A CHRONOLOGY OF APPEARANCES
Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001
 

1998.10.29  Maple Leaf Gardens  Toronto, ON

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

Image Gallery   [click to enlarge, then arrow keys to browse]:
Photo by Irwin Barrer
Photo by Irwin Barrer
Photo by Nancy Siesel - The New York Times
Concert Poster

Register or login to upload one of your own.

Related articles from the Library:
» Dinosaurs, perhaps, but far from extinct (Toronto Globe and Mail, 1998)
» Dylan, Joni to perform together (Toronto Globe and Mail, 1998)
» Legends of the fall (Toronto Globe and Mail, 1998)
» Lookin' to live up to their legends (Toronto Sun, 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


Written by James Leahy

The Venue:
Maple Leaf Gardens is a shabby old hockey rink that has been home to the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team since the 1930s ("a little money riding on the Maple Leafs"). This bastion of heterosexist masculinity also just happens to lie in the heart of Toronto's gay district. Joni and Dylan last performed there in 1975 with the Rolling Thunder Review. In 1988 Joni gave a press conference in MLG's Hot Stove Lounge to promote Chalkmark in a Rainstorm.

Toronto is a significant place in Joni lore: It was here that she began her career, gave her daughter up for adoption, and met her first husband Chuck Mitchell. Today, Joni's daughter Kilauren lives here as does K's birth father, Brad McMath and her adoptive parents the Gibbs.

The Crowd:
The concert was not a sellout, and there were quite a few empty seats. The crowd consisted of aging baby boomers (a group, alas, that I count myself among), with scatterings of fresh-faced youths. I was a bit nervous that Dylan hecklers would try to ruin Joni's set, as had occurred at the previous two shows. It disappoints me that Dylan, once the poet-prince of 60s idealism, now attracts this rude redneck element. However, the vibe tonight was enthusiastic, with plenty of whistling and "I love you Joni's". I screamed and hurrayed as much as anyone, but my puny little whelps were no competition for the bloodcurdling cries of teenaged girls.

I was accompanied by my friend and fellow Joni fan, Irwin Barrer, who had accepted the assignment of official jm.com photographer. According to him, the photo stint went without a hitch. He was accompanied in the pit by photogs from the major Toronto dailies.

What She Looked Like:
From my tenth row seat on the floor, I would have sworn this was 1974's Miles of Aisles concert all over again. Joni looked girlish, with her hair parted in the middle, and cascading curls about her shoulders. She wore a knee-length smock of claret, gold and cream colours -- a very rich Southwestern effect (Irwin suggested "medieval tapestry"). Underneath, she wore a pair of crepe pants. A necklace consisting of large round stones hung around her neck -- that is, until Hejira, at which time it fell onto her guitar (more about that later).

The Songs:

The set opened with five "crowd pleasers," which were the prelude to the more avant-garde material that made up the middle section of the set (the songs that make the poor, time-constrained critics scratch their heads). I suppose Joni was responding to the criticisms on her west coast tour that she didn't play enough of her "hits." When I compare the setlists of the eastern cities she's played so far, I realize that Toronto's 17 songs represent a "full" set. How lucky for us!

Big Yellow Taxi was buoyant and fun, with a few of Joni's "weird" chords thrown in to provide new harmonic textures. The Dylan imitation seemed a bit flat, but the added lyrics at the end ("Why'd ja have to go 'n' do that?") which I'm told are from Janet Jackson, were a nice touch.

Just Like This Train was beautiful, as those delicious California Kitchen chords wafted through the arena. The cute, skinny young man sitting next to me really seemed to dig Joni's rhythm as he sketched the beat with his long, bony hand.

At this point, Joni introduced the band, referring to Larry Klein as her "dear ex-husband." This reminds me of her introduction of Klein at her 1983 concert here, where she called her new husband "dear" in a tone of mock domesticity. Joni's between-song patter was minimal tonight. On three occasions she called out to certain people in the audience, at one time asking if "Killer" was there. Several people claimed to be "Killer," who of course is Joni's daughter Kilauren.

Night Ride Home, Crazy Cries, and Free Man in Paris all went over well, although I must say I was eager to hear the meatier stuff that was about to unfold.

Harry's House was a revelation when I first heard her rework it on Rosie O'Donnell's show in 1996. I never realized what a beautiful melody it had.

Three songs from Hejira (Black Crow, Amelia, and Hejira) formed the core of Joni's performance tonight. Amelia was, quite frankly, the best live version I've heard her do of that song. It must be incredibly difficult to sustain the narrative tension over so many verses, especially when the left-hand guitar fingerings never stop moving from chord to chord chord. The song got off to a rocky start as Joni had to fiddle with her VG-8 controller. But once she restarted, it went along perfectly. Irwin later told me he was in tears during the song; I was rapt. Near the end of Hejira, her necklace fell onto her guitar and she had to fish it out of her blouse and throw it onto the floor. This defused the tension of the song a bit, as she giggled uncontrollably through one of the verses. That's OK -- as a master storyteller, Joni frequently switches from pathos to humour in a single breath -- this is part of her natural gift for narrative.

As if three songs from Hejira weren't enough, she then launched into one of my favourite Joni tunes, and arguably the highlight of the evening, Don Juan's Reckless Daughter. Joni's rhythm guitar, Klein's bass, and Brian Blade's drums produced an obsessive, infectious rhythm that almost had me dancing in the aisles. As in many of her older songs that she played tonight, Joni made interesting changes to the melody, thereby creating something fresh and new. After the song, Joni explained that the song was a bit longer because they threw in a few extra bars. No problem -- they could have played on and on -- it was so mesmerizing.

Face Lift started out beautifully -- just Joni and her guitar. Her inflection on "For god's sake" was positively chilling. However, once the band joined in, the intimacy was lost and the song became rather ho-hum (my same complaint for the over-produced album version).

Sex Kills and Magdalene Laundries were excellent reworkings, particularly the latter, to which Joni has added a more percussive, aggressive left-hand technique. This note of anger has turned a plaintive, almost pretty, song into something deeper and richer.

With Moon at the Window, Joni once more had to retune the VG-8 (eliciting the comment that the computer was a "folky's dream"). Joni dedicated the song to her old boyfriend Brad McMath. The performance was notable for the reinsertion of the opening lyrics, which she has eliminated in live performance over the last few years: "It takes cheerful resignation, heart and humility . . ." What a treat to re-hear those words that had always hit home with me: "Nobody's harder on me than me; how could they be?"

The last two numbers, Trouble Man and Comes Love, showed that Joni is so comfortable with her singing that she can now have fun with different pop music genres: Motown soul and old standards. For Comes Love, she lit a cigarette, moving upstage while the soloists jammed; in the shadows she undulated to the music, her profile enveloped in a cloud of picturesque smoke.

Toronto was graced with a full setlist, including the encore, Woodstock. This is probably one of Joni's worst songs, yet every time she reworks it, it gives me chills as it seems to illuminate where she and we have come since those impossible days in 1969.

The Critics and the Vulgarians:

Hostile audience members and lazy critics obviously do not like Joni Mitchell. Many people cannot control their derision when I tell them I like Joni's music (these are the people whose knowledge of her is limited to Big Yellow Taxi or people who confuse her with Joan Baez or, god help us, Melanie). What is it about Joni that seems to get so many people's dander up? First off: she's a woman. As if that weren't bad enough, she also refuses to trade on her sexuality (this eliminates most of the male audience as potential listeners). In addition, she's bright, principled, introspective, and unsentimental (this eliminates about 95% of the world). The Toronto critics either praised her concert indiscriminately or condemned her ignorantly. The critic for the Globe and Mail complained that her setlist contained numbers "known to only her most dedicated fans," implying that *he* wasn't familiar with her material and that only obsessed fans could possibly dig it. The Toronto Sun complained there was too much Joni and not enough Dylan (even though Joni hasn't played live here in 15 years and Dylan tours all the time!).

Joni's "conspiracy" theorist fans should get used to the fact that she will never be the Billboard-topping, MTV-teasing diva that they want her to be. And who would want that anyway? She's a rare breed, and we should savour her uniqueness. After all, who among us doesn't savour the elitism that's implicit in being a Joni Mitchell connoisseur?

For me this tour is significant because I fear it may be Joni's last. As such, it reveals Joni to be at the height of her musical powers.

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
Woodstock


(From:smithj@efni.com)-Last night was absolutely spellbinding!æ Joni was radiant, vibrant, and in top form.æ So wonderful was her performance that she received three standing-ovations!æ One when she first came out, after her set, and another after the encore.æ This was the first time I had ever seen her live.æ It was well worth it!æ My finance even said that she was amazing.æ This is coming for a person that didn't care for Joni's music that much.æ When she started her set off with 'Big Yellow Taxi', the crowd just erupted.æ It was amazing!æ Better than the recorded and Miles of Ailes version of the song.æ I felt as if I was taken on a very special journey.æ The rest of the band was really impressive, especially Brian Blade.æ His drumming technique is so unique that it fits alot of Joni's music like a glove.æ For instance, 'Free Man In Paris' and 'Moon at the Window' really showed his drumming skills for the massive power it is.æ The sound from Joni's axe is equally impressive.æ Makes me jealous when I tune my guitar to see her punch a few keys and get right in tune.æ The highlights for me were 'Black Crow', 'Amelia', 'Hejira'(I have always loved this piece upon my first listen), 'Moon at the Window', 'Don Juan's Reckless Daughter' (which the crowd enjoyed alot), 'The Crazy Cries of Love' (in which she dedicated it to "All the lover's that live in paper thin apartments"), and Comes Love.æ Comes Love is so slow and sleek musically and Joni's vocals just curl right around those beautiful notes.æ She proved that these parts were her old stomping grounds last night without a doubt and that the people of Toronto missed her alot.æ She ended the night by saying "Thank you Toronto for your spirit and kindness".æ I hope it won't be long before she tours just by herself.æ I would love to hear that powerful voice for 3 hours instead of only for an hour and forty-five minutes.æ She is the best! æ

Jamie

(From:John F. Kirkley)-Thanks Mr. Breese for your site - I just discovered it last week and its starting to distract me from work!

Here is my review, hope you can use it. Feel free to edit if necessary:

Maple Leaf Gardens goes dark and there is an immediate swell of audience appreciation. As the announcer does his thing we see Mz. Mitchell gracefully stroll into the lime light wearing a plush scarlet red kimona like outfit. Sizzling. The Dragon Lady does a 'from the shoulders bow' in keeping with the outfit and proceeds to lash the opening chords of "Big Yellow Taxi" out of her guitar. And yes she did do that Dylan thang.

Having been delinquent in keeping up with all of Mz. Mitchell's work, I was hearing a number of these tunes for the first time. Needless to say, there is a lot going on both lyrically and musically in everything she writes and it takes a number of listens for it to sink in. Believe me, I've worn the grooves out of some of her earlier albums. However, when you get the goods live, as was the case last night, a lot can be conveyed at one go. 'Happiness is the Best FaceLift' was a new one for me. I wasn't too sure about the title, it seemed a little obvious, but the way that line comes out in the song is genius, just a simple statement that sums up a recounting of personal experience. (I love the spoken lyric "He says, 'Snap out of it.'" .)

What really impresses me about her work is the way the imagery in the almost rambling conversational lyrics along with the layered, jangling chording, come together to give a really focused picture - it is like she's letting you inside her head to feel this experience. I felt like I was in that car in heavy traffic on a hot L.A. day in 'Sex Kills' (another new one for me).

The band was brilliant. Larry Klein and Brian Blade form a formidable rhythm section. Blade's drumming has a rolling style that does anything but keep straight time, but keeps time better than most. This works very well with Joni's playing, complimenting her strumming rather than getting in the way. Mr. Klein as well as Greg Leisz on pedal steel and the trumpet player Chris Boti did the same, filling out the total sound and enhancing the mood of the tunes.

On a few numbers Joni got about 4 bars in and realized she had set the wrong tuning on her digital guitar system. She made a crack at one point about folkie's and technology, but its testimony to how many tunings she uses, that she could go four bars before realizing the mistake. A quick adjustment remedied the situation and she was back on track, a small price to pay in comparison with having to manually re-tune between every song. At another point during the instumental interlude in Hejira (I think) her beaded necklace came loose and got tangled in her fingers. She flicked it off and the incident seemed to inspire her as she made some impromptu references to beads later in the tune.

These incidents aside it was an incredible concert and I won't soon forget it. I hope she comes back and plays Massey Hall (far more intimate than a hockey arena and with superior acoustics), that would be perfect.

And then there was Dylan. Frankly I didn't know what to expect, since a friend had seen him a few years back and said he was really wasted, and that only his solo acoustic numbers were worth listening to. I was very pleasantly surprised. I mean it KICKED - really!. Dylan has an almost cartoon character like presence on stage, dressed in a gangster outfit with big white shoes and doing toned down Chuck Berry'esque moves as he grooved with his band. The band was as solid as, you guessed it, a rock. And that they did, rocking and rolling us through 5, yes FIVE encores. I don't care what anyone says about his musicianship, Dylan is a fine guitar player, and keeps a focus in his strumming that never hesitates and is always flowing along under his voice.

Well I almost considered going up to Ottawa to catch that gig, but instead I'm writing this. Maybe I'll scoot down to the Rochester gig on Tuesday, I think it will be worth it.

John Kirkley

(From:jazznoise@hotmail.com)-I have to start out by saying that I never thought I would see Joni in my lifetime, so I was thrilled just to walk into the venue. I cried. I forgot to breath - twice. (Almost a third time but I had learned...). I was ready to strangle the people around me that talked and "yee-ha"ed - (including my best friend beside me!) Joni seemed in great spirits - joking with the audience and at one point calling out/asking for a friend by name (a few thousand voices replied). I thought it was funny when she introduced the band and said "my dear ex-husband Larry Klein..." At one point during Hejira I think their monitor system cut out for a while. Joni laughed aloud, and everyone fell out of time to each other for about 15-20 maybe even 30 seconds. The entire band was excellent. The muted trumpet was SO sweet. I think someone opened. We left as soon as the house lights came up. Bob who? I would have been so bored watching anything else after that stellar performance. I just hope Joni didn't come out with Dylan. Before the concert we had complained a bit about the price of the ticket - it was the most I have ever paid to see anyone - but when leaving I was looking for a place to leave another 20 bucks. Thank you Joni.

David Horhota

(From:helenasue@auracom.com)-I live in rural Nova Scotia. Years ago, I made my living from music. On Saturday mornings at the local junior and senior high school I teach guitar as a volunteer.

My partner and I had the enormous pleasure of attending Joni Mitchell's concert at The Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on October 29th, 1998.

We travelled 'a long way from The Bay of Fundy, from eagles ... " to hear this musical wizard. Her performance was beautiful with its tiny live imperfections. All of the classic Joni tunes were slightly re-arranged. Hearing these tunes interpretted another way and by the same genius was a musical high for me.

I was famous for lamenting over the years that I'd never get to hear Joni Mitchell perform. The morning after the concert we were standing outside of The Days Inn. (with our take-out exspressos and me smoking cigarettes) I recalled words painted on a hand made birthday card from a close friend departed last year - "A dream expressed is the wonderful dance of the soul - believe in mystery, miracles and magic." Having been able to attemd this concert brought these words and the person who gave them to me back to life.

Susan Arenburg

(From:michael.totzke@sympatico.ca)-Since Jim LeahyÍs report is so comprehensive and definitive (thanks, Jim), I'll offer my own random impressions, rather than a full review.

I had front-row seats, to the right side of the stage. Wow. So wonderful to be so close Joni. In my mind sheÍs this huge force of nature. Part of me canÍt believe sheÍs a real live human being. Has anyone else ever felt this?

She seems fused to her guitar; it appeared to be another part of her body. I find this so moving -- that her strange and wonderful chords come not only from her head and her heart but her sexy, swaying hips.

God, sheÍs beautiful -- more so now than ever. Elegant, beautifully dressed, womanly yet androgynous.

What more can be said about AMELIA and HEJIRA? These are not just ñsongs.î TheyÍre complete experiences: diary entries, poems, short stories, myths. Intensely personal and profoundly universal. They haunt my everyday.

I was so glad we were treated to DON JUANÍS RECKLESS DAUGHTER -- one of my favourites. Wish COYOTE had come right after. Love those two rythmically related songs of freedom.

NIGHT RIDE HOME rolled beautifully. SEX KILLS, live, rips through all the bullshit around us (including the ignorance of disrespectful fools in the audience). MAGDALENE LAUNDRIES broke my heart. All three songs shouldÍve been major hits (along with IMPOSSIBLE DREAMER, LUCKY GIRL, MY SECRET PLACE, CHEROKEE LOUISE, NOTHING CAN BE DONE, LAST CHANCE LOST).

If CRAZY CRIES OF LOVE isnÍt a hit, I give up!

MOON AT THE WINDOW: wow. Ditto HARRYÍS HOUSE.

I was the goof who, after FACELIFT, hollered out ñJoni LIVE is the best facelift!î (CouldnÍt help myself.) She considered that for a moment, then said, ñIt doesnÍt scan.î

THAT VOICE: better than ever, rich and earrthy and powerful. She belted some stuff -- amazing. Who cares if she canÍt hit those high notes of old? TROUBLE MAN and COMES LOVE showcased the new voice, and boy is it sexy! Please please please, donÍt make us wait three to four years for the album of standards.

Miss Mitchell didnÍt talk much during the Toronto show. Not in the mood? Her song intros were short. Hey, IÍm not complaining. This is an artist/person who is incapable of phoniness, and I respect that she never does anything by rote. Not in a talkative mood, Joni? Fine by me.

It infuriates me that Joni doesnÍt get the radio play/video play/audience she deserves. But like Jim, I have to console myself that we live in a time of junk culture, and, as Joni so aptly put it ñIn every culture in decline/The watchful ones among the slaves/Know all that is genuine/Will be scorned and conned and cast away.î

JONI: Hope you know by now that those you DO touch are touched very deeply, completely, profoundly. YouÍve given us each a soundtrack for our lives. We couldnÍt be more grateful!

Michael Totzke

(From:terglen@eagle.ca)-All I can say is "WOW"! I finally got to see my idol LIVE! I sat 23 rows back, centre stage, watched most of her through my binoculars (that is, WHEN the heads in front of me weren't blocking my view!) and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I have been a huge fan of Joni's for many years now and listen to her daily. I am an artist just like her, and when I'm painting she is with me always on my headphones. She inspires me, makes me feel creative. When I am tired and not in the mood to draw ... Joni's songs wake me up and get the juices flowing, literally!

I feel Joni Mitchell is one of the most talented singer/songwriter/musician/artist I have ever heard.

Joni .... thanks for being you. I love you!

Glenda Hamilton

(From:dandi@istar.ca)-My embarrassment at being a baby boomer is over. Thank you Joni Mitchell. Year after year the radio stations play golden oldies and I cringe. Where is the music I actually listened to. It was there all the time, in my dusty albums, scratched, dog eared covered and words underlined. It was a 35 year wait from the time i went out to buy "Tom Rush" albums because he actually recorded Joni Mitchell songs before she did and getting to Maple Leaf Gardens. The reviews are in, the play list published but words can't describe the wonder at realizing this woman can move you so emotionally it's scary. As i said to my friend Debby "This is one motherf###ing grandmother" Her performance on "Black Crow" can serve as a standard for any of those new so called woman rockers. Way to go Joni. "Amelia" is such an anthem. Joni was ahead of her time, she certainly was ahead of mine. I can advise anyone to go back and dust off those "old" Joni albums, as what she was doing then sounds even better today. Ijust didn't get it. Now I think I do. Boy am I proud to be a boomer. Thank's Joni.

Dan Burns
Halifax Nova Scotia

(From:codeb@duncanmccachen.com)-

10:20 p.m

Bob is probably just taking the stage. I'm back in my hotel room after about 90 magnificent minutes of pure brilliance. Because I'm going to see him tomorrow night in Ottawa, I thought I would leave early - let Joni's music resonate. I still feel a little numb. What a great show.

There was something really special about this performance, and it had something to do with Little Green (No, she didn't play the song.) I think that this performance was for Kilaurin, her friends, her family - Joni was on - really, really great - really, really happy. Early on, she shouted out for someone named 'Killer' to stand up. I didn't understand it, didn't think she'd hang with bikers or whatever. Later, I figured out that "Killer" referred to Kilaurin when she introduced 'Face Lift', called again for Killer to show herself, and announced that that song was for her.

Dave Alvin did his job - he reminded me of one of the reasons I love Joni: she plays good music; he doesn't. So unclear that I couldn't even understand his introduction of himself - loud, horrible, clangy and boring, incredibly, horribly boring and repetitive - he played way too long - 40 minutes. Torontonians are so polite that they loudly applauded. No offence to those who like him or who liked the Blasters. This was bad.

But it sure made Joni welcome.

I missed Refuge of the Roads, that was a real plus of the West Coast tour and would have made a great second encore, like it did in Vancouver (it was really the first; BYT was seond). But DJRD and Free Man made up for it. Trouble Man and Comes Love were terrific, too - real crowd pleasers.

She introduced Face Lift as "Happiness is the Best Face Lift", so I wonder why the cd has it with the short name?

In Hejira, she 'thought she heard Chris Blotti blowing through the snowy trees", and she told us what the word 'hejira' means - leaving the dream nobly - related to Muhammed and Mecca.

She wasn't very talkative. Tonight was about the music. It was brilliant. At the Vancouver show, I think I only cried 3 times. Tonight, I cried 3 times during Amelia alone. DJRD did me in. Big Yellow Taxi got such huge applause that I cried for Joni - she is very popular in this area, I think. I cried at least 4 other times. It's music that moves - period.

You'll hear more from me after the Ottawa show, so I'll end here. -------------------------------

About mid-way through Big Yellow Taxi, a big, tall guy wearing a bright white suit and top hat walked in front of the people in Row 1 on the floor and took his seat in the centre. I thought (inappropriately judging a book by its cover), "Oh great - here come the heckler, this time even dressed clownishly, to ruin the show and throw off Joni." A short while later, another guy in a similar white suit and top hat strutted out and sat beside him. I was nervous.

At the end of the song, they stood up, bowed to Joni, applauded, turned to the crowd and encouraged them to cheer louder. Then one of them gave her a bouquet of yellow roses. After each song, they tipped their hats - real gentlement Joni fans.

No hecklers that I heard - no outbursts from Joni - Smiles all around

Terry then asked: "Brett, Did [Killer] stand up?"

I don't know. About 3000 people thought that she wanted them to cheer, so a big roar went up. Joni used both hands to block the light from her eyes, looked out over the audience, didn't see her and said something like - "I asked for Killer and there seem to be a whole bunch of you. Anyway, if you're out there, this one's for you."

Brett Code

(From:rgcoates@sympatico.ca)-I merely want to say that I enjoyed Joni's concert immensely. And her rendition of Amelia was by far the best. I would love to attend an intimate concert like she gave and was shown on CBC recently. It was superb and so intimate. That big box of a Maple Leaf Gardens is not the best at any time to hear music. But at least I got to see her. She is a true artist.

Robert Coates


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

JMDL Member Comments

Brett: 10:20 p.m

Bob is probably just taking the stage. I'm back in my hotel room after about 90 magnificent minutes of pure brilliance. Because I'm going to see him tomorrow night in Ottawa, I thought I would leave early - let Joni's music resonate. I still feel a little numb. What a great show.

There was something really special about this performance, and it had something to do with Little Green (No, she didn't play the song.) I think that this performance was for Kilaurin, her friends, her family - Joni was on - really, really great - really, really happy. Early on, she shouted out for someone named 'Killer' to stand up. I didn't understand it, didn't think she'd hang with bikers or whatever. Later, I figured out that "Killer" referred to Kilaurin when she introduced 'Face Lift', called again for Killer to show herself, and announced that that song was for her.

Dave Alvin did his job - he reminded me of one of the reasons I love Joni: she plays good music; he doesn't. So unclear that I couldn't even understand his introduction of himself - loud, horrible, clangy and boring, incredibly, horribly boring and repetitive - he played way too long - 40 minutes. Torontonians are so polite that they loudly applauded. No offence to those who like him or who liked the Blasters. This was bad.

But it sure made Joni welcome.

She played the full list:

Big Yellow Taxi
Just Like This Train
(Band Intro)
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
Woodstock (encore)

I missed Refuge of the Roads, that was a real plus of the West Coast tour and would have made a great second encore, like it did in Vancouver (it was really the first; BYT was seond). But DJRD and Free Man made up for it. Trouble Man and Comes Love were terrific, too - real crowd pleasers.

She introduced Face Lift as "Happiness is the Best Face Lift", so I wonder why the cd has it with the short name?

In Hejira, she 'thought she heard Chris Blotti blowing through the snowy trees", and she told us what the word 'hejira' means - leaving the dream nobly - related to Muhammed and Mecca.

She wasn't very talkative. Tonight was about the music. It was brilliant. At the Vancouver show, I think I only cried 3 times. Tonight, I cried 3 times during Amelia alone. DJRD did me in. Big Yellow Taxi got such huge applause that I cried for Joni - she is very popular in this area, I think. I cried at least 4 other times. It's music that moves - period.

You'll hear more from me after the Ottawa show, so I'll end here.


About mid-way through Big Yellow Taxi, a big, tall guy wearing a bright white suit and top hat walked in front of the people in Row 1 on the floor and took his seat in the centre. I thought (inappropriately judging a book by its cover), "Oh great - here come the heckler, this time even dressed clownishly, to ruin the show and throw off Joni." A short while later, another guy in a similar white suit and top hat strutted out and sat beside him. I was nervous.

At the end of the song, they stood up, bowed to Joni, applauded, turned to the crowd and encouraged them to cheer louder. Then one of them gave her a bouquet of yellow roses. After each song, they tipped their hats - real gentlement Joni fans.

No hecklers that I heard - no outbursts from Joni - Smiles all around

Terry then asked: "Brett, Did [Killer] stand up?"

I don't know. About 3000 people thought that she wanted them to cheer, so a big roar went up. Joni used both hands to block the light from her eyes, looked out over the audience, didn't see her and said something like - "I asked for Killer and there seem to be a whole bunch of you. Anyway, if you're out there, this one's for you."

I did not see Kilaurin in the hallways.


Anne: I agree with Brett's earlier review about Joni putting on a great show. She seemed in fine form, her voice was very strong, she was happy and smiling and had good interaction with the audience. Her band was great. This is the first time I have seen her and I wasn't diappointed. I was pleasantly surprised by her setlist - it had great variety. Someone said in an earlier post the famous high cheekbones were gone - her face was much rounder. From where I was sitting, she still had those great cheekbones, she was dressed very elegantly and looked lovely.

Brett quoted a Globe and Mail review: "Pop music has traditionally fed on its past .... Yeah, well, last night's pairing of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell - played out before a disappointing crowd of 8,000 - decidedly wasn't one of those shows...

Radio reports said it was a sold out concert. I did see one section of empty seats which were extremely far from the stage. Mr. Niester is totally inaccurate regarding his numbers, the place was packed.

"While Dylan at least superficially delves into his storied past... the enigmatic Ms. Mitchell almost seems to sneer at hers.

This reporter obviously hasn't done much research and shows his total ignorance regarding her setlist. As far as "sneering" he must have been sniffing some of that "maple smoke" that was floating through the rafters at the Gardens. She was not sneering, she was enjoying herself and was laughing and having a good time.

Backed by a quartet - which contained, as usual, "my dear ex-husband Larry Klein" on fretless bass - Mitchell was at times sombre (Harry's House), at time upbeat (Black Crow) and at times angry and aggressive (Sex Kills).

Joni was not angry. She seemed delighted with the crowd's response. Long before the end of the show most of the audience was on its feet and they loved her. They just roared their approval. If this reporter went to this concert expecting to see Joni play rock and roll then he should have stayed at home. As Brett already said all of her fans recognized her songs and appreciated them. I thought Amelia was particularly beautiful and very moving.

I honestly did not hear anyone being loud or obnoxious or heckling Joni or giving her a hard time. At the end of the show she thanked Toronto and she got a thunderous ovation for her efforts.

I would add though my own personal thoughts about Joni appearing at a venue like this as a double bill - it almost invites the kind of behaviour some of the members have talked about - hecking, etc. Someone else gave an example of Mary Chapin Carpenter singing at a show and someone yelling for the Mavericks who were also on the same bill.

There were many many Joni fans at this concert, on either side of me and in front and behind me. Some left and didn't return when Bob appeared. On the other hand about half an hour into Joni's set 3 people got up and left and returned later for Bob. If people are not enjoying an act this certainly is the courteous thing to do. On the other hand there were 3 young guys sitting behind me who yapped the whole time Joni was on, saying she was too jazzy for them and that they couldn't wait for Dylan. They were not loud, just annoying. Thank God a young lady beside me turned around, glared at them and said "maybe you should wait outside if you think she's no good". That did the trick, they clammed right up! I'm sure there are times that kind of reaction would backfire. I wish Joni would appear at a smaller venue where she was the main headliner. Everyone going to the show would be a fan and know exactly what to expect. They wouldn't need some ignorant reviewer to tell them if the show was any good or not but then again true Joni fans can make up their own minds!


Marilyn: I just got back from Toronto. What a concert!!! She was dressed beautifully, her hair was curled oh God!, And she performed that concert for Kilauren and the Canadian fans! She did a verse of BYT in Dylan voice & at the end did J. Jackson's "now why you want to go & do that ah huh". Flowers, flowers, flowers! She thank the crowd at the end for being gracious. Her rendition of "Comes love" knocked my socks off!! The whole (JONI) concert was an orgasm to the ears!!

I wanted to hunt her down too, but figured she was spending time with "Killer". By the way, DO NOT TELL THE BORDER GUARDS YOUR GOING TO SEE JONI & BOB IN CONCERT! They pulled out the DOGS!!!!!!!!!!!! HA!!

"Don't give any of the border guards a reason to pull the car
(JONI JONI JONI JONI!)


Ann (from the Dylan list): At the Toronto show Joni was treated with incredible respect by all the fans, whether they be there for Dylan or for her. This was in fact the best crowd of people I have ever seen, friendly etc... The security were wonderful and laid-back as well. Joni was dressed beautifully, and looked very happy throughout the show. I was most happy to see her being treated well, as she deserves that. Her set was fantastic. Marvin Gaye's Trouble Man really stood out for me, what a rendition!!! I find her a really classy artist, who feels every word of what she puts forth. She also seems to have a great appreciation for her fans.

A gentleman in a white tux who I spoke to before Dylan came on left a lovely bouquet of roses for her on the stage which she graciously accepted. This gentleman was also a big Dylan fan, and also was at the Ottawa show.