly did. Imagine giving the best of your soul and talent and being totally ragged for it. One thing that helped to save the day was the L.A.Times review of the San Jose show by longtime Joni supporter Robert Hilburn. He gave her an appropriately glowing review. I told Don Freed that I was going to print out the fan's reviews from the web and give them to Joni so she can read the positive writings from the only critics who really should matter - her fans.

Joni's setlist (the same as at show #4) was:

Night Ride Home
The Crazy Cries of Love
Harry's House
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Just Like This Train
(Band intro)
Black Crow
Amelia
Hejira ("I thought I heard Frank Sinatra crooning through the snowy trees...")
Big Yellow Taxi
Facelift
Sex Kills
The Magdalene Laundries
Moon at the Window
Woodstock

Seen in the audience and backstage were Jack Nicholson, Christine Lahti, Ed Begley, Jr., Sally Kirkland, Matt LeBlanc and Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees.

Reports from the Internet Community

(From: David S. Reich )-Wally,

After you read my "review" in the other message, could you relay to Joni's management (or give me a mail or email contact there) my request for a live album. Virtually no one has seen / heard that kind of music coming from Joni and it will just blow people away!!

Thanks,

David ---

(From: Gogsmith )-

"Heard it in the wind last night----

Sounded like applause--"

I gave a round resounding for her WAY UP THERE...I cheered, I marveled, I borrowed someone's opera glasses. I waited a long time to see Joni Mitchell (since I was a long, blond headed parted in the middle teen-"seems like many dim years ago". But, I always have one of her songs in my head. I've watched record labels go round and round, cassettes wind and rewind, and now CDs of the new and old spin like a dervish until they land on my selection. Plus, I can give one hell of a Joni concert myself (I sing pretty good if I am alone.)

Anyway-Last night.

I could go into a long story about how upset I was about our seats as we stuffed Johnson and Johnson cotton balls up our noses after buying tickets in February that were touted to be "great seats"- I stomped to the ticket counters, bitched to no avail, begged my date to scalp the ones we had in hopes of better, wondered just who I had to "xe.sdlsj", tip, etc. in order to get better seats and pouted most of the way through Van Morrison's set. I couldn't help but perk up When Joni's beautiful panels of the Gorge were raised and the lights dimmed.

First the set got me curious- drummer of to the side. What's up with that? It became all to clear as the concert progressed. Joni's performance is a psychic synergy where all the players connect-eye contact- percussion always reading the direction of the chirp. It was almost religious.

So, out she comes with Night Ride Home as her opener- Just a seriouly great song, made better live. It came out sexy, sultry almost making you feel like the wind was blowing in that 4th of July night sky. Different than the recording, but way cool.

I knew something was up though. By making the Night Ride so different, she set a tone for me communicating that tonight she reaches past what we would all expect and would play her songs truly as a set- changing even Woodstock at the end into a jazzy, melancoly nostalgia that made me think about getting back to the garden. I'll admit it- I loved hearing the new stuff but I am a sucker for the For The Roses, Wild Things Run Fast, Court and Spark sing-a- longs.

Heads were bopping and Joni could have just quit singing and the audience would have sung it for her. The Falconer boomed ominous-

"A whole album of Christmas Songs to suffer by"..... Please. The new stuff sounds great. The audience loved her humor, her stories,(although she might consider talking in sound bites- the press might cover her more) She opened up and let us in a little. Nice touch and a different approach than Van Morrison and Bob Dylan. Happiness is the Best Facelift- cracks me up! Just the melody lifting at the end of the line is almost a "dig" or a "just get overyourself" to the object of the song. Tee Hee.

Ok- enough. I loved it. But here's the deal. I am so angry. After my little travel through the internet to find out More about Joni. I found out there is MORE. Why isn't her record company doing something to promote this dissed DIVA, this treasure. Are they still waiting to see if "the next one in the nest will glitter". The proof is in the millions of fans who still buy the music even though it is invisible commercially. Joni is probably the most accomplished, sophisticated musician and artist of our time. But who knew. I can't get over it.

So, I am off to fill in my Joni collection. Maybe even make the drive to see her again tonight. I am sure I will get better seats. My dream. Joni on stage in Vegas. Very expensive, perfect accoustics, full orchestra (as appropriate) and no rude, unaware, wandering, disrespectful wanna bes. ---

(From: Greg & Karen Johnson )-I have mixed feelings about Joni's performance last night at Pauley Pavilion. She was drowned out by Klein's bass and Blade's drums so much that I wanted to shout to turn them down. Her solo performances were easier on the ears. I especially enjoyed her Woodstock arrangement and her interaction with the audience. Having been a fan of Joni's for almost 30 years I so looked forward to seeing her for the first time. That part of it was not disappointing but the fact that on some of her songs you could not hear her clear, crisp Joni voice was a letdown. Bob Dylan rocked like I couldn't believe. His choice of music and presentation was excellent. Van's band was very tight, his daughter has a GREAT voice and so does his backup singer. All in all I'm glad I went - now I can say I finally saw Joni. Karen Johnson

(From: Georganna Ahlfors )-

joni really dazzled UCLA tonite!! a bad cold seemed to nearly knock out right from the get-go but joni battled back with "a song inspired by the movie 'diary of a mad housewife'(a good little shot at neil ) and harry's house set the tone for the rest of her set... great story telling tonite led into a heart wrenching "amelia" , this one had me choked up... it was certainly a very turbulent indigo joni tonite.. such a treat to hear the stories behind such sad songs as "madgalene laundries", "sex kills",etc. joni seemed best when getting into her new(toy) guitar and its joni tunings... i swore i heard jaco in their on "hejira", for the rest of you joni fans , catch a plane only 2 more shows.... robert stire ---

(From: Frank Barron )-Just back from the relics of Rock & roll show at the Paulye Pavilion tonight. I didn't know what to expect with these legends after not hearing them perform for so long.

It's good to see these three artist who have survived all the past "acid booze and ass, needles guns and grass" to reemerge on stage tonight with all the thunder that comes with the best of them. Van Morrison has everything he started with and then some. A very beautiful and rich music he makes. Dylin is a great musician and can put a band together like no other. His band was magnificent, sweet and powerful and even haunting at times. Joni's set was quite different from the boys. As different as all three acts are from each other Joni still proves to be the maverick. Her arraignments of sounds mystify me still. She mixes it to be tangible to more then just the ere. For someone like myself I like to close my eyes to see and hear her music. I like the standup she did tonight as well. She's a great story teller. I wished we'd all had more time to hear more. Frank Barron ---

(From: Sid Andersson )-Hi Wally,

Bad seats, but great binoculars. Can you tell me what they had planned that got scrapped for Thurs @ Pauley during Dylan's set. Joni made some comment about joining Dylan on stage. Also has she commented as to why she's staying with the same electric guitar thruout & not at least going acoustic for a song or 2 (like Dylan did) or to keyboard or dulcimer?

Saw her @ the Universal Amph in 83 & can still recall the sheer heaven of hearing A Case of You on solo dulcimer. Regardless, her performance was enchantingly masterful & love her onstage ramblings & witticisms (especially the one about interpolating - G Nash's aka Digital PrintMaster's influence?) Thanks for the good web content. Lucky you. -Sid

ps curious how well the bands mix backstage

pss love her new Bjorkian cries, if you'll forgive the allusion ---

(From: Brian Webb )-Dear Joni,

I was fortunate enough to get seats (30th row approx) for your performance at Pauley Pavillon on 5/21. You were sensational! I have been listening to your music since 1972. (I know and love it all). I saw you on the Mingus tour at the Greek theatre and I also saw you at the Universal Amphitheatre on the Wild Things tour. You just keep getting better. I love the sound of the VG-8! It seems to free you in some ways. The band is excellent. The orchestrations are wonderful. I couldn't get over Brian Blade. One of the many highlights for me was Slouching Towards Bethlehem. That performance was so powerful It was as if I had been slapped silly. I was in such a state after you finished that I had to leave. I didn't want to have anything else interfere with the memory of what I had just witnessed. Thank you for creating and sharing some of finest art in the world.

Yours truly,

Michael Bell

P.S. PLEASE come back, on your own tour, just you and your band. I would love to see you at the Wiltern. I think I speak for everyone who loves your music. Best wishes ---

(From: George Maricic )-stamps of many countries, they had passport smiles, some were friendly, some were cutting, some were watching from the wings, some were sitting in the center giving to get something.

Finally got to see Joni in concert after all these years! of course anything she did was marvelous whether it was her beautiful guitar playing or even dropping her guitar pick. Joni was gorgeous, her style easy-going her band excellent(especially her drummer). my only complaint is that we couldn't hear her for two or three more hours or at hear her join in with dylan or van morrison. Joni you've been my hero for as long as I can remember. In that I'm not alone. How many artists hear their fans screaming, "we love you!" constantly between songs?

er ---

(From: Vevilla )-JONI ... IS THE QUEEN! I FLEW IN FROM FORT WORTH ON THURSDAY, MAY 21ST, FOR " HER " SHOW. SHE WAS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE ( FOR THE VENUES CHOICE, " ABSOLUTELY SWEET JONI " ). MY BROTHER AND I PURCHASED SEATS ON THE 5TH ROW AND WERE IN TOTAL AWE THROUGH HER SPELLBINDING SET. WHAT RICHNESS AND CLARITY WERE IN HER BEAUTIFUL VOICE. MY EARS BURNED FROM THE MOMENT I COULD HEAR HER GUITAR STRINGS. HER ARRANGEMENTS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BETTER. AS HER SET THICKENED , " AMEILA " , WOW, THE HAIR ON MY ARMS TINGLED ... THE ONLY THING I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE SEEN IS MAYBE ONE ACOUSTIC GUITAR NUMBER AND MAYBE ONE PIANO NUMBER AND MAYBE HEARING MITCHELL, DYLAN AND MORRISON PLAY ONE SONG TOGETHER. WELL, TO HAVE HAD THE ULTIMATE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE ALL THE SHOWS ! I ESPECIALLY ENJOYED HER SOLO PERFORMANCE. WHICH REMINDS ME OF THE LATE FRANK SINATRA SINGING THE WORDS, " I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT AND STILL HAVE BEGGED FOR MORE ... " SHE IS MUSICALLY AND ARTISTICALLY WHAT JACK NICHOLSON IS TO THE MOVIES. SHE IS " THE ARTIST" ! A FRIEND OF MINE WHO SEVERAL YEARS AGO LIVED IN L.A. , MET HER WHEN SHE VISITED HIS ROOMATE I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED I WAS NOT THERE TOO ... I GREW UP LISTENING TO HER MUSIC. SHE, THE POET, SPELLED OUT WHAT I TRIED TO SPILL OUT OF MY TANGLED SELF. I ATTEMPTED TO FIGURE OUT SOME OF JONI'S COMPLEX TUNINGS ON MY GUITAR. I THOUGHT BACK THEN SHE WAS TOO COOL .... TODAY, SHE IS JUST TOO COOL !!! SHE IS TIMELESS... A MAESTRO ... AN ICON ... YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW. AS FOR MY EARS, THEY ARE STILL ON FIRE ... THANKS JONI, FOR A MOMENTOUS EVENING .

ANNIE LAURIE ---

(From:Howard Motyl, howard@mpimedia.com)-I flew into LA on Thursday morning from Chicago. Seeing Joni live was a dream come true for me. But that's another matter. Were barely in our seats when Van Morrison walked up to the mike and began his set. Fine set--not great. As my friend, Kristin said, "Van phoned it in tonight."

When Joni was announced the crowd screamed. Throughout her set, members of the audience were repeatedly screaming her name and "We love you, Joni". Neither Van or Dylan received this kind of adoration from the audience. I had the binoculars in front of my eyes as she walked up to the mike and began "Night Ride Home". After this first song, I turned to my friend and said "The Goddess is among us."

Let's be honest here, folks, Joni's voice is not the clean, pristine one it was on Miles of Aisles. Too many cigarettes and the years have taken their toll. But man, oh, man, she sounded great. The band was tight, her smoky voice right there, caressing the lyrics and notes and wow, she was amazing. I couldn't make out any of the words Van or Dylan but Joni's words were easily heard--and appreciated. Her performance of "Woodstock"--with Joni accompanying herself on guitar--was unbelievable and brought chills. It was like a remembrance and an indictment of the loss of innocence. Her stories/intros were great and added to the depth of the songs. Her "Amelia" was the best I've ever heard--even better than the version on Hejira--somehow it was more real, heartfelt, pained. "Hejira" is such an incredible song anyway, but it sounded beautiful echoing through Pauley Pavilion.

And she looked great--altho my friend, who is a costume designer, thought the shoes were wrong for the rest of the outfit. Her hair was golden and straight (I saw pictures of her recently when it was curled and that 'do was a don't, Joni!) The panels/paintings hanging behind her looked like Maxfield Parrish and not Joni, but the woman painted there had a resemblance to the Goddess.

Sure, I wanted her to play another hour or two but She was incredible. She was right there--alive and great and giving it up for us. Thanks, Joni. When are you going on tour solo--in small venues--for Taming the Tiger? For a while last Thursday night, the Goddess was among us again.

Howard Motyl

Producer, MPI Teleproductions ---

(From:JSerkes@aol.com)-

When I read that Join was to appear in LA, I immediately called for a ticket. I live in Saint Louis and had a ton of work on my desk due that week, and took no time in working out the details. I arrived in LA in the afternoon, showered and headed to UCLA with my love. On the way, a wonderful thing happened. I was driving a Sebring Convertible, why rent anything else in LA, and along side of me was a beautiful Mercedes Benz with a bearded gent and his lovely gray tinted lady. She and I made contact on the road, and it just clicked. At the stop sign she looked at me and said "Your on your way to Joni aren't you?" With the same understanding I said' Why of Course," I not knowing where the heck I was going, followed her and her husband into UCLA towards some parking near Pauley. It was a Joni moment, and we met again at the show, and were sitting very close to one another. Just that magical thing you know.

Van opened and was incredible. He has a Van clone that accompanies him, who was breathtaking talented, and his band was great. The audience was into him, and rightfully so. He is an icon, unique and has written some of the best snippets of our generation that can be heard. But, I was here to see Joni, and when she came out, the whole auditorium just rose in admiration for her.

She started with "Refuge" and never pulled back. I tried to find Wally, but they would not let me down on the floor, I knew he was in the pit, so I just was comforted that he was there to revel in all of his work and love for her. Every song, every nuance was Joni. Her quips and tales were so enjoyed. He mastery in music and her techno wizatry added a new dimension of her tunings.

Her gear does it for her, and is a remarkable tonage. I adore her work and have since the 60's and this eve was just another opportunity to honor her work. She is a brilliant woman with the best political insight of our generation. Her work has become more minimalist and pointed, lyrics and compositions now reflect a simplicity of earlier work. "Taming" songs were great, Some reminded me of an earlier simpler time ion her work, with particular care towards composition. They are paintings much likened to the Picasso graphics. "Here I am" they say. I loved "Taming the Tiger" now I understand it was written when her favorite cat left for 18 days, though it's metaphor stands for taming the business, or the business taming her.... I do not want to critique the show. I want to thank the woman who has brought me into the light so many times, and astounded me with her insights and cultural brilliance. I love you Joni, you are the most important woman composer of our time. I miss Laura Nyro so much, and to have seen you up there with Larry was remarkable. How you two stand the test, and compliment each others talents and love is a testimonial of your class. The show was unforgettable. ---

(From: ANIEL@aol.com)-Joni @ the Pauley - Thursday, May 21, 1998

I traveled from Texas to see you ... You were outstanding. I knew you would be great, but you totally drew the crowd into your palms. Geez Joni, what a pleasure to see you play again! I know you don't like to tour, but myself, like so many others, love to hear your soothing, warm and gentle voice. Joni, I love the new guitar you're playing. It's like you added a whole new dimension to your style. You're such an exquisite musician, arranger, poet, painter and unparalled singer... Why one might think you were "spirit-filled" ... because you are just out of this world! You'll never grow stale. You'll always be like a breath of fresh air. The selection of your material was so fine. Each song was full. Each note was right on. I found myself trying to catch and hold each cord. Our plates were taken away but our bellies still growled for more.

Please never lay down your guitar. This music business thing must get tiresome with its fickled phases, however, I really can't think of any artist with the gift like you. God must be smiling.

Also, Joni, you looked fabulous. You've always had such style. Damn, you're just gorgeous! Thanks for a night to remember. p.s. I'm casting out my line "Come to Texas" just by yourself or with your hand picked band. I like the solo act just because it's so intimate but whatever you do, just come see us sometime.

Fondly,
Annie Laurie Hyde ---

(From: William Campbell, Managing Editor, editorial@pasadenaweekly.com)-Hi Wally:

Must relay my fifth-row perspective on the Pauley Pavilion concert May 21. I was totally blown away by Joni's sound. Her set was mesmerizing and intoxicating. I literally felt transported by her and her music.

You must understand, I'm no longtime fan of either Bob or Joni or Van. While familiar with and deeply respectful of them all, of course, I possess not one album by any of them. Fact of the matter is I won tickets to the show during a Jim Ladd show on KLOS FM, and I went because of a combination of the sheer superstar scope of the event AND the great seats. If they'd been cheapies, there was a good chance I would have taken a pass on the whole affair.

How happy I am that I didn't. To be able to discover such renowned artistry--for the first time... to hear Joni and Bob and Van like that was like discovering gold that had been hiding in plain site practically all my life.

If you get a chance to pass any of this on to Joni, please let her know that I fell in love with her that wonderful night near Westwood. Please let her know that her marvelously innovative sound is still in my ears and in my soul and I can't wait to hear it again.

Best regards,
Will Campbell

P.S. On a look-e-loo note, also spotted that night were Dennis Hopper, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan and Holly Hunter.


First Set: Van Morrison
Second Set: Joni Mitchell
Third Set: Bob Dylan

JMDL Member Comments

KAKKI: The whole evening has been a dream. Everything about the venue, concert and audience was perfect.

I don't know what concerts the annoying reviewers have been attending. I thought Joni was absolutely flawless from beginning to end. Joni was just fantastic....voice, band, everything......amazing. She got a huge, warm reception from the audience and there was no apparent heckling, rudeness or disinterest. Everyone seemed in love with her. All of the Jimdlers and friends present just floated through the whole night.

Have many stories to tell, including an entertaining encounter with Van Morrison and his entourage at the Bel Air Hotel bar after the show, but am too dizzy from such an incredible night to be very coherent right now! If the next two nights have half the color of last night, we will have a book to write before it's over!

More later.....

P.S. There was NO restriction on photos and Marsha snagged some incredible shots. Security was almost nonexistent - this is a reflection of the wonderful and mellow behavior of the crowd.


STEPHEN: This is probably wrong, but sitting in Sec. 204 on the Fri. Pauly show (Kakki YOU were there!!) a monitor screen could be seen down on the floor around the control/mix area. Blue background screen w/white letters that changed for every song she played. It is feasible that this could have been the tune/mix computer..my understanding of the VG8 was that the strings were never tightened/loosened (tuned), since the computer altered the tuning to match the computerized "input tuning". Am I way off here?


MDESTE1: Of course I could be wrong but from where I was sitting Larry Kleins set up had nothing to do with Jonis. I will add that furthermore it is inconceivable to me that a guitar player as accomplished as Joni is would ALLOW anyone else to mess with her set up in the middle of her set. The VG8 (if used) WOULD explain the times she stopped in the beginning of several songs to restart because with all the other electrical impulses flying all over the stage from PA's to monitors to amps to Mics there would be a high probability of interference that would have the potential to change settings created digitally by computer. Was Larry klein somehow changing her set up ? I doubt it. He appeared to me to have a very elaborate bass set up and based on what he was using his instrument more for tectures than for notes the probability that all his pedals were for HIS sound makes alot of sense to me. I would add that there appeared to be no connection between any of his movements and the changes in her sound throughout the performance I saw in San Jose. I was watching him closely because what he was doing was so interesting. I close by suggesting that it didnt appear to me that Joni actually DID alot of different tunings. She appeared to stay mostly in one or two but her positioning seemed to affect her sound more than tunings would have. Of course she will reveael me dead wrong in her next interview. :) Maybe she could enlighten those JMDLers who she encounters next. By the way she looks young and great BECAUSE she sings, it keeps you young. Try to name a singer who looks ancient.


KINGPIN: House lights down.
Blonde hair.
Crimson dress.
Brown guitar.
The first 6 notes of "Night Ride Home" chime through Pauley Pavilion "and so, with a touch of her fingers/Oh, she could make our circuitry explode."

I didn't travel from Kentucky to California to worry about the audience or the critics; I came to hear Joni play live. Through three nights, my anticipation never waned, even though I knew the setlist in advance. For me, each performance of each song is unique and in its moment. The fact that Joni customized the introductions each evening without repetition highlighted that point even more.

Joni's song selection was astute. I'm glad she tried to please herself since this ardent admirer would rather see her pick challenging or more obscure numbers. I've seen Neil Young many times and dread "Heart of Gold" and "The Needle and the Damage Done". Been there, done that, Neil. Do "Opera Star" or "For the Turnstiles", please.

I agreed with Julius as we discussed that the three Hejira tracks, "Black Crow", "Amelia" and "Hejira" formed the thematic nucleus of the show. "Black Crow" and "Sex Kills" shot into the stratosphere propelled not only by Brian Blade's sublime efforts but also Greg L.'s tasty, driving pedal steel playing. These two songs simply rocked in elegant fashion. At Anaheim, my seat afforded me a view of Blade's backlit drumkit during "Black Crow" and I found my hack-drumming self watching his FEET work the high-hat and bass drum for most of the song. Yikes!

Is it any wonder that "Amelia" and "Hejira" are road songs that should be performed live, on the road, that is? These songs connote motion and Joni rendered them with genuine emotional gusto. Anyone unmoved by this pair would have had to have been taking a restroom break.

"Harry's House" was delivered so earnestly that even this track gathered new meaning. Joni seemed so deliberate in its presentation. My favorite new track was "Happiness is the Best Facelift" which I had not heard until these performances. It has a fine guitar part and nice melody.

The highlight was "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" which was beautiful and poignant. We were so fortunate Joni chose to bring this to life. The band lifted this to its potential. On Thursday after this song, I spontaneously jumped to a standing ovation and suddenly fearing I blocked Barbara and Patrick, turned to find them joining me, of course!

While I found "Big Yellow Taxi" amiable, it seemed perfunctory and obligatory. "Woodstock" too, seemed labored and offered no new interpretations. If Joni tours, it would be nice to see her save her solo spots for piano songs.

I found the sound to be more than adequate every night, even in the capacious Pond. Van and Dylan were excellent appetizers and dessert. The entree was worth every sacrifice made to be there three nights in a row. Rather than take up bandwidth sounding like an acceptance speech, let me thank everyone who helped me there with tickets, rides, photos, CD's, tapes, dinner arrangements, etc. It was so fun seeing old and meeting new JMDL'ers.

As Phil and I exited Friday, two youngsters spotted our JMDL T-shirts and said, "Wasn't Joni rad, dudes?". With that comment, I realized two things. One, I was in southern California. Two, there is indeed a younger generation that can discover what we, on the list, have known for years: Joni is indeed a treasure. In fact, SIQUOMB.