This work-in-progress lists all currently known appearances, drawn from a variety of sources.
Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001-2015.
Special thanks to Joel Bernstein for his contributions and assistance.
Latest Update: August 15, 2015
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From JM.com's Official Reporters, David Mingus and Pearl Weisberg
Big Yellow Taxi
Just Like This Train
Night Ride Home
Free Man In Paris
Song for Sharon
The Magdalene Laundries
Both Sides, Now
From David Mingus:
The morning after, in the City where she performed, the newspaper article was captioned "Mitchell's birthday is gift to audience" - how poignant! We felt something very special for being allowed to share her birthday. Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum - a domed basketball arena with surpassingly good acoustics - found a real cross-section of fans and admirers entranced by Joni's enlightened style, sincerity and amazing talent. She was radiant. The spotlight magnified the brilliance of her long golden hair and the green, crushed velvet dress she was wearing (reminiscent of her apparel pictured on "For the Roses").
Her 92 minute performance included a set of 16 songs and personal asides to her mother, childhood friend (Sharon Bell), a caretaker, a former lover, and others.
She opened with "Big Yellow Taxi" and demonstrated that no one performs it better - although some have tried. She mimicked Dylan by whimsically 'nasalizing' the verse which he wrote. The audience, diehard Dylan fans included, loved it. She related that her caretaker once said "Joni, you wouldn't write such melancholy songs if you didn't write at night!" She proceeded to tell the story about the Magdalene Laundries when a heckler shouted something about her getting off stage and bringing out Dylan (whose appearance immediately followed Joni's). She replied, "To each his own. You're an idiot, a rude idiot." And when she began singing she shot the guy a look that should have made him feel like one. Later, when walking on the stage for an encore, she said, "I'm gonna stay longer just to bug this one man" (she didn't know that security had removed the guy from the concert).
Being the consummate artist, Joni is apt to stop everything to tune a string to perfection. We purists miss these deep breaths between songs in the age of the VG8 (where tuning has given way to programing). However, four cords into Song for Sharon Joni stopped to make an adjustment. To the purists and the terminally trivial I am happy to report that we had one "string stop",
The band was fabulous - perfectly supportive of Joni's music and naturally in sync. Joni spoke affectionately of her marriage to Larry Klein and its demise. They obviously still enjoy a very special relationship.
After her encore Larry Klein presented Joni with a cake repleat with candles. She was obviously delighted and playfully blew them out with one breath as we all sang Happy Birthday.
I was thrilled to be given a pass to photograph the concert. I had a wonderful time and shall be forever grateful to Wally for the opportunity. And I confess, I packaged a couple of small personal treasures in hopes that I would meet someone who could deliver a birthday present to Joni. I hope I was successful. What a wonderful feeling to be able to give to someone who has given so much to me.
REPORTS FROM THE INTERNET COMMUNITY
(From:firstname.lastname@example.org)-What can I say about Joni's final show of this tour that has not been said?
Virtually sold out, as tickets were not offered at the box office when the gates opened...
Final bows, Joni collects about 10 bouquets of flowers up front, Larry brings out cake, we all sing and cry.
Ok, I'll do the same thing all you regionals have done, and say the Atlanta audience was by far the most appreciative, polite, (with the exception of one "rude idiot"), and Attentive compared to others I have seen (5 other shows, including Chicago 2 weeks ago). The reason most likely for this was no alcohol served on this college campus. Joni did chide a guy who, was thrown out eventually for his yelling out "shut up!" to her during her explanation of the Magdalene Laundries. She then asked him again "What did you say?", and then "To each his own...I'm just as good as Bob...and you're an idiot...and a rude idiot!"
She held her composure for all songs thereafter, as we held our breaths, and she was delighted at the audience's appreciative applause and whistles, and bouquets, and said she was getting "perverse pleasure" in doing "one more" song, which was Both Sides Now, and we loved it!!! It was melancholy, she stood without guitar, but accompanied by the band. It was in a lower key, pensive, slowed, and reflective, and how she says it should have always been sung.... God, what a special encore, hearing Joni on her 55th Birthday night sing Both Sides Now to us, looking back on a life she has shown to be uncompromising, honest, and full of "truth and beauty".
I'll let others give more details about what she said in between songs, (she was chatty).
Down to celebrate more with/for our Birthday Girl!!!
(From:Lubengo1@aol.com)-I have just returned home from Joni's Atlanta appearance and it was just as splendid as the earlier concerts...yet with some surprises. Joni entered the stage wearing a lovely moss green velvet half coat and long skirt, and her shoulder length hair was pretty, if not curly as in other reports. The rather intimate crowd of 10,000 in the coliseum greeted her warmly and rose to their feet. She seamlessly carried through the aforementioned set and kept the crowd entranced throughout. As I was on 12th row center, my view afforded me to see that she was relaxed, gracious and definitely in control of her element. Her voice was as crisp and clear as the chilly fall evening outside. As this was the end (?) of her current tour, she added a beautiful cover on Both Sides Now. And to cap off the evening, Larry brought out a birthday cake with candles sparkling, and the crowd of 10,000 sang Joni "happy birthday".... And that is a moment that I shall forever hold dear - singing to Joni Mitchell...OFF KEY!
As for Bob Dylan, well...I left immediately after Joni left the stage. I didn't want to let Bob's caterwauling (my opinion) to ruin the beautiful mood that Joni had provided.
(From:HairFarmer@a-o.com)-Well the show was killer, I mean I was a little disapointed at no "DJRD"... at least until "Both Sides Now". Yes, we really were treated to "BSN" as the final encore(unless of course you count 'Happy Birthday'). The rest of the show was good as well, of course. My other highlights being "Free Man in Paris", "Song For Sharon" and "Hejira". The trumpet work on "Hejira" was especially moving. I have to admit I was truly amazed by "BSN". I kept thinking about the A&E; profile where she talks about hearing Mabel Mercer sing the song in her seventies and how "You really have to be in your seventies, reflecting back on a life's experiance to sing that song". Well, I'd say 55 years has been plenty for her to aquire the history she needed. You really can *feel* true experiance in a great singer's voice and boy was it there tonight. Our one heckler got his just deserts and was removed by security to the tune of a cheer slowly rippling out through the crowd in the middle of "Magdalene Laundries". Joni was shaken by his outburst just enough to not finish the story of the song's inspiration, but boy did it fuel the performance. She focused her attention towards the "Rude Idiot"'s direction for the entire song, very passionate. "Trouble Man" was also geared for the moron in question. She really tore it up. You could just feel how completely sick of these nincompoops she is.
John M. Lind
(From:JamesAlec@mindspring.com)-I was a bit concerned with previous reports of illness, but there was no sign that Joni wasn't in good health this evening. She was truly mesmerizing, especially during the "Amela"/"Hejira" portion of the show. "Both Sides Now" was a real treat. Stayed for Bob and shouldn't have bothered.
James Alec Gelin
(From:email@example.com)-My two big brothers got me started listening to Joni Mitchell when I was about thirteen years old. I used to come home from church (in Atlanta), stick a record on the stereo in my room, and dance around in front of the mirror with an unplugged electric guitar that I hadn't the slightest idea how to play. Later I learned how to tune it to play This Flight Tonight which is pretty easy even for a beginner, but that was more or less the zenith of my musical career. Anyway, I'm all grown up now, writing novels and teaching art in small-town Alabama, but I still adore Joni Mitchell. Few things in a person's life hold up that long! When I heard she was coming to Atanta, I knew I had to go even if it meant facing EVIL interstates and CANCEROUS suburban sprawl. (Do you want to know how I REALLY feel about Atlanta? I have to say that it looks pretty good once you get close to town and off those Mad Max highways). Well, my selfless devotion was many times rewarded!!!! That concert was absolutely wonderful! What a gift to all of us fans! And I'll never, never forget, not in my entire life, getting to sing Happy Birthday to Joni Mitchell, whose music has given me so much pleasure for so many years. I'm sorry about the idiot who said "Shut up!" (or maybe yelled for "Bobby.") Still, I'm glad he gave Joni fuel for a few good jokes--she said "You don't deserve love," and also something like, "I feel like staying out here a little longer just to irritate that bad apple over there," and then something to the effect that she approved of the rest of us. It's good that she did, because Atlanta (and the rest of us Southerners there) clearly approved of her. Thank you so much, Joni.
(From:Jenivirgo@aol.com)-I must say that Joni was absolutely amazing. The crowd seemed to be much more appreciative (except for the one "rude idiot" who was escorted out by security) of her performance than that of Bob Dylan. I had never seen Joni perform before and it was certainly an experience I will never forget. I sat in the crowd and had to hold back the tears several times because it was so touching to hear her. Then Both Sides Now and the crowd singing Happy Birthday...it was too much. I am a photographer, and managed to get off a couple good shots, but through the majority of the show, I sat in awe, with my mouth hanging open. My life is complete.
(From:firstname.lastname@example.org)-I have been a huge fan of Joni's since 1973 and have never had the opportunity to see her in concert until her Atlanta appearance. Well, it was worth the wait! After 25 years of inspiration, as an artist and as a woman, I am now even more awestruck. The perfomance was great and I appreciated how personable she was, speaking frequently to the audience about the songs and her life. It was also so special to be there on her birthday - to sign the giant card and sing Happy Birthday to my idol! She has meant so much to me, it was truly one of the greatest evenings of my life.
Carol Haile Smyrna, Georgia
(From:email@example.com)-This is the third time I've seen Joni in the last six months and she showed incredible artistic growth and more self assurance each time. I thought nothing could compare with her performanc at A Day In The Garden. She proved me wrong with modified arrangements and accompaniments. The new trumpet player is something else. The new set list grabbed the audience from the beginning and maybe even prepared them for the pieces that would be difficult for the marginal listener. There was no Don Juan's Reckless Daughter but there was Song For Sharon and Both Sides Now. The accompaniment of the latter made the song so fresh and poignant that one would think it written yesterday.
Something interesting happened. A group of five fourteen or fifteen year old boys sat directly behind me having come with their parents for Dylan. A couple from Marietta Georgia who are big fans like me sat next to me. The boys really joined us in our enjoyment of and respect for Joni. They kept borrowing my binoculars and asking us questions about who Joni is as a person and an artist. I told them as much as I could between songs. By the middle of the concert they were calling her a foxy lady with a tone of respect in their voices. There is an audience among the young for her.
(From:dabush "@gpc.DC.PeachNet.EDU)-First, it was a great show. Dave Alvin was a stroke of genius to open and I was glad to hear him live again. Dylan rocked with "Highway 61" and just enough harmonica at the end of "It Ain't Me Babe" to close the show. But, I think even die-hard Dylan fans would agree it was Joni's night!
Second, having read previous reports of hecklers, I was suspicious of the timing of the shout from off-stage right. I mean, what was left of the story of the Magdalene Laudries that was truncated? Did Joni put this plant in the audience in some Kaufman-esque plan to bring more attention to her stage banter? Planned or not, it worked as the conversation in my section between sets was about the "idiot" and the Magdalene Laundries. I bit my lip and listened to people (I would estimate in age from Felicity to Dobie Gillis) and their comments. Best line from Joni-- "The newspaper said I'm older than the president... well, he's pretty frisky isn't he"?
So for $40 I got four hours of great tunes and stories I will tell to anyone who'll listen.
Thanks for letting me share an additional two cents.
(From:firstname.lastname@example.org)-Just a few minor points about the heckler: It really wasn't as ugly as an exchange as reported here, yeah the guy was a drunk jerk who wanted Dylan, but he never told her to shut up!.....it was one lone guy among 10,000 who wouldn't really have been noticed had Joni not stopped the show and demanded, "Excuse me?" whereupon he repeated it to deafening silence.
And he said: "Dylan" - NOT "Shut up"
And she said, "You don't deserve Bob!" NOT "you don't deserve love!"
I hate to be nit-picky here, but I hate to see this one incident overshadow such an awesome performance and get so distorted and out of proportion. He acted inappropriately for ten seconds and she called him on it, handling it with class. For most of the 90 minutes you could hear a pin drop, the audience was so rapt and respectful - this guy shouted "Dylan" twice! Enough already - poetic justice: he got thrown out before Dylan even came on!
By the way, this was the third time I've seen her and I've never seen her so chatty, comfortable and at ease - she's always been awesome, but this was definitely a more relaxed Joni.
(From:ABoneDaddy@aol.com)-well lets see.... we drove 300 miles to see joni mitchell.. and that was nothing compared to the miles she travelled to entertain us... and.. before you go bashing bob, let me tell you that if not for him, my daughter, gloria of 13, would not have told me of the show...and that was the best that i have seen dylan in 15 years.. my daughter was tricked into seeing one of the best shows of her life, joni mitchell...under the guise of seing bob. shes not worthy..shes not worthy... which is what she sang to the exiting bob dylan. but .. she also sat mesmerized by a show few of us will soon forget. i mean, when was the last time you saw joni mitchell live and in person... when will be the next?
a lot of us look at the heckler as an maroon.. but he was a friend of mine... he got alot of emotion out of her and some extra songs... thanx dude.... like i told my child... she sang that last one just to show him that she was the winner and could forgive...
oh yea almost forgot.. i met 2 guys in a 10 foot radius that had not been to that arena since they saw the allmon bros in 69... they said.. funny huh..
(From:MDANDREW@southernco.com)- the nov. 7th show in atlanta was delightful for me, until the hecling episode. i felt bad for her because i really enjoy the explainations for songwriting. i was surprised to see her smoke a cigarette at the end of the show. i suppose i thought her voice and persona to be too pure for her to smoke. i hope that doesn't sound too prude.
(From:email@example.com)-The Alexander was smaller than most venues they'd been playing but I think it helped the crowd focus. The hall holds 10,000 but about 3000 seats were roped off behind the stage. We had very close seats at stage right in the PO section. No obstruction, though. The crowd began to applaud as soon as the lights went down after an opening set by Dave Alvin. She stepped out alone and began to play the most incredible chords from her VG8. She's such a great guitarist. The sound in the hall was exceptional considering it's a sports arena. Her vocals were crisp and clear and sent chills up your spine. I hadn't seen her since I was 18 at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She done so much since then, there is so much more depth to her performance. Maybe, I'm just more able to appreciate it at 42. The band could not have been more in tune with each other, all facing each other, communicating with nods and smiles. It was flawless and so sweet. I was torn between listening with my eyes closed and peering through the binoculars trying to sear the image permanently into my memory. I knew that we were very fortunate to have been treated to a second encore with "Both Sides, Now". One of her staff commented on what a special treat we'd all received and how outstanding the band sounded that night. I assured him that we knew and were thankful for it. If I'm never able to see her or the guys again, I'll always be proud that I was there, that night, in that place, with the music so perfect and a brilliant talent at her best.
Sherrill Vines 1st Set: Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men
2nd Set: Joni Mitchell
3rd Set: Bob Dylan
JMDL Member Comments
Marsha: I met Joni today after her sound check, and like with all others, she was gracious and kind and friendly. I was able to wish her a happy birthday and give her an artsy photo holder with pics I have taken of her and her friends and colleagues, and me and her friends over time... She looks and sounds great, no residual of illness. More on the concert later...
PS--Joni did BOTH SIDES NOW as a second encore song. Larry brought out a BD cake and we all sang the BD song to her, she blew out the candles, and all our wishes will come true!!!!