A CHRONOLOGY OF APPEARANCES
Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001
 

1998.10.23  Target Center  Minneapolis, MN

» This Concert is a part of the 1998 Fall Tour of North America with Bob Dylan.

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Related articles from the Library:
» Dylan, Mitchell keep the old crowd coming (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1998)

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From JM.com's Official Reporter Brad Fors

Joni's setlist:

Big Yellow Taxi
Just Like This Train
Night Ride Home
The Crazy Cries Of Love
Free Man In Paris
Harry's House
Black Crow
Amelia
Hejira
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
Face Lift
Sex Kills
The Magdalene Laundries
Moon At The Window
Trouble Man
Comes Love

Joni came out solo at 7:50 p.m. with her Roland guitar and started with 'Big Yellow Taxi'(BYT). She was wearing a deep wine colored pant suit with solid colored pants and a seasonal, autumn leaves print on the jacket. It was very baggy, and comfortable looking, like lounge wear. She wore sandels with spaghetti straps and platform heals. She was wearing matching, wine colored toe-nail polish, a gold necklace with gold double hoop earrings, and one ring on her third finger, left hand. I was close enough to study the lines on her face. She looked beautiful and I think she's aging wonderfully. No longer does she have the thin, hollow cheeks and prominant cheek bones of her youth. Her face is full and round. I get to quote Elvis Costello here; "she pulls your eyes out with a face like a magnet."

The sound seemed muffled during the first verse, but it was cleaned up almost immediately. Her guitar playing was just plain funky on BYT. She was rhythm riffing like she was the ex-guitarist with James Brown and his Famous Flames. She included her Bob Dylan vocal impersonation on the "verse that Bobby wrote", and ended it with a little hip hop phrasing on the ending line that she has added; "Why'ja wanna go and do that, why'ja wanna go and do that?"

Next up was a solo performance of 'Just Like This Train'. It was slower than the album version and very soulful.

The band entered and she introduce 'Night Ride Home' as a song about a "magical 4th of July night." Brian Blade's drumming stood out on this one, as it did all night.

Then came 'The Crazy Cries of Love' with more amazing drumming from Brian. I've never seen a band with the drummer positioned out at the front of the stage before and there is a reason for the band setting up like that. Brian is the focal point and the driving force behind this band. Everything revolves around Brian. Such subtlety and such power (thanks to Bob Hanna for that one ). An unusual combination, indeed.

Next up was 'Free Man In Paris' and again it was Brian driving the song to new heights that the 'Court And Spark' version barely hinted at.

She followed that with a jazzy, and driving version of 'Harry's House', minus the 'Centerpiece' section. I wish she would still include that part.

Then the band launched into the first highlight of the night. A scorching, searing 'Black Crow' that rocked the house and soared like a black crow flyin'. Joni's voice was dipping and swooping like a bird in flight. Brilliant!

'Amelia' was next with Greg Leisz's suspenseful pedal steel guitar making it sound like a Bernard Herrmann horror movie soundtrack. Very haunting and down right scary.

Then came 'Hejira' with Klien doing his best Jaco impersonation. A daunting task, but Klien pulled it off without a hitch. Joni said 'Listen, I think I hear Chris Botti blowing through the snowy trees". When she introduced the band later, she introduced him as Chris Botti, boddy, Booty, like she had blown his name before and was now making a little inside joke about it. But again it was Brian's drumming that made the song unforgettable as he pulled out everthing but stone knives and bear skins to hit his drums with. He used brushes, mallets, sticks, and the topper was when he used his bare hands, on the cymbols and everything.

She followed that with 'Don Juan's Reckless Daughter'(DJRD). Halfway through the song she had a technical problem with the VG8. She had to stop the song in mid-stream and said "My 'machine' went out!" She went and pushed a couple of buttons and then she just picked up where she left off. I'm so glad she didn't abandon it and move on to the next song. It was so good it made me want to go and try to rediscover DJRD again, an LP that never got under my skin like the best Joni does.

Then it was 'Face Lift'. Nice, album faithful version; no surprises.

Next she introduced 'Sex Kills'. She said, "This song has taken on a whole new meaning lately, politically, and I'd like to dedicate it to Mr. Clinton. It's called 'Sex Kills'." Good joke. It was again very funky with Joni in supurb voice.

Then she told us the story of 'The Magdalene Laundries'. She obviously feels very close to this song. She sang it with such conviction that I swear I was able to hear the lump in her throat as she spit out the lyric with more venom and emotion than seemingly possible. Just short of actually singing through her tears; she seemed close.

Next she sang 'Moon At The Window' and I'll tell you, after 'Sex Kills' and 'The Magdalene Laundries' it was good to hear that at least "the theives left that behind."

She then put down the VG8, lit a cigarette, and came back to the mic transformed into a soul singing diva for Marvin Gaye's 'Trouble Man', with some stunning scat vocals; a jazz/soul hybrid.

Then came the show stopper. 'Comes Love', cig in hand, front floor lighting, very dramatic. For a minute I thought I was in some smokey jazz cellar in New York, circa 1939, "without a worry in the world. A glass of beer in one hand, and my arms around a girl." (I have to thank Tom Waits for that line, wish I'd written it!)

Her set ended at 9:10 p.m. She played for a heavenly 80 minutes.

The last thing I'll say is, if you think this is a glowing review, she was even better on Sunday night in Chicago.

Brad Fors

(From:sonoftow@bitstream.net)-Wally,

Joni's set was a wonderful event. I'm no reviewer, I'm far too enamoured of this talent to be objective. There were more of the old songs than I expected. She actually started with "Big Yellow Taxi" hammered out deliciously on her fabulous guitar. Her velvet brocaided outfit set her miles apart in beauty from anyone else in the entire venue. The venue, Target Center, should really stick to baketball but Joni can even overcome that. I brought my wife and 4 friends to sit sideways on the edge of the floor thinking that we'd be able to see over the floor seats but found our view blocked a full 1/3rd of the time by standing and walking patrons and security staff. Even through this dissapointing misrepresentation of a $45.00 seat, I enjoyed The Siquomb love of my inner world beyond my ability to express it. Oh, and Bob Dylan was ok too.

Mark Thoson

(From:jstein@concentric.net)-Joni was very strong but the sound system was lacking at Target Center. Sounded great at 16th row center main floor, but folks in the bowl seats were not so lucky. She opened solo then brought it up a notch with the band. She was very warmly redieved by a polite Minnesota crowd that sat throughout until it was time for her to go. No encore. My favorites were the Court and Spark numbers. The sound was much fuller for Bob who had the crowd on its feet for his entire set, just like in Duluth last night. Bob appeared to have a great time and was very animated. those hoping for a colaboration found none tonight.

John Steinworth

(From:ale@intersec.com)-First of all, we LOVE Joni Mitchell. We LOVE her band. We LOVE her lyrics, too bad we couldn't hear them at the Target center last night. I have waited 15 years to see Joni and was sorely disappointed in the sound system at the Target Center. It actually sounded like a tape being played on dirty heads. Sound was coming in and out, treble seemed to be gone, it sounded like they were playing inside of a fish bowl.

People were leaving, people were shouting "I can't hear you" and "fix the sound". It was rude to say that, but I think many people were anticipating a great concert. Joni doesn't tour that often, right?? And my husband and I were depressed watching all of this because there are too many people out there who don't appreciate Joni's music, and now they'll never know how great it is because of a sound system problem. We left and went home and put on our Joni CDs. After we got our money back from the target center.

My solution:

1. stay away from target center and similar domes (I and many others certainly will)
2. invite joni to come back to mpls and play at the State Theatre, Fine Line Music Cafe, Orchestra Hall. there are many who would pay higher ticket prices for a more intimate setting (including us!) and, after all, isn't that the type of setting that joni's music was meant for in the first place??

Joni, we love you and want you to come back to Mpls !!!!!!!!!!

Anne & Mike Endrizzi

(From:laugstin@pressenter.com)-Hi Wally,

We love Joni's poetry and are very grateful for the insight, solice, and understanding she has given to all of us. Therefore, it was wonderful to be at Target Center in Minneapolis last night to experience our first live performance and offer our applause. However, the venue was incompatible with a lyrical production and, except for those of us who knew what was being communicated, much of the audience was oblivious and unfortunately ... unmoved.

Diane and Lance Augustin

(From:jmkit@saukherald.com)-My husband and I saw the concert in Minneapolis on October 23. It was a dream come true for both of us to actually see her and watch her move as she sang her songs. I found her to be surprisingly fluid in her movements. She was beautiful to watch. The sound system was terrible, but I tried not to focus on it. I would think in this day and age that there is no excuse for not having all the levels correct so the sound would be perfect. She was animated and lovely to watch. I think she should return to the Twin Cities and sing at a better venue, like the Guthrie. I really enjoyed Dylan, but I don't think all the Dylan fans knew who they were watching in Joni Mitchell. She is a treasure..irreplacable in our culture. No woman has influenced music and musicians more in a lasting way than Joni Mitchell.

margaret kitterman

(From:imsdahl1@brainerd.net)-We loved watching Joni's body sway to the beat of her inner voice, we only wish we could have heard her lyrics! We had never attended a concert at the Target Center and never will again! We had balcony seats and we were so disappointed to have traveled so far for so little sound. The thrill of seeing Joni and Dylan, who was at his best, still made it worth the money. Yes! we agree the Fine Line would be a great place for her to sing for all of us, {Re: Arlo Guthrie, Mill City Music Festival 97} Also, in an over 21 club... we would not have to tell 14 year olds to be quiet and to stop spilling their soda, like we did with the group sitting behind us last night! We are more than happy to share our love of Joni and Dylan with the younger generation, but the groups around us seemed more intent on attending a social event. { Can't believe we are saying that...I guess we are middle age!

Mike and Paxie Imsdahl

(From:sydtech@sydtech.com)-My first Joni show! Fortunately, I had access to my company's suite at the Target center, which is located dead center facing the stage....I had a great unobstructed view of the stage (binoculars helped), and got the full effect of the sometimes spotty sound system.

First: a couple of problems with the show. Number one, I *really* hope Joni comes back to Minneapolis sometime soon as a headlining act - a lot of people were there just to see Bob, so a sizable portion of the audience just wasn't paying a lot of attention during Joni's set, which was a big drag. I also think (as mentioned in the other reviews) that she'd benefit greatly from a more intimate venue than a big shed like the Target Center (the Orpheum or the State Theater would be outstanding).

There were a couple of technical glitches during the show, as well - the first minute or so of "Big Yellow Taxi" had the vocals cutting in and out. Joni also had to stop in the middle of "Don Juan" when, as Joni put it, "my machine ran off on me!". It sounded like her VG8 switched tunings or something almost halfway into the song, and Joni had to spend a minute or so getting back on track ("bear with me here!") before continuing.

On the positive side - the music, of course, was glorious! Joni was in fine voice, and her guitar playing was crisp and confident, with Joni swaying along during the faster numbers. The band was super-tight - the unique staging (the drums are set up front at the right side of the stage, rather than behind the rest of the band, and everyone is angled so they're facing Joni) allows the musicians a lot of eye contact...Larry and Brian in particular seemed to stay in touch a lot with eye contact and nods, and really seemed to be having a great time.

Joni's stage presence was fairly subdued...she didn't move around much (swaying gently at times), and also didn't talk to the crowd too much (this was my first show, though, so I didn't know what to expect). She did chat with some people up front briefly, and intro'd a few songs: "Face Lift" was introduced as 'a Christmas song'; "Sex Kills" was 'for Clinton'; and she patiently explained what "Laundries" was about, even though at that point in her set the strictly-Bob portion of the audience was starting to get a bit restless. Joni also did a wicked impersonation of Bob Dylan during "Big Yellow Taxi"!

I'm glad someone wrote down the set list (I can never remember, and I'm too into listening to write it down). We were surprised that she only did two tracks off the new CD, but I was delighted that she dipped into the older stuff a bit more ("Free Man In Paris" was a big treat for me). It was also cool at the end of the show when she ditched the guitar and did the Marvin Gaye and Billie Holiday numbers....she lit a smoke during one of them and played the room like a jazz crooner at a small after-hours club...really delightful (hope the rumors of an album of standards is true)! Just before "Comes Love" someone came up front and handed her a dozen roses, which she accepted graciously (I almost thought she was gonna read the card right on stage, but she only glanced at it before setting the flowers down).

After the last number, Joni waved and thanked the crowd for coming to the first show, and that was pretty much it. We were hoping for an encore, but as soon as they were off the house lights came up and they started setting up for Dylan.

I can't really be objective, since I'm a big Joni fan. It was a good show, but, as I said earlier, I really hope she comes back through town on her own and plays a longer show at a more intimate venue....Joni's artistry certainly deserves more respect and a nicer setting than the huge pole barn that is the Target Center.

Scott

(From:BMi4985136@aol.com)-It was fantastic seeing The Artisan, (formerly known as Joni Mitchell?) up there on stage exercising her craft. I didn't think she would ever be back in Minneapolis so I was really excited to see her. Before the concert I wondered if her lag in touring would hinder her live performance level but as it turns out, she got up there and reminded us what it's like to see a true artist playing from their heart and soul. Her vocals and musicianship were great. She carried herself very well. Plus, the band did a great job backing her also.

I agree with most who wrote to this website that the sound in general sucked. I guess I was fortunate to have 6th row where the sound was tolerable. But, you could tell it was inadequate for the room, not to mention the room itself. It would be great to see Joni in a mid-size theater.

Thanks for coming to the Twin Cities Joni. On behalf of everyone here, please come again soon.

Bryan Miller

(From:RJDRUM1@CONCENTRIC.NET)-Hi Wally,

I just wanted to say it was a dream come true friday night at the target center. I had a front row seat slightly off to the right of Joni. She was sooo beautiful, and she sang like an angel. a true genius! If I had to pick a favorite artist, Joni is it, I never thought I would get to hear her sing from 20 feet away . I still have goose bumbs. Also, Brian Blade was amazing!. I hope I can see her again someday, if not, friday will last a lifetime.

Rikki


1st Set: Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men
2nd Set: Joni Mitchell
3rd Set: Bob Dylan

JMDL Member Comments

Dorothy: It's the morning after a great concert. If I never see her again, I will be satisfied with this.

Joni was in great humor and sounded fabulous. (I was scared to death she'd be crabby.) The band was tight and well rehearsed. YOU WON'T BELIEVE THE SETLIST!!! She opened with a jazzy, fun version of Big Yellow Taxi (including her fabled Dylan imitation), slid into Just Like This Train then played a new version of Free Man In Paris. I was shocked! (I'm going to get the order wrong here, other attendees please forgive me but it's hard to write in the dark when your eyes are filled with tears.) She also played Night Ride Home, Harry's House, Coyote, Amelia, (I can't believe I've heard her sing Amelia) Hejira, Crazy Cries of Love, Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (oh my god!) , Happiness is the Best Facelift, Magdalen Laundries, Sex Kills (dedicated to Clinton) Moon at the Window (to die for singing and playing) and then, guitar off, cigarette in hand, she did a wonderful Trouble Man (the woman still has a diaphram) and the exisquisite Billie Holiday tune Comes Love.

Larry was on her left, looking large and protective and adoring. Brian Blade is soooo good and cute, and the pedal steel is my new favorite jazz instrument. At the end of the concert she said, "thank you for reminding me how fun this can be".

OK, for the bad news. It was a terrible venue for her, Bob Dylan has more than his share of rednecks in the audience, and people were rude (I got into a fight -- and backed the guy down -- during the break). I was worried sick Joni would notice all the talking during her set and get pissed, but either she couldn't hear or her good humor was too all-encompassing. I suspect there will be more rude audiences during the tour.

Oh, and by the way, Bob was tight, engaged and really rocked!


Brad: I don't have time to review 'cause I have a 7 or 8 hour drive to Chicago ahead of me. Gotta go. Here's the set list. Suffice to say that Dave Alvin was really good, Joni was really good and if you plan to leave before Dylan you will be making a serious mistake. He is SOOOOO on the top of his game right now! Last night was THE best Dylan show I've ever seen. And as you know, I've lost count of how many Dylan shows I've seen.

Big Yellow Taxi
Just Like This Train
(enter the band)
Night Ride Home
Crazy Cries Of Love
Free Man In Paris
Harry's House
Black Crow (smokin'!)
Amelia
Hejira
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
Happiness is the Best Face Lift
Sex Kills
The Magdalene Laundries
Moon At The Window
Trouble Man
Comes Love
(No encore) - She played for 80 minutes. Alvin played for 40 minutes, and Bob played FOREVER! 1 hour 45 minutes


Brad (again): Joni came out solo at 7:50 p.m. with her Roland guitar and started with 'Big Yellow Taxi'(BYT). She was wearing a deep wine colored pant suit with solid colored pants and a seasonal, autumn leaves print on the jacket. It was very baggy, and comfortable looking, like lounge wear. She wore sandels with spaghetti straps and platform heals. She was wearing matching, wine colored toe-nail polish, a gold necklace with gold double hoop earrings, and one ring on her third finger, left hand. I was close enough to study the lines on her face. She looked beautiful and I think she's aging wonderfully. No longer does she have the thin, hollow cheeks and prominant cheek bones of her youth. Her face is full and round. I get to quote Elvis Costello here; "she pulls your eyes out with a face like a magnet."

The sound seemed muffled during the first verse, but it was cleaned up almost immediately. Her guitar playing was just plain funky on BYT. She was rhythm riffing like she was the ex-guitarist with James Brown and his Famous Flames. She included her Bob Dylan vocal impersonation on the "verse that Bobby wrote", and ended it with a little hip hop phrasing on the ending line that she has added; "Why'ja wanna go and do that, why'ja wanna go and do that?"

Next up was a solo performance of 'Just Like This Train'. It was slower than the album version and very soulful.

The band entered and she introduce 'Night Ride Home' as a song about a "magical 4th of July night." Brian Blade's drumming stood out on this one, as it did all night.

Then came 'The Crazy Cries of Love' with more amazing drumming from Brian. I've never seen a band with the drummer positioned out at the front of the stage before and there is a reason for the band setting up like that. Brian is the focal point and the driving force behind this band. Everything revolves around Brian. Such subtlety and such power (thanks to Bob Hanna for that one ). An unusual combination, indeed.

Next up was 'Free Man In Paris' and again it was Brian driving the song to new heights that the 'Court And Spark' version barely hinted at.

She followed that with a jazzy, and driving version of 'Harry's House', minus the 'Centerpiece' section. I wish she would still include that part.

Then the band launched into the first highlight of the night. A scorching, searing 'Black Crow' that rocked the house and soared like a black crow flyin'. Joni's voice was dipping and swooping like a bird in flight. Brilliant!

'Amelia' was next with Greg Leisz's suspenseful pedal steel guitar making it sound like a Bernard Herrmann horror movie soundtrack. Very haunting and down right scary.

Then came 'Hejira' with Klien doing his best Jaco impersonation. A daunting task, but Klien pulled it off without a hitch. Joni said 'Listen, I think I hear Chris Botti blowing through the snowy trees". When she introduced the band later, she introduced him as Chris Botti, boddy, Booty, like she had blown his name before and was now making a little inside joke about it. But again it was Brian's drumming that made the song unforgettable as he pulled out everthing but stone knives and bear skins to hit his drums with. He used brushes, mallets, sticks, and the topper was when he used his bare hands, on the cymbols and everything.

She followed that with 'Don Juan's Reckless Daughter'(DJRD). Halfway through the song she had a technical problem with the VG8. She had to stop the song in mid-stream and said "My 'machine' went out!" She went and pushed a couple of buttons and then she just picked up where she left off. I'm so glad she didn't abandon it and move on to the next song. It was so good it made me want to go and try to rediscover DJRD again, an LP that never got under my skin like the best Joni does.

Then it was 'Face Lift'. Nice, album faithful version; no surprises.

Next she introduced 'Sex Kills'. She said, "This song has taken on a whole new meaning lately, politically, and I'd like to dedicate it to Mr. Clinton. It's called 'Sex Kills'." Good joke. It was again very funky with Joni in supurb voice.

Then she told us the story of 'The Magdalene Laundries'. She obviously feels very close to this song. She sang it with such conviction that I swear I was able to hear the lump in her throat as she spit out the lyric with more venom and emotion than seemingly possible. Just short of actually singing through her tears; she seemed close.

Next she sang 'Moon At The Window' and I'll tell you, after 'Sex Kills' and 'The Magdalene Laundries' it was good to hear that at least "the theives left that behind."

She then put down the VG8, lit a cigarette, and came back to the mic transformed into a soul singing diva for Marvin Gaye's 'Trouble Man', with some stunning scat vocals; a jazz/soul hybrid.

Then came the show stopper. 'Comes Love', cig in hand, front floor lighting, very dramatic. For a minute I thought I was in some smokey jazz cellar in New York, circa 1939, "without a worry in the world. A glass of beer in one hand, and my arms around a girl." (I have to thank Tom Waits for that line, wish I'd written it!)

Her set ended at 9:10 p.m. She played for a heavenly 80 minutes.

The last thing I'll say is, if you think this is a glowing review, she was even better on Sunday night in Chicago.