A CHRONOLOGY OF APPEARANCES
Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001
 

2000.05.12  Greek Theatre  Los Angeles, CA

» This Concert is a part of the 2000 Both Sides Now Tour Of North America.

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Tour booklet - back cover
Photo by David Mingus
Photo by David Mingus

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Related articles from the Library:
» Joni Mitchell Comes Home Again (CheckOut.com, 2000)
» Joni Mitchell Orchestrates Stunning (Meyer Sound , 2000)
» Joni Mitchell reveals new side at LA concert (Dallas Morning News, 2000)
» Joni Mitchell With Strings (MIX - The Recording Industry Magazine, 2000)
» Mitchell Overcome By Orchestra (Variety, 2000)
» Mitchell's Truly Fusing Both Sides Now (Los Angeles Times, 2000)
» Performance Shows New Side of Mitchell (Daily News of Los Angeles, 2000)
» Short Sets - Joni Mitchell (Orange County Register, 2000)
Set List
1.  Orchestral Overture
2.  You're My Thrill
3.  At Last
4.  Comes Love
5.  You've Changed
6.  Answer Me, My Love
7.  A Case Of You
8.  Don't Go To Strangers
9.  Sometimes I'm Happy
10.  Don't Worry 'Bout Me
11.  Stormy Weather
12.  I Wish I Were In Love Again
13.  Both Sides Now
14.  Be Cool
15.  Judgement Of The Moon And Stars (Ludwig’s Tune)
16.  Hejira
17.  For The Roses
18.  Trouble Man

Comments on this appearance


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PM on 2009-Sep-19 at 13:25:52 GMT-5:
26 years after I first saw her (in London), I found myself in LA on a business trip.
A beautiful southern Califonia evening. Valet parking. Sunset. A beer and some food (sorry, but in a third world country like England, this was, and is still, amazing). And there she was.
I've read mixed reviews of this concert. Me, from wet, chilly London, I had a magical evening.
Would have probably like some more 'classics', but what do I know?
Joni's the artist.
Keep the faith.


Archival comments


By Michael Paz, Reporting for JoniMitchell.com

Friday May 12, will be a day I will remember always. It was one of the most incredible concerts I have EVER seen. From my early concert vantage point (first 3 songs) I saw her take the stage with a confidence and beauty I don't think I ever witnessed in the past. Her voice was so powerful and clear and strong. I think not having the guitar or piano appendage was very liberating for her and it reflected in her performance. This does not mean I want her to stay here forever. I would give a lot just to see her sit at the piano and play a few like the old days and the VG-8 is my new best friend so I don't want her to give that up either (I don't think there is any need to worry about her quitting the brushes) She really had a good time with this format though and so did I.

The concert was pretty predictable in the beginning with the expected Overture and the program running just like the sequencing on the new album from "You're My Thrill" to "Both Sides Now". A very special surprise for Freda and I was the next tune she played, "Be Cool" because we too were newly in love at the time this record came out and it is our favorite one as a couple ( we still sing Chinese Cafe together once in a while). It was an amazing version and I loved it very much. "Judgment of the Moon and Stars" was next and of course I sit on a fence between For The Roses and Hejira (leaning towards FTR this week) and the first thing it made me think of was Kakki (knowing she is a huge fan of this record). I can't wait for the new record to come out knowing there is so much FTR content already. Larry joined her on stage for an unbelievable "Hejira" followed by O MY GAWD!!!! "For The Roses" and closed the evening with "Trouble Man", which I thought she nailed. Judgment and For the Roses seem like they have some growing to do in these arrangements, but I loved them just the same (as you all probably know, she could sing the white pages and I would love it, just sing honey sing!!!) All in all I was really pleased with her selection of material and they way it played out. I dreamed of her lying across the piano and purring one or even sit behind the piano and play with the band (as she called the orchestra several times).{OK WHO PINCHED ME???} I thought her treatment of "A Case of You" borrowed alot more from the original version than on BSN and I really liked it. She seemed so comfortable with this huge band (now I am doing it) and she was loose and playful with the lyrics. She cracked me up with her comments about being grown up and adult, which she mentioned several times. I have to admit, that I had that feeling of being all grown up too (most of you who know me, KNOW, what a big kid I really am, but hey it's catchy).

I thought the audience in LA was weird (as usual) and there were tons of people calling out for songs like "California" and "Help Me". I found and felt pockets of warmth throughout this beautiful venue, but there was something lacking. Maybe we needed a jmdl section for strength and support, both for us and Joni. I found myself thinking of my friends I came with and wishing I could have sat near them. I must admit I was very exhilarated by the show and could not calm my heart, but I know it put alot of folks on the sleepy side till "Stormy Weather" and from there on it was a different vibe in the room. At four different points ( "Case of You", "Be Cool", "Judgment, and "For the Roses") during the show I welled up with so much emotion I thought I would burst. During "For the Roses" I thought of old Wally and imagined him sitting in the front row with Jim and friends and his face radiant and smiling like it was in PWWAM. I also found myself thinking of dear Marian in Vienna (who I found out that night is not coming to New Orleans) and Anne who is mending and to all of you folks in Europe and down under that might not be able to be at one of the shows and I was somehow soothed with the knowledge that we can live and share through each other in this community. (and thanks to our new list sponsor,MaxiPads, we will have a "Tree" of this show)

As a sound person I thought the audio crew did an amazing job. With two 56 input Yamaha PM-4K consoles, I know that was not an easy task even in skilled hands. The venue lent itself to good sound and my hat goes of to the crew that made it so special (I hope a board tape surfaces or a live release). I will have to defer to one of my friends to describe her outfits because the best I can do is say she was very beautiful and the colours and patterns she chose, as always were brilliant.

If you are not yet signed up to see one of the shows, I strongly urge you to rob a bank, sell a child, or do whatever you have to do, to be a part of this wonderful time in Joni's life and legacy.

I would like to thank Jim for giving me the chance to be the official photographer, which I was going to have my wife do (seeing how she is the visual artist in the family), but she got cold feet about the digital camera and threw me the ball. I have sent the Digital's to Jim which were pretty good considering the light situation and I just got our film back and there are several good ones there as well. I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible with my charge and still get a couple of shots and I am pleased with my humble results. Also to all my hosts and friends that I got to share this experience with, thank you from the bottom of my heart, and hope we can do this often!

I am sorry this took a few days to come out, but I am sure you understand. I know a lot of you have already posted about both shows so far and I look forward to reading them as soon as I catch up to the digests. I know there will be mo betta written reports with more details then I have given you, but I just wanted to share my feelings with all of you. ONLY 10 SHOWS LEFT. CATCH ONE OR TWO!!!!!!! Yeah, Joni! Whooooo-Hoooooooo!

Michael Paz New Orleans

REPORTS FROM THE INTERNET COMMUNITY

Dear Jim,
While at the Greek Theatre last night, I kept thinking how surreal a moment it was for me :)

The night was absolutely beautiful, warm and clear and dry with a slight breeze. Everything was perfect except for quite a few inconsiderate concert-goers who were still arriviing an hour after the show began, and talking (probably on their cell phones, this being LA). The concert began with a long orchestral introductory piece that I was unfamiliar with, most likely written by Joni (no mention on the program) that seemed to set a mood of serious intention. The sound system was perfectly blended and the orchestra included Mark Isham and Herbie Hancock, but of course, Joni's arrival brought everyone to their feet and quite a few people were wiping away the tears from the beginning.

The evening felt very short. She performed the Both Sides Now album as the arc of a modern romance, and gave a bit of a description of "where the relationship was going." Initially, during the first couple of songs, she seemed to hold back a bit, hardly even opening her eyes, but as time moved on, she became more and more comfortable, making a couple of jokes about the path of romance and when she did "A Case of You," it melted every heart in the audience. After a brief intermission, she seemed far more comfortable, bringing out her cigarette and belting "Stormy Weather," absolutely fabulous. And, well, thank God she changed her dress, cause the first one, in magenta and gold, had this weird batcape and did weird things to her body. :)

"Both Sides Now" brought a standing ovation; she was fully showing her power and essence. Somehow, this very old song seems to have been written by this woman now, for who she is today. It was the highpoint of the concert.

She only performed four more songs, and announced that she was working on a follow-up album to Both Sides Now with the same form of orchestration. She sang "Be Cool," which sounded fantastic with the large orchestra. So did "Ludwig's Tune," never one of my favorite JM songs, but really improved by the huge orchestrations. "Hijera" made all of the fans misty, and though the new "big" sound worked well, I have to admit I didn't like a new version of "For the Roses," the song that plays in my head so often because of the beauty and tenderness of her performance on the album. The new version is no longer soft and gentle and personal; it was harsh and a little angry. Yes, it matched the lyrics in its attack on the music industry, but I miss that quiet breaking voice saying that she couldn't give up the things her success brought her.

The final song was a Marvin Gaye number I didn't know, but was fun, jazzy and interesting. That was it.

Her longest chat was before Ludwig's Tune, when she spoke about the man who invented the metronome trying to get Beethoven to write a commercial hit with a little bit of the French and English national anthems tied in, which "sold millions but was the worst piece of shit he ever wrote!" She was funny and charming and disarming. I think she was a bit afraid of how the fans would react to the orchestra and the formality of the evening. She would say, "Yeah, this is formal, but it's beautiful, isn't it?" and she thanked the audience at the end, saying how hard it was to open this series in LA, the music industry capital of the world.

While leaving, a heard a few negative comments that her voice doesn't have the range, why didn't she sing "The Circle Game," yadda-yadda-yadda. These people could not be true Joni Mitchell fans. They wanted an exercise of nostalgia and because Joni's music is so tied into the emotional memories of people, I don't blame them for desiring that sort of evening. But, as we all know well, Joni is, as always, the experimenting artist, and I loved every minute of the performance.

Jim, have a wonderful time and experience. you're gonna love it.

David

Saw Joni at the Greek, last night! My first Joni concert! She was so beautiful. Surprisingly, she was also nervous the first song. Confidence happened, though, and her voice backed up by a full orchestra was glorious!!! No one will be disappointed with this very different version of our beloved songstress!

Dear Joni,

"A case of you" and "Both sides now" were your finest moments. My friend and I were both crying. But I am dissapointed that you did not do more of your classic songs. "River" is my favorite and you will always be #1 in my book. Love you always.

Bill German, Los Angeles.

You Can't Go Home Again...

I have been one of Joni Mitchell's biggest fans from the 60's forward. No fan has listened to her music much more than I have. I saw her in concert a number of times in the Seventies. Love her.

The new "tour" beginning was a HUGE disappointment. Her voice (range) is largely gone. She smokes on stage, and the years of smoking have badly damaged her wonderful voice. I was worried that she would not make it through all the songs without totally losing her voice.

Her concert followed a pre-printed progam which tracked her new album. At the end she added about four or five songs -- Ludwig's Tune (Judgement of The Moon and Stars), and Let The Wind Carry Me from "For The Roses" and Refuge of the Roads from the "Hejira" album (Note from Jim: Joni didn't do "Let the Wind Carry Me" or "Refuge;" it was actually "For The Roses" and "Hejira"). She ended the concert with a Marvin Gay tune. Herbie Hancock accompanied her on several numbers.

She was unsteady and weak voiced at the beginning of the show, but seemed to gain strength and confidence as it progressed. But her range is extremely narrow now. And I felt the sound mixing was way off -- the orchestra at times overwhelmed her vocals to the point of total "drown-out".

Personally, I really looked forward to hearing "Case of You" -- remembering her do it with a dulcimer on her knee -- but it was flat. "Both Sides Now" was o.k.. The other non-Joni-written songs were generally slow and plotting and overwhelmed in volume by the orchestra. I overheard a lot of people commenting on how "odd" as we exited.

And then there was the fact there were A LOT of empty seats in a relatively small venue in her home town. Though the people who were there still shouted out requests like the old days. And her patter with the audience was cute at times. She called her ex -- Larry Klein -- "The Russian on Prozac".

...None of which will ever shake my wonderful memories of seeing and hearing Joni in her prime -- a creative genius to be sure -- and more importantly: how her words and music will always be an intregral part of my life and who I am.

Bless her for that.

Finally, awake...kinda.

Kakki, Scott, Phyllis, and Clark gave excellent reports to which little can be added from this weary concert and party goer. I did want to share a few Coyote moments.

First and foremost. The People. My biggest thrill was to meet my fellow JMDLers. Some thought I was crazy to have *strangers* into my house. People I haven't met. "And you know them through the Internet? My God, hide the silver," a pal suggested. I have never met so many WONDERFUL people at one sitting. A gracious, talented, savvy bunch of very cool, animated folks climbed the stairs into my house and heart last night. I love you all. JMDL legends.

As posted before, this is the first JM concert I have ever attended. It was a picture perfect LA day and evening for Joni Day in LA. God smiled on her and she made such beautiful music in such good voice. I am not an emotional guy, but the highlight of the night for me was ACOY. When the orchestra opened the song, that beautiful introduction, I felt very weird in anticipation. Like my insides were shaking. When Joni started to sing, I felt this lump growing in my throat and suddenly tears started to fall down my cheeks. A rush of memories consumed me as I listened. Mesmerized by every word and note. Memories of old friends (some now gone) with whom I shared past JM moments. I also felt other times again, the memorable times simply sitting and listening to ACOY. My stream of tears soon grew to stifled sobs. I was embarrassed to have my seat mates hear me, so it actually hurt. I have never cried over music before.

At one point, Joni used a lyric sheet for one of the BSN songs. I can't recall which one. She seemed to use it for the first verse, then triumphantly threw it to the stage floor. The look on her face, her smile, and the way she puffed up after ridding herself of the lyrics indicated (again) I've got this one nailed. She sure did. (Note to self: That lyric sheet could be worth a fortune, go back to the Greek today and search through the trash.)

Back to the other legends. This morning, while straightening up the house, I came upon a gift made and left by one. A beautiful pottery vase, which now graces my mantle as a cherished memory.

I was sprinkled by stardust last night. Enjoy yourselves tonight in the Bay Area. You will!

No regrets,
Coyote (Rick)
Casa Alegre
Hollywood, California

I'll be dancin' on a pony keg.

Joni was fabulous as usual at last night's concert (5/12/00) accompanied by an orchestra, her ex (she called him the Russian on Prozac), and Herbie Hancock, among others. The set, classic Joni good taste--a backdrop of stars and a rainbow of lights throughout the show. Smoke billowed in the colored lights and her smokey voice set a mood that rendered her frozen, hanging on every note and movement.

She told a great story about Beethoven to illustrate the difference between art and business, and joked and laughed with her audience.

My favorite songs were the new version of "A Case of You" and "Both Sides Now," but truly all was fabulous.

I have followed Joni since I was about 14 (I'm 44 now). Once, I'm ashamed to say, I followed her in my car through Laurel Canyon after a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. She's as beautiful, brilliant, poignant, funny, and insightful as ever. I'm now content to appreciate her from afar. Anyone who attends this concert series, including those who do not follow her closely, will enjoy it. It's five stars, like Joni.

Lisa McGregor-Peters

Hi Jim,

You're going to have a blast tonight! Joni and the Orchestra were "abbalolie fabalous," last evening at The Greek, LOL. I couldn't have enjoyed it more unless she performed a bit longer. I do agree with some of the other comments that Joni's voice was a bit tight at first, but then she quickly warmed up and gave a more than heart warming, beautiful interpretation of the many faces of love.

As far as Joni's more mature and sultry voice, partly due to years of smoking, oh well... Next people will be complaining about her wrinkles. Though I am certainly prejudice where Joni is concerned, without a doubt she is a marvelous entertainer. She definitely did not have a whole lot to say because her music says it all. Joni's never been a big banterer of idol chit chat. She's serious and playful, but reserved in what she says and how she acts. Of course most of us could listen to her go on forever with her fluid, articulate opinions. She has given many interviews where she talks quite frankly and is honest and open, so I'm not going to chastise her for the lack of a "Gabfest."

Joni was there to present her newest music which she did with grace, and I for one loved every minute of it! I'd have to say that my favorite was "Refuge of The Roads" because of the extraordinary instrumentation.

Joni also looked wonderful. She had a beautiful glow and appeared to be in great health. As opposed to other comments, I thought her attire was great. Both outfits were stunning and appropriate for her.

Nothing like being partial to a person, eh? Happy trails and have an exceptional time.

Diann

The Los Angeles concert was the first Joni Mitchell concert I ever attended. I have been a fan of hers from her first albums through the present. The evening could not have been more perfect. The sky was clear, the stars were out and then there was Joni. What a treat to hear her sing songs that were not written by her, only enjoyed by her. Joni's love for jazz seemingly began with the kind of inspirational music performed at the Both Sides Now concert.

The first half of the concert included those jazz standards beautifully performed by Joni. Her voice a little deeper, a little more matured and unmistakably Joni." A Case of You" and "Both Sides Now," her songs, were enthusiastically received by the crowd and rightly so.

To hear those songs arranged with a 70 piece orchestra was too beautiful to put into words.

The second half of the evening included more songs from "Both Sides Now"as well as some of Joni's music.

The other reviews in this section can detail for you every song that was performed, however, my reason for writing this review was to share with you my feelings for her choice of music.

It was not hard to overhear comments from some of the concert goers that Joni should have played more of her old music. I can appreciate anyone's sentimental yearning to hear Joni's older music. I'm quite sure that anyone attending that concert last night was there because of what Joni's works had brought to each person's life. I wouldn't have complained much either if she played an entire night of her own music. All that said, the evening for me wasn't about what I wanted to hear as much as it was about watching her have such a great time. Her playfulness was so inspiring. Her love for those standard songs were so deeply felt and performed you couldn't help but feel she, in her own way, wrote them herself.

Joni's own resolve seemed to be slightly apologetic for making us sit through her self indulgence. She couldn't be farther from the truth as I experienced it. One of her comments after performing "A Case of You" may have illustrated her feelings when and after a large, enthusiastic round of applause, she said, "now your being generous."

In conclusion, it was for me a privilege to hear every note played, every word sung. Wherever she takes us in music you can't help but coming out of the experience thankful to be alive, thankful that music and all the arts are around for the those who want it.

Thank you, Joni. Stay well and keep painting words for us!

Ben Daidone

Dear Jim,

We left early and fought L.A.'s hellish Friday afternoon traffic for an hour and a half. Arrived at the Greek Theatre with excellent Section A / Row P tickets and time to spare.

The souvenier stand offered some nice items; t-shirts and poster size versions of the paintings included in the "Both Sides Now" collector's editon CD. We decided on the "no smoking" poster ($50) and t-shirt ($27).

As we settled into our seats, the house lights were darkened. Joni's impressive 70-piece orchestra began the concert with a soothing overture, but The Goddess was nowhere to be seen. It was a perfect opportunity to gaze up at the stars and appreciate the venue's fine acoustics. At the piece's conclusion, Joni emerged from the wings to a rousing standing ovation. Wearing a clinging lavender dress and matching cape, she looked absolutely beautiful.

Joni was in fine voice (and I mean FINE!) as she launched into songs from the new album. The orchestral backing was full and lush. Contrary to one of the questionable reviews featured on your website, I thought the show was well mixed. I heard every note and every word perfectly clear.

Took a bathroom break at the wrong time and missed "A Case of You." After a brief intermission, Joni returned to the stage wearing a long black skirt adorned with suns and moons. The concert's second half was for hardcore JM fans, like my girlfriend Joni (yes, her name is Joni too). Besides the standards and "Both Sides Now," I was unfamiliar with the songs that finished off the evening. She has informed me that you Joni fanatics can look forward to "Ludwig's Tune," "Let The Wind Carry Me," and "Hejira."

We had a wonderful time and you will too.

Eli & Joni Seal Beach, CA

Last night I saw Joni Mitchell for the fourth time. My god she just gets better and better, like a bottle of fine wine. It was a beautiful warm clear night a the Greek Theater in Los Angeles the orchestra opened with a tune that I could only describe as the planet breathing under my soul and the air hung like the wind under an eagles wing. Joni's voice was like a knife cutting through the fog and bring sight to the blind. I am not going to through song by song, but the standards have not been performed like that since the likes of Ella and Billy . Her rendition of a case of you brought tears to my eyes and moved me to such inner peace..the reworked "For the roses" was a great gift to my soul and I feel honored to have spent an evening with a woman who has so much beauty, class and the ability to share her vunerability with so many at once. thank you for all the music over the years, Charles

Hi, There was a big ol' raccoon at The Greek that was above the front of the stage - at the lighting grid level, that walked across the front white beam *just* after Joni was announced.

It was up there somewhere for the show. We kept wondering if it would suddenly plop down and make a splash into some cymbals....but we never did see it again. One can only imagine what it was feeling and thinking with the full orchestra down below and, at last, Joni.

I let the crew back at the mix/lighting boards know there was a raccoon up there, so, to be mindful of it as they struck the lighting above the stage.

But someone should tell Joni so she knows she had a big ol' raccoon above her for opening night!!!

Does anyone know where I can get some XL t-shirts - The "The best facelift is a smile" ones???????

They only had mediums for sale at The Greek, and, I believe they were made for her Taming The Tiger tour.

Thanks! Cheers Birdie

Joni was sublime!! What a true talent!! No "copycatism" from Joni! Joni The Original ... The Only. She's beyond words to adequately express. What A True Artist ... My... Joni Mitchell !. She never fails to blow me away. This weekend at the Greek Theatre was like being at the right place at the right time. The grand yet intimate music danced with the stars ... the cool gentle breeze moved over us like some sort of mystical revival... Her newest selection of songs from her former exceptional album, "For The Roses" ("Judgment Of The Moon & Stars - Ludwig's Tune" & "For The Roses") & folks, from one of my other favorites, her "Hejira" album, it's title tune, that pierces your thoughts, was so incredible. These gems of hers that she arranged to orchestration, left the crowd cheering for more! No one wanted to leave. ... The crowd was insatiable...not that she didn't give us all the best high, it's just that she gave something of herself that leaves you craving more! This was one of her best performances ever! Thank You Joni Mitchell For Giving To Us A Lifetime Of Music In The Richest Form !

We love you Joni !

Annie Laurie Hyde Fort Worth Texas

Always impressed by Joni whom I believe to be the best songwriter ever. Love her paintings too. The concert was definitely different from any I'd seen in the past. I recall seeing her in the early 80's at the Universal during her Wild Things tour (do any of you remember her singing, "Heard it through the grapevine"?) and again later at a benefit in Orange County (where she told people in the front row who were being loud that she was much too small an act for that stage, unbelieveable). I'm remembering a Joni with more energy but enjoy all her new endeavors. My highlight of the evening was definitely the "Ludwig's Tune- Judgement of the Moon and Stars" - a tune I used to try and play on my piano for years. Most of the songs outside of her new songs were her more obscure ones, so most people had trouble recognizing them, not me...I loved them all. The orchestra was a bit overpowering at times but I would have been happy to listen to Joni without any backup at all! It was my Mother's day gift from my husband and kids...a very memorable one. Thanks Joni for you and your music, Linda

Superlative! Unbelieveable! Beautiful! Classy! Consummate Performer! These adjectives do not seem to do justice to Joni. The opening performance of her tour was both a mix of her wonderful new material and nostalgic songs from the past. Joni not only mesmerized the audience with her talent, energy and creative genius, but also brought tears to the eyes of her faithful fans, both old and new. The songs she sang from Both Sides Now are simply some of the most beautiful renditions I have ever heard. I encourage everyone who has the opportunity to see her during this tour to go. It is an experience you will never forget. I still get goosebumps thinking about it!! :-)

It was simply one of the best concerts I have ever seen in my life. Go. Enjoy. She is truly a class act.

Sincerely, Judy Haugh

Hi I think that most people who fall in love with Joni Mitchell fall first for the poetry. I fell for the sound. I can still remember hearing "Help Me" on a tinny AM car radio when I was 13 years old and thinking that it sounded like nothing else I'd ever heard. That's an experience I've repeated many times with many albums and concerts since then; it's an experince I had listening to "Both Sides Now" for the first time. Joni Mitchell almost never disappoints me, because she's always searching for something new--even when she's singing sixty-year-old standards.

A reviewer (while panning "Night Ride Home." if I'm remembering correctly) once described Joni's voice as a national treasure. To my mind, it just gets richer, more expressive, more musical as it ages. I don't miss the high notes. So an evening devoted just to Joni's singing was a real treat for me.

It was a beautiful evening--clear, warm and breezy. My friend Brian (he flew in from San Antonio just for the occasion) and I were late because of hellish LA traffic, and got to our eighth-row-center seats midway through the overture. I didn't have time to look at the program before Joni walked onstage, but I wasn't surprised that she chose to perform the "Both Sides Now" album in order. It seemed the right way to present the material. Joni was a little nervous at first--this was the first night of the tour--but she quickly got over it, and sang with great authority and presence. At one point between songs she said "This is all very adult, don't you think?"

It WAS very adult, and classy and fun. The "Both Sides Now" songs felt light and free in concert. While "Both Sides Now," "At Last," and "I Wish I Were in Love Again" remained my favourites, I finally got the point of her reworking of "A Case of You," which had left me cold on the CD.

After a long, well-deserved standing ovation for "Both Sides Now," I was eagerly anticipating the "new material." She lead with "Be Cool," a throwaway sort of song from "Wild Things Run Fast," which is probably my least favorite Joni album. With a brilliant jazz orchestration, it was transformed into an instant classic. It totally rocked. She followed that with a long, weird, funny story about Beethoven to introduce "Judgement of the Moon and Stars," an ambitious piece from "For the Roses." It was amazing--very loud and Romantic (in the musical sense of the word). Then came a big, sweeping, gorgeous version of "Hejira" and an odd recasting of "For the Roses," which I think steamrolled over a very beautiful, intimate song.

She encored with "Trouble Man," the Marvin Gaye song she sang on Clint Eastwood's son's jazz album. The crowd went wild--I doubt most of them knew Joni could be such a great R&B belter. I vote for a "Joni Sings the R&B Classics" album in the near future.

--Michael Logan

I read each and every "review" and my sentiments are echoed, wanting to say something profound and witty, I can only say that when I first really listened to " Shadows and Light" in the late 80's ( I know, I know, I am a late bloomer, a German man introduced me to her), I was completely blown away by her musicianship her words and her music. Since then I have been a true fan. My Mother's day present was 2 tickets to see her here in L.A. I can only imagine what it must have been like during her other tours and really saddened by the fact that I discovered her so late in her career. When she walked out on stage, my breathe was taken away and tears filled my eyes from the awe that I felt. I so wanted to scream out that I loved her and my true appreciation. For those people that wanted to hear more of her "old stuff" I was so appreciative of her just singing and opening in L.A. that she could've sung the A B C's. I was in Section C row A center. Perfect seats for sound, Her voice was more than I could've hoped for, and for those of you who commented on nerves and confidence, you try and sing in front of that many people. Anyway, I wanted to put my comments on your site for what they are worth, If I died today, I would die a happy, content person. I got to see Joni live. Not wanting it to be over, I sat in my seat until most everyone had filed out, my husband went down to the stage and asked for a bit of the flower arrangement after the show, a very nice lady gave him some of the arrangement and ended up with a feather butterfly attached... What a thrill... she is my thrill :) Thanks for listening Amy Moran

I had not seen Joni perform live since the Shadows & Light tour in '79, so Friday night at the Greek Theater was a momentous night for me. I will agree that the audience was late and moved too much. Two drunk concertgoers in front of me had to be asked to be quiet repeatedly. And the woman next to me checked her email on her cell phone while Joni was giving her all. (I won't even go into the hell Ticketmaster put me through.)

BUT it was a remarkable night. Enchanting, really. Joni clearly was elated to be singing with an orchestra. And, while I missed her wonderful storytelling---one of the best parts of her 70's concerts---the entire evening was inspirational. "Trouble Man" is now the highlight of any Joni concert, as it was on her TV special two years ago.

Yes, I would have loved for Joni to have given the orchestra a cigarette break so she could sit at the piano and sing "River" or "Blonde in the Bleachers" or "Court & Spark." But these are tiny quibbles. The astonishing thing about Joni is she is ever evolving. I'm just happy I was there for one of the evolutions.

Brava, Joni! Have a fun month!

Tom O'Leary

I am also a longtime Joni fan. I saw the concert at the Greek, the same place I saw her give without question the best concert I've ever seen -- back in the late Seventies.

I agree that it was a lovely setting, a beautiful night, but also tend to agree with the review that said the show was disappointing.

I love Joni, but she did not look flattering in the purple thing she was wearing in the first half. (Lose, it Girl!) The orchestra was powerful, at times overwhelming her nicely phrased lyrics. I guess the people who heard her were sitting closer than I. Sorry, but I like to hear ALL the words. But lets's be real, folks -- her voice is a shell of its former self. If you heard her in her early years you have a diffcult time with her voice now. The people around me seemed to feel the same. The guy next to me (obviously not a fan) dozed throughout the second half.

Like most people, I liked her own songs best. "For The Roses", "Hejira", "Ludwigs Tune" and "Both Sounds Now" were the best of the night's tunes.

But in the end, I felt disappointment, as did the group of people with me. Not to say I wasn't glad to have seen and heard her again. For what its worth, I understand the Concord Concert was not much better. Relatives of mine that saw her the next night left at intermission with a number of other unhappy attendees.

All of which just goes to show you....everybody's a critic! LOL!

Rick Los Angeles

I went to Joni's show at the Greek on the 12th and was once again in awe of the beauty this woman never fails to exhibit. I realize that many of her fans were probably diappointed that they could not hear many of their old favorites, but to them I say, "If you are a true fan then you will understand why she did this". Jazz is in her blood. I was a little worried in the beginning. There was a certain chemistry missing. But when Herbie finally showed up, the show proved to be exceptional. And I was lucky enough to be able to hear my favorite song, "Hejira", done up-beat and so inspiring. Thank you to everyone who put that show together. If only Jaco and Charles could've been there!

It was a beautiful night at the Greek, with a warm and gentle breeze coming through the trees. Joni and company gave an extraordinary and very beautiful concert. She was sublime: completely dedicated to realizing her vision, completely open and loving in her expression, completely sincere. Her banter was charming though minimal (except for the funny, moving, illustrative, and instantly classic Beethoven story), and her phrasing on much of the BSN material was even more nuanced and expressive than it is on the album. I was deeply moved, especially when listening to the reworkings of her old material. Somehow the orchestration removes them so completely from their original context that the effect is to highlight the gulf of time and experience that lies between the artist/person that Joni was and that which she has become. And so for me the emotional resonance of these songs created not so much a feeling of nostalgia, but rather more of an appreciation for the continuation and growth of life, love, and art. After the show I thought to myself that this is truly what makes a Diva. Not just that she has "divine" talent, but that she has lived to the point that she can evoke a universal, worldly, and increasingly powerful pathos.

It was thrilling to hear the newly orchestrated material performed for the first time. I am very curious to know what stage of development these songs are in, and exactly what the nature of the collaborative process is between Joni, Klein, and Mendoza as they work on the next album. I thought "Be Cool" was the most fully realized and the one in which Joni felt most comfortable. It was beautiful. "Hejira" was also gorgeously and lovingly done; I appreciated the varied and subtle use of the orchestra and the lightness created by the "samba" beat, as it has been called here (and I would say that is probably accurate; it had a little of the flavor of the clip from the VH1 Coast To Coast jam on JMDL Tape Tree One, the one with Wayne, Herbie, David Sanborn, and Bobby McFerrin). I thought "Judgement Of The Moon And Stars" was impressive but a bit awkward. It was so ambitious, and so grand, that to me it needed to be perfect to work, and it wasn't polished. Still, in places Joni's vocals were so expressive, honest, and penetrating that I had chills. "For The Roses" was stunning. The orchestration was ethereal, and her vocals, especially on the last two stanzas, were powerful and haunting. When the dying strains of the song kept slowly and softly breathing, and the empty spotlight theatrically revealed that Joni had made her exit (stage left, in darkness), the audience was enraptured. The piece ended, and for a moment there was genuine, absolute silence.

I feel very fortunate to watch Joni as her art continues to evolve. Though awed by her talent, I am even more overwhelmed by the dedication and love of her spirit.

David

I know it’s late to post for this show but I just returned from the astral plane after Joni’s performance caused me to levitate and forget that I had. What a glamorous dynamo! And the band was lovely too.

I’ve been perusing the concert commentary and really want to say that I’m astounded by those fans who would have Joni dust off her dulcimer. Why, that would be contrary to creativity - to evolution even! Allow her to aspire to the outer galaxy and encounter aliens - she’d make a terrific Earth ambassador. Isn’t she being studied as the new missing link?

Also, am I the only one there who heard a man shout, “Joni, you’re white hot!” And she replied, “Like a lava lamp.”

Or did I dream that?

Thank you, Joni Mitchell, for being brave and intriguing.

Annika San Francisco

Hi, A very late review posting, but from a different perspective, I think: Last seen (I'm English, resident in London): Wembley Stadium, London, in 1974 (along with CSN&Y, Jesse Colin Young, The Band)!
LA Venue: Perfect
Tickets: Obtained via ticketmaster.com (and an expensive 'international booking fee'. Why? I collected from WIllCall on the night).
Joni's Voice: Now richer, not weaker.
Catalogue: So much richer and stronger.
Performance: Professional, charming.
Audience: Too noisy (take a lesson from us Brits and make a noise at the appropriate moments only).
Worse thing: Why smoke on stage? (and on the BSN album cover painting). Pity to think that Joni must smell of stale tobacco, I always think.
Conclusion: I've sometimes struggled to stay with Joni on all of her musical forays. But 30 years on I'm still hanging in there. There's still nobody close.

'In my blood, like holy wine.'

Paul, London.


JMDL Member Comments

Mike: Just got back from the concert in LA and thought I would post a quick note before getting some rest.

As I recall, all the songs from BSN were performed in album order. There was one brief intermission about an hour into the show. After she performed Both Sides Now, Joni mentioned that she is half way through another recording project with orchestra and had a few more things to play for us. These were:

Be Cool
Judgement Of The Moon and Stars (Ludwig's Tune)
Hejira
For The Roses
Trouble Man (Marvin Gaye)

Just wait until you hear Hejira with full orchestra!!!

In addition to the orchestra, other performers joining Joni on stage for one or more songs were: Mark Isham, Herbie Hancock, Peter Erskine, Larry Klein (whom Joni introduced as a "Russian on Prozac").

There was a four page color program featuring some of Joni's BSN artwork given to everyone upon entry. There are BSN tshirts ($27), lithos ($50) and a fleece vest ($?) for sale, along with TTT and TI tshirts.

Joni seemed to be so happy and relaxed on stage. It must have been a dream come true to work with orchestra in a live setting. The first half of the evening she wore a beautiful light purple gown. Hard for me to classify - somewhat oriental in styling, made of an ususual ribbed fabric that moved in the light breeze. The second half of the show she wore an unusual print skirt (a Hindu deity on a winged throne, rays of light, planets and stars) and a long, dark maroon jacket.

BTW - If anyone has a tape of this evening, I do need a copy.


Kelley: Joni sang the songs in the order of BSN. Then she sang "Be Cool", Judgment of the Moon & Stars (Ludwigs Tune), "For the Roses", and ended with Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man". Herbie Hancock sat in on piano a few times. She was radiant as usual and appeared so very confortable with herself. It's late, I'm tired and have to fly back to Northern CA tomorow to catch her next show (5th row orchestra!) I'll let the more seasoned posters fill you in with their details and rave reviews.


Coyote: All I can say is I am glad I wore dark pants. We had an absolute blast! Kakki and Paz will probably give full-blown details. I am exhausted!


Kakki: Just got home from the Bel Air Hotel after 12 hours of fantastic partying and music. What a day, what a night - there's too much to tell for now, but all that came out of my mouth for most of the night was "oh my God, oh my God." It was unbelievable - still hasn't quite sunk in yet. Just savoring it for now. Off to dreamland and more later.


Don: It's 4:00 a.m. and I'm just home after a glorious evening under the stars with Joni. (Okay. So it was L.A. and I didn't really see any stars, but I'm sure they were there.) Being exhausted at the moment, I'll not go into any detail, but wanted to say simply this for now:

That VOICE!!!!! Stronger and more emotional than ever!! A powerful and confident performance, I'd say.

Thanks to Kakki for the birthday card and for setting up the post-gig meeting of the tribe at the Bel Air. It was great seeing everyone.

Got to close the eyes......


Scott: On a warm night under starry skies Joni kicked off her BSN 2000 tour before a full house at L.A.'s beautiful Greek Theatre. The small and intimate venue proved to have stunning acoustics and this jewel of an amphitheater is simply a first class arena.

First off, for those who have lamented the "loss" of Joni's vocal abilities, this just in--she's still got it! Her presentation was crystal clear throughout the evening, no raspiness whatsoever, and covered a broad range of notes, including several long and very long sustained passages...absolutely no shortness of breath...just effortless and silky-smooth expression. There is a huskiness that wasn't there years ago but she stood up on that stage and belted the renditions with total control. Joni seemed to have a youthful energy that infected everyone on stage as well as the audience. I thought that she was in better voice last night than she was when the album "Both Sides Now" was recorded. Although there was only limited rehearsal time due to the logistics of putting together a large orchestra like that, I wonder if Joni hasn't been exercising her voice and practicing her breathing techniques because there was a degree of clarity which has been absent for the past little while.

I thought Joni was nervous when she first came out and spoke a few words before taking off with "You're My Thrill." Prior to this the orchestra warmed up the crowd with about a six-minute prologue, a piece I'm not familiar with. Perhaps due to unusually heavy traffic, the concert started a half-hour later than scheduled, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Towards the end of this orchestral introduction the crowd began buzzing in anticipation of Joni taking the stage. If she was apprehensive it quickly vanished once she began singing, and SIQUOMB seemed very much at ease throughout the evening. After the first song was over she gave a little gesture of clenched fists as if to say "I nailed it!" And indeed she did. There was a radiance from the stage, not just from Joni but the entire orchestra was obviously having a great time, or in the words of one 74-year-old orchestra member whom we spoke to after the show, "the time of my life!"

She proceded through all the songs, in order, from the "Both Sides Now" album: "At Last," "Comes Love," "You've Changed," "Answer Me, My Love," "A Case of You," "Don't Go To Strangers," "Sometimes I'm Happy," "Don't Worry About Me," "Stormy Weather," "I Wish I Were In Love Again," and "Both Sides Now." They were faithful to the album, but Joni added several new vocal nuances for this live performance which kept the concert from being an exact duplicate of the album, which, given the fact that the music is all scored and played note for note each time, would be expected. What made this so much better than listening to the album, aside from it being Joni in a live concert, was the superior Greek Theatre sound system. There is a small amount of ambient noise throughout much of BSN which is due to it being recorded with very few microphones in an attempt to capture the concert hall sound. This (IMO) extraneous hiss was completely eliminated last night by placing the mikes closer to the instruments and allowing that fantastic p.a. system to deliver the music in an extremely pure form. I can't offer up enough superlatives about the sound quality of the Greek Theatre and its equipment.

Special guests Herbie Hancock, Mark Isham, and Larry Klein each injected some magic when called upon. Herbie, in particular, cast an entirely new jazz feel over the top of the "standards" orchestra, and Isham's solos were a bit more subdued and at the same time varied from what he has been doing with Joni recently. Klein took the stage for "Hejira" and displayed a technically challenged set of bass riffs that perfectly complemented this song. As the unannounced song began I thought the bass notes were sounding like a nebulous version of "Hejira" but I couldn't believe they were going to tackle this one. Quickly though Klein launched into those familiar lines and my surprise turned into shock. The minimalist orchestral accompaniment on this song allowed a more focused interplay between Joni and Larry, recreating that "one-on-one" feel that Joni had with Jaco on the original version. It was a bold choice. To me the songs on the album "Hejira" have a solitary feeling, one borne from that solo cross-country journey. So how does a large orchestra convey this feeling and allow those powerful and brilliant lyrics to take the fore? By laying back and simply adding a few colors here and there, the moment was clearly Joni's and Larry's. Sublime.

The whole concert was one highlight after another but I was especially moved by the treatment of one of my all-time favorite compositions, "Judgement of the Moon and Stars." After telling a story about Beethoven's disenchantment with the music "biz" during his time, Joni announced that she would perform "Ludwig" next. A gasp went up from those of us who had only dreamed of this moment. As soon as the first notes were taken up by the orchestra a spell was cast...truly mesmerizing as this huge song was built up and up and up by the players, reaching an awesome crescendo with all the instruments literally screaming before settling gently down for the bridge. Too soon it was over, but the message had been sent. This orchestral piece, composed by Joni Mitchell, is musical genius.

"Be Cool" was to me a surprise choice but arranger Vince Mendoza threw in a bluesy feel and it worked beautifully. "For The Roses" was put to a dissonant arrangement that captured the inner clashes Joni originally wrote about. I was so happy that she is revisiting some of the songs off this great album after not playing any of them seemingly forever. Frankly, I thought she had forgotten about many of these albums and songs but sitting there listening to her sing FTR made me consider that she has been spending time going back through her catalog trying to figure out where to go next. I'm glad that she chose to give us this new opportunity to appreciate these gems.

She closed with Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man," a song she has now done live several times and is very comfortable with. At that point it was almost anti-climactic because she had given us a succession of surprises and delights. Nonetheless, this song had everyone beaming. Despite a prolonged standing ovation Joni and the musicians did not return for an encore. But I don't think anyone felt cheated. It was a special night in a special place and Joni showed us the time of our lives.


Kakki: yawn, stretch... ;-o

Don't think I've ever been so exhilarated by a Joni concert. I did not take any notes at the show - just wanted to absorb it. The event is like two shows - the BSN show with Joni in evening gown, then a break, and a "second" show with Joni in what I felt was a very Joni 1970s style outfit giving a completely separate and original, groundbreaking performance. Have to admit that I was anxious with anticipation throughout the "regular" set waiting to see what the surprises would be. As many here know the FTR album is sacred to me, so I'm afraid my review here will be a little partial ;-) The first surprise, "Be Cool" was a huge surprise and I don't think she has ever done a better performance of it. It was just huge, fantastic. In my mesmerized state, I should have gotten the hint about the next song, with her story about Beethoven and the change of attire to the planets, moons and stars with Hindu diva (or is it shiva?) long skirt, but I was clueless. When she announced "Ludwig's Tune", I just lost it. There had been no tears from me for the preceeding songs but at that point I was completely over the top. I have a crimp in my neck today from shaking my head in disbelief so much. Never thought I would ever hear this one live, much less almost 30 years after its debut, in L.A., with a 70 piece orchestra. "Hejira" was sublime and as some commented, had a bit of a salsa beat. When she went into the song For The Roses, I was uncontrollable. Luckily I was sitting with Scott and Shawn Price who share my FTR fanaticism. I'm sure we were noticed in the crowd at this point. Sorry again, Phyliss, for slapping your arm and shaking you so hard ;-D None of us last night could think of any major shows where Joni has ever performed Judgement of the Moon and Stars or For The Roses, much less any FTR content. It was all stunning, it was from another dimension, a real-life apparaition I will never forget.

The Greek has always been the best place for a concert and we couldn't have had a better venue. I had a good seat but also my high-powered binoculars on hand and scanned the first four long rows constantly to see who was there. Very surprisingly, I did not see one celebrity. Everyone appeared to be just "regular" people like the rest of us. This really impressed and touched me. It seemed that Joni gave all the prime seats to her friends and family. I did not not spot Donald or Kiluaren, but sitting front row, dead center, was a lively white-haired lady sitting with a white-haired gentleman. I saw a photo somewhere of Joni's mother once and there was a strong resemblance to this lady. The gentleman, while older, did not look old enough to be Joni's father, but he had these very distinctive and chiseled Nordic features and big cheekbones. Maybe an uncle?

Joni was in a very casual mood and fairly chatty throughout the show. She looked really darling. Some of us remarked that despite her real age, she has such a girlish aura that she appears like a woman in her 20s from a distance.


Clark: I loved the concert last night and I loved seeing all the JMDL people and meeting new ones. Some of us met for a tasty dinner at Coyote Rick's who has a really beautiful home. It was great to meet the flesh versions of people we only know through their posts -- in person, the JMDLers are just as opinionated and articulate as they are in their posts which makes them lively and interesting. Many of us were agreeing to disagree about ANGELS IN AMERICA, MAGNOLIA and AMERICAN BEAUTY and USC versus UCLA.

The Greek is a great venue and from where I was sitting, the orchestra sounded spectacular with everything well miked and each instrument section audible and balanced. The orchestra started off with a wonderful kind of overture before Joni came out. Joni seemed to be having an excellent time and talked about what a thrill it was to be doing this. People in the audience shouted out their love for her, and after doing all the songs from BSN, a few of them shouted out requests which seemed a little ridiculous. I mean, all 70 musicians are suddenly going to shift to some song that someone screams from the audience -- is he or she providing the sheet music? One guy shouted out the famous joke from MOA about Joni having more class than Richard Nixon and Gomer Pyle -- he should have gotten a laugh, but his timing was off.

As for Brian Wilson, he is a genius whose productivity largely came to an end in the early Seventies. I have found his recent solo offerings to be interesting but ultimately unfulfilling. The major irony of Brian's life is that the progenitor of songs about cars, girls, surfing and partying was terribly introverted and shy. He fell into the clutches of a fraudulent therapist who exploited Brian financially and enabled him to continue his dysfunction by keeping Brian utterly reliant on him. Brian was always saddened that his inability to fashion great lyrics was what prevented him from being seen in the same stratosphere with Lennon-McCartney, Dylan, Joni, etc. but he was a real master of fun, catchy hits in the early days and a prominent experimenter in the psychedelic movement. I love the Beach Boys early songs where Brian proved his genius for uniting four part harmony with rock n' roll. On later songs like Wouldn't It Be Nice, California Girls and Good Vibrations, we hear some sublime music that has left the tribal dance category for a more cerebral realm, some really original sounds that did inspire the Beatles.

The best Beach Boys music few people really know. It came out in the early Seventies on the albums Sunflower and the ironically named Surf's Up. Both albums were critical successes and Surf's Up enjoyed some commercial success. It's wonderful music that leaves cars, girls and surfing all behind. Some of the songs have pretentious but pretty lyrics by Van Dyke Parks which make no sense at all. Some of it has baroque touches, and one song, Feel Flows, was heavily borrowed from by William Orbit for Madonna's RAY OF LIGHT album. Paul McCartney was friends with the Boys, and greatly admired Brian's music. This wonderful, lesser known music can be heard in a great collection called Ten Years Together, The Beach Boys.

I love to play the Beach Boys just about every weekend on my way to the beach. They both captured and created the California mystique. I share Brian's fascination with water which is the subject of so many of his songs, and a couple of my own.

I'm sending the loving glow of last night's events to everyone on the list who could not be there.


Phyliss: This L.A. concert goer has been up for a while but had to make the 2 hour drive from her hotel to home before getting to her computer.

The evening began with a party in the Hollywood Hills at the home of our own Coyote. No regrets isn't even close to adequate to describe this. Rick and Brad's home is absolutely incredible. Brightly colored, eclectic, art and collectibles everywhere, lushly landscaped with a huge outdoor living area complete with kitchen. The quintessential L. A. home. The tables were elegantly decorated with fresh leaves and flowers and the food was both beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. It was really hard to drag ourselves away from this place but we had places to go and people to see!! (I considered stopping by for brunch on my way back out of town to partake of any leftovers but....

A lot has been said already about the concert and I agree with it all. Truly a fabulous night and Joni was in top form vocally and looked absolutely radiant. I'll leave the details on her outfits to Steve but I will say this...Issey Miyake...no surprise, huh? I think I was most impressed with the version of Hejira, one of my favorites of all time, better than ever. I kept thinking of Bob and his past requests for more of the "Hejira-Samba" she had partially recorded on video. Bob - Here it is!

Joni described the "story line" of the album before she began to sing. You know, the progression of a love affair. And before many of the songs she gave a one liner intro. For example, she said "so now you are driven to drink" before ACOY and "so now you're desparate and you become generous" before Don't Go To Strangers. I really got a kick out of this. Another fun thing was during Hejira and the line "these things that you and I suppressed", She pointed an outstretched arm at Larry on the word YOU! Everyone giggled, she smiled.

As for Kakki, Scott and Shawn during the FTR numbers...hmmm...the word hysteria seems to fit. My arm is now in an ace bandage from the rocking and banging ; - D I think they liked it!


Kakki: Had to get offline a bit for incoming JMDL'er phone calls ;-) Paz, Julius and Freda are on their way to my place to use my internet connection to send the official report for JM.com and the list. They also took a ton of great photos.

Last night would never have been quite the evening it was without having so many other wonderful members of the list here to share it. I have to give enormous thanks to Rick, our Angeleno Coyote, and Brad, who put on a tremendous pre-party for so many people they had never met before. The party at the Casa Alegre was a beautiful dream. The most charming vintage Spanish house I've ever visited filled with endless gorgeous art work and antiques and a spectacular. The martinis and margaritas flowed and we were raving non-stop. It is a home that Joni herself would dearly envy. I almost did not want to leave it for the show!

The wonderful jmdlers in attendance for the parties were Catherine Turley from Arizona (who is a most brilliant smuggler, hehehe), Phyliss (another crack smuggler ;-), Lindsay, Paz and Freda from Nawlins, Scott and Shawn Price from Washington, Ken Corral and Steve Jonnum (can't wait for Steve's fashion review! ;-), Steve and Michelle Dulson (Michelle thought the opening instrumental prelude was a Debussy piece), Mariana, John Lasater from North Carolina, Don Sloan (thank you for hanging with us despite the 3 hour drive home), Gorgeous Clark, Frank Garwood (the most fun and spirited lurker I've ever met!), Julius Mills from San Fran (I was esctatic he could be there for our reprise at the Bel Air!), and the always kind and so sweet Phil Gibbs from Phoenix. Rick, thank you so much again, you set the stage for a stupendous experience for all of us.

We took over the Bel Air Hotel bar. At first our waiter was getting a bit exasperated with me as endless wave of jmdlers and their friends and families kept arriving, but I think he and the bar management finally gave in to it all - we didn't leave until 2:30 a.m.! Usually they try to start kicking you our of the bars in L.A. a little past 1:00 a.m. The bar piano man played "At Last" for us early on, but as we began to sprawl out over his piano, he packed up his stuff and got out of there ;-) We had just way so much fun. Thanks to everyone who was there. As usual, it ended all too soon.


Coyote: Finally, awake...kinda.

Kakki, Scott, Phyllis, and Clark gave excellent reports to which little can be added from this weary concert and party goer. I did want to share a few Coyote moments.

First and foremost. The People. My biggest thrill was to meet my fellow JMDLers. Some thought I was crazy to have *strangers* into my house. People I haven't met. "And you know them through the Internet? My God, hide the silver," a pal suggested. I have never met so many WONDERFUL people at one sitting. A gracious, talented, savvy bunch of very cool, animated folks climbed the stairs into my house and heart last night. I love you all. JMDL legends.

As posted before, this is the first JM concert I have ever attended. It was a picture perfect LA day and evening for Joni Day in LA. God smiled on her and she made such beautiful music in such good voice. I am not an emotional guy, but the highlight of the night for me was ACOY. When the orchestra opened the song, that beautiful introduction, I felt very weird in anticipation. Like my insides were shaking. When Joni started to sing, I felt this lump growing in my throat and suddenly tears started to fall down my cheeks. A rush of memories consumed me as I listened. Mesmerized by every word and note. Memories of old friends (some now gone) with whom I shared past JM moments. I also felt other times again, the memorable times simply sitting and listening to ACOY. My stream of tears soon grew to stifled sobs. I was embarrassed to have my seat mates hear me, so it actually hurt. I have never cried over music before.

At one point, Joni used a lyric sheet for one of the BSN songs. I can't recall which one. She seemed to use it for the first verse, then triumphantly threw it to the stage floor. The look on her face, her smile, and the way she puffed up after ridding herself of the lyrics indicated (again) I've got this one nailed. She sure did. (Note to self: That lyric sheet could be worth a fortune, go back to the Greek today and search through the trash.)

Back to the other legends. This morning, while straightening up the house, I came upon a gift made and left by one. A beautiful pottery vase, which now graces my mantle as a cherished memory.

I was sprinkled by stardust last night. Enjoy yourselves tonight in the Bay Area. You will!


Scott: A list member asked about the 74-year-old musician we spoke to from last night's Greek Theatre orchestra. As we were stopped at a gas station just outside the venue Kakki spotted a gentleman in a tuxedo and figuring he was with the band, struck up a conversation. I wandered over after a while and the three of us engaged in a gushing recap of the night's events. I'm sorry I don't recall his name, but I figure that's OK, because he told us that before this gig, he hadn't heard of "Joni Mitchell." :-)

This trombone player said last night's orchestra was comprised of mainly studio musicians, which was news to us because we had been thinking that Joni would pick up local L.A. Philharmonic players. Of course either camp is made up of seasoned professionals but we later wondered if Mark Isham used some of his many soundtrack-studio connections to book the musicians. Anyway, the gentleman said they rehearsed for three hours on Tuesday and then reported to the Greek at 12 noon on Friday. By the time we caught up with him it was past 10 p.m. so he had been at work for a long time. Despite being tired he said the members of the orchestra just loved playing this gig and that many of the arrangements "surprised" them as they thought they were going to be playing some "rock and roll" stuff. Little did they know about what Vince Mendoza had in store for them!

He described the music as "very inside" and when probed about this remark said there was much more dissonance and complexity than they expected. He said it was actually hard to play because of the discordance..."I wasn't sure if I was playing the right notes because they didn't seem to fit in with what everyone else was doing," he said. Despite my assurances that it sounded great to us, he kept saying yeah, but it was still "inside."

The Greek orchestra rehearsed for a total of nine hours over two days in preparation for this gig. He said at the rest of the tour the various orchestras would probably only get about three hours' worth of rehearsals but felt that would be adequate.

I feel badly that I do not remember the man's name but am taking some comfort in knowing that the world now has *at least* one more Joni convert today. He said she was "consummate" throughout the rehearsals and the performance and although he had not heard of her before, she's now right up there on his list.

Mine too...


Phyliss: I feel I should mention this for those of you attending concerts elsewhere. The BSN concert program mentioned that Herbie Hancock and Mark Isham would only be performing with Joni in L.A., San Francisco, and New York. I just thought you'd want to know what to expect and not be disappointed if you are crazy about these guys. I'm sure they will have excellent musicians doing their solo parts in other cities and you won't miss them at all.


Frank: As I rise out of lukerville..

What a great evening, the BSN show and then to top it off by meeting a group of JDML'rs at the Bel Air Hotel. What a fun and interesting group. I enjoyed the converstions had by all.

A special thanks to Kakki for coordinating the effort and her giving ways... Can't wait for the next time.


Lindsay: New Joni Lore: Overhead a man near me telling someone that Joni had gone to Woodstock two days (Phylliss heard four days from someone else) before the event to do a sound check. Anyone ever heard this? Show me the tape and I'll believe it.

Okay. So the traffic was bad. Met up first with Phyliss and Kakki both of whom looked just lovely -- oh, forgot, this is about Joni. And got to meet Scott and Shawn Price and Clark. Great to meet new faces to me.

Beautiful orchestral piece to begin (unidentified) with Vince Mendoza conducting. At times to me it almost sounded like something I'd heard from an old movie soundtrack, but couldn't put my finger on it. Wish they'd identified it.

Fashion Report: Joni in purple, just-below-knee length dress with cape falling over back which floated in the night breeze and was very pretty. To me, it looked like satin, but someone else said they thought it was a ribbed fabric. I can't be sure; I just couldn't see it that well. I'm not sure if I thought the dress was right for her. Maybe it's just not the kind of thing I'm used to seeing her wear. Kakki mentioned she thought Myrtle might have been sitting in the front row. I thought maybe Myrtle had suggested the dress for her. I think Joni was going for a '30s and '40's chaunteuse look. I thought the dress was ill-fitting around her hips and awkward for her as she kept tugging at various parts of it. She looked more comfortable in the long skirt, fitted top and long sweater she came out in after the intermission.

She remarked that this was such an adult thing to do and a thrill of a lifetime to have this great orchestra on a beautiful night. Couldn't agree more. A female heckler yelled out, "Joni, you are *so* beautiful!" Nicely put.

The songs were just wondrous in person. I swayed in my seat with all the wonderful swing rhythms. Just great. I noticed, as Rick reported, that she needed the lyric sheet for "I Wish I Were in Love Again." I don't blame her; it's kind of a wordy piece.

Felt she really perked up when Herbie came on-stage -- just in from an airplane she announced.

She got a standing ovation after "BSN," which was just beyond belief. I just live for every word of it coming out of her mouth. Kakki remarked that we should have seen "Ludwig's Tune" coming after her story about Beethoven selling out on writing a piece of music that would be popular and make him a lot of money, but being 'humiliated because it was the worst piece of shit he'd ever written.' No clue ever hit me of what was to come, and I was stunned, absolutely stunned, when she introduced the song. As the orchestra went into the musical segment of it and she stood listening, I thought I hope she is appreciating what an amazing piece of music this is, to have been written at such an early point in her musical development or career, and how it is so musically complex and advanced that it just translates into an orchestral piece. I can't quite get my thought clear on that, but maybe you understand what I'm saying. I feel like many singers' compositions might need to be embellished, padded, for an orchestra, but Joni's original composition was pretty much orchestral. Folksinger, my, uh, rear-end. Mind-boggling. "For the Roses," I felt, lacked a little cohesiveness, but I might feel differently if I heard it a few more times. It was just so thrilling to hear it performed after so long.

In this setting especially, much of her music struck me as so theatrical, little dramas, their complex images and music composition. Who reported that the trumpet player they met up with afterwards at the gas station ('the guy at the gas pumps/he's got a lot of soul ...') was not sure he was playing the right notes because of the music's sometimes discordant nature. Sometimes she even seemed to have trouble keeping up with the words!

Am still wondering about some of the crowd. I was amazed at how many times people were in and out of their seats in the middle of her songs. If anyone in my row had tried it, I might have lost control of a metal nail file into someone's thigh ... (I know, I look so innocent). The two women to my left never once clapped after songs, although I think they did for "A Case of You" and "Both Sides Now," leading me to think they might have been expecting Joni to do all her old stuff. Then after the concert some guy two rows down was complaining about "Joni Stupid Mitchell." Looking at me with my beatific grin he said, "did *you* like it?" I said I *loved* it, and he remarked to his friend, well, I'll find someone who hated it as much as I did. My stars! What was he expecting? Some of his reaction might have been due to the drink in his hand, which I think was not his first. As I remarked to a few people, on my way in I heard a guy telling a group of friends he wished she'd play the dulcimer again. Hon! Where have you been??

I returned to the entryway to retrieve a BSN program (mine had fallen out of my purse) and met up with the Dulsons, met Michael Paz (glad to meet up with some of the invetarate listers!) Never did get a shirt which I probably should have. Slogged my way down Sunset Blvd. to our next hot spot, the Hotel Bel Air. The traffic, again, was so horrendous. The Hotel Bel Air was a lovely spot for our group and we had a fun time. I could just imagine Joni lounging on one of the overstuffed couches, smoking cigarettes and regaling all of us with her latest escapades. Glad to meet Catherine Turley, whose ingenuity defies the imagination (I'll leave it at that ; ) Glad to meet Rick and Brad (and so sad to learn of the great party I had to miss at their reportedly stunning home). Great to meet Frank from San Antonio, a very friendly person. I'm just sorry I didn't chat with everyone as much as I'd liked.

Wished I could have turned the clock backwards a few hours to start partying, but at 2 a.m., I couldn't go on. As Rick says, Note to Self: Have *got* to do this more often!

Best wishes to all you going to her upcoming shows. You will be blown away. Guaranteed.

Sorry to go on so long, but I know you're the only ones who'll listen.

SIQUOMB -- again!


Kakki: Upon reading a negative review posted anonymously at JoniMitchell.com:

I just went over to JM.com and read those reviews and feel compelled to take exception with a few things written so far. The Greek was pretty much full capacity as far as I could see - there were very few empty seats. Also, not all late arrivers were being rude or "typically L.A.". The traffic Friday afternoon and evening in L.A. was brutally horrendous. It took me well over an hour in the early afternoon to get to Rick's house taking my best short cuts (normally a 20 minute drive). The entire central city was in gridlock. By the time people were heading to the concert they were faced with not only the usual brand of horrible Friday night traffic, but a Dodger baseball game near by and a closure of Hollywood Blvd., a huge main artery, for some special event and construction work on the Academy Awards' new facility and subway station. Most of our group managed to arrive early but at starting time, 8:00 p.m., there were many empty seats due to the traffic jam. The concert was started a half hour late purposely to allow people more time to arrive.

And no, she did not, as one reviewer noted, perform either "Let The Wind Carry Me" or "Refuge of the Roads" (although I would have loved that! ;-)

I will be sending my own review to JM.com when I get back to "normal" and can do a proper job of it ;-D

Overhead a man near me telling someone that Joni had gone to Woodstock two days

You too?! He also told Scott and Shawn Price the same story. This is some new Joni lore. Scott and Shawn both thought he sounded credible. Shawn later found a Joni colored pen painting in my STARART book entitled "The Road to Woodstock" and wondered some more about it all.

Felt she really perked up when Herbie came on-stage -- just in from an airplane she announced.

Yes, she did perk up and wow, he was fantastic. He came onstage in a rush and she seemed so happy and relieved to see him - he was, no doubt, another trapped and delayed in the traffic snarl!

"For the Roses," I felt, lacked a little cohesiveness

I wanted to write some more about the FTR selections tonight since more thoughts came to me today, and I've also been provoked by some of the sentiments toward them in the JM.Com reviews. As I raved before, I was just blown away by the two FTR selections, but not because they were perfectly rendered - they were not, and it didn't matter. The music in both the FTR songs is incredibly complex. As Scott related about our chat with the 74 year-old trombone player at the gas pump, they were being attempted by an orchestra who had only rehearsed them for a few hours prior to the concert. He expressed to us that several members of the orchestra felt bad and a bit embarrassed that they could not always follow the music because it was "so unusual, so inside" and he said that they were getting a lot of the notes wrong at times. But what was so great was when he went on and on in awe of that particular music. He just shook his head in wonder and said it was like nothing he'd ever heard before. Bottom line - they were completely bowled over by her genius. I'm still getting a big grin thinking about his comments. At 4 a.m. this morning as the party here was winding down ;-) some of us had a chance to hear the concert again, ahem. I listened most intently to the FTR selections in particular and now feel that "For The Roses" was the most awesome music of the night. There is a very haunting quality to this rendition and there is something happening there that is startling and not quite explainable. It took my breath away all over again.

Then after the concert some guy two rows down was complaining about "Joni Stupid Mitchell"

Those were probably the &#@!*&'s behind us who kept yelling out "play Help Me!" Think I was the one who finally scared them off early when I went into my ecstatic writhing at the start of "Ludwig's Tune" heehee.


Coyote: My dragged along patrner loved the show and stayed quiety seated, as instructed. I was amazed, however, when the couple next to me (strangers) left before Ludwig, right in the middle of JM's story. They told me they were going to get out before all the traffic. I asked if they had preferred parking, they said, nope, they were up the hill. Hello. It's stacked parking! I was glad they left. My group got to move over two seats closer to center stage. I bet they are still waiting to get out of the lot.


Steve D: Monday morning, back to the computer after a LONG weekend, and I have to chime in with my thoughts on Friday night. This will be very disorganized, but forgive me.

The evening was really in two halves, the concert and the jmdl get-togethers. Both were fantastic. The Kakki-shack now has a rival for LA jmdl party HQ - Rick and Brad's house is beautiful, and they are two very generous and charming hosts.

I am touched, stunned, amazed, thrilled at the wondrous community that the jmdl and JoniMitchell.com, Les and Wally, have created. Where have you people been all my life? :) As I tried, incoherently, to explain to someone Friday, before '98 I could gush about my Joni fixation to maybe 1 or 2 people who had any notion (or interest) in what I was saying. Now there is a whole bunch of you - and everyone I've met I really, really like.

The time at the Bel Air was fabulous, too - and the piano player did "Both Sides Now" for us, before he packed up at 1 am. I was a little taken aback when I came to pay my bill - it turns out that the (very generous) glasses of (excellent) Merlot Michele and I were drinking were $19 apiece - but well worth it, given the ambiance and the company! Now, the $5 cups of white Zin at the Greek - that was a ripoff! :) (I heard one wag ask if he could have Bearnaise sauce with his hot dog).

What can I say about the concert that hasn't already been written? Maybe just some comments that occured to me while reading other posts. Yes, Kakki, FTR was the highlight for me, too. I never thought I would hear her sing that again, and I was doing MG's "insane bobbsey twin" act all through it, just reveling in the gorgeousness of it. ACOY was also magnificent, and received a standing ovation.

The audience in the south terrace was WAY respectful - I only noticed one person get up during a song, and there was NO talking during the music - I am very sensitive to that, and this was the most reverential audience I've been in for a long time. And "predominantly female audience"? I didn't count, but it looked like a pretty even split to me. And there were empty seats down in sections A and B, and two in front of us for that matter, so not quite a sell out, or maybe some no-shows.

I think that she had two video monitors on stage, along with three sound monitors, so I was suprised when she used the lyric sheet.

I thought Joni was in a very "up" mood and almost girlish at times. Some of the orchestra (especially the concert master!) were having a blast, but some of the violin section were practically looking at their watches during passages they didn't play on.

The LA traffic was way more horrendous than usual. Michele and I left Costa Mesa at 3, figuring we'd beat the rush hour and get to Rick's about 4. We got there at 5:20. It took us almost an hour to get from the Greek to the Bel Air...and I feel REALLY bad for telling Phil, Lindsay and others "Just take Sunset over to Stone Canyon". I should have remembered the age-old SoCal pastime of "cruising the strip". Argh.

It was a great 12 hours, and I truly delight in the company of all of you who shared the experience.


Scott: Just before the show started Shawn and I were chatting with another couple right outside the seating area. The guy said it would be his second time seeing Joni perform live, the first time having been at Woodstock. I was going to shrug it off without comment knowing it was bullshit but Shawn gently lobbed: "I thought Joni didn't perform at Woodstock..." He proceded to tell us that he was working at the site helping to set it up in the weeks before the festival and that on the Tuesday prior to Woodstock's opening Joni came up with David Crosby and they each did about four songs for a sound check and played for 20 minutes before a crowd of only a few thousand workers and other early-arrivals.

At this point I remained skeptical but the guy was of the proper age and seemed quite together and friendly and easy-going. Just about the time I thought he might claim to have been a sound engineer or V.I.P. he told us that he was up there to dig ditches for latrines and this little break for some great Joni music was a welcome respite. This humble confession added greatly to his credibility, IMO.

Later while browsing through Kakki's "Starart" book Shawn came across a painting by Joni, "Road to Woodstock," which was described as being done on the way to the festival, further leading us to speculate that Joni was there at Yasgur's Farm right before the festival began. Anyone know Croz's e-mail addy so we can verify the story? :-)


Ken: This is Ken Corral, part of the L.A. gang back from an over-extended weekend.

I have something to pass along. I have no idea what you will make of it but here’s Steve’s Greek Theater fashion post with a small bit of Casa Alegre info thrown in for good measure. I truly wish this had been more timely but better late than never. Think of it as an antidote to the harsh bay area press reviews.

(A brief bit of background: Starting with the Stormy Weather benefit concert in 1998 and continuing on through the “Painting With Words and Music” taping sessions, my partner Steve has seen fit to weigh in on what JM was wearing for the evening. Here were his reactions to Friday night’s Greek Theater show.)

_______________________
Like a grand schooner she sailed forth into the warm Southern California night. Her crunchy pleated Miyake gown rolled and furled like a great purple spinnaker jib, pulling energy from the balmy air and sending it back out to us, irradiated and transformed. Did she bring us to the harbor? Like little toy boats.

Not to say that those of us at the pre-party were not already sailing. Rick and Brad's Casa Alegre was wide open to the Mediterranean afternoon. We lucky few wandered through the cool, dark Spanish colonial rooms, past the famous Joni coat, out onto the patio where we met Rick, all smiles and sizzling kabobs, and Brad, all spiky blond and rapier thin. We wound our way around the pool, greeting old and new friends. Up and up we strolled, into the aerie of a pool house high above the rest, where we chatted with the exotic joniphile bartender, nibbled on taquitos, and went dreaming in a ritual of sound and time in the period tropical elegance.

At the Greek, it was after 8:30 and dark when she walked out, after the orchestra's overture. The lights came up and it was just she up there, elegant and getting us to feel. The classic and ingenious gown was, we think, silk. Swirling and swooping in variously constructed areas: a suggestion of a saucy little bolero, big funnel sleeves coming from and going nowhere, cinched waist (a tummy!), and a hem above the ankle. And speaking of ankles, an eye for detail saw the snug little cuffs of pants, turned out from the same fabric but of burnished gold, peeking from under her sails.

Okay, the shoes. Those of you who care deeply, and you know who you are and why, will have to content yourself with a replay-like an old erotic fantasy re-imagined for just the right moment: we had seen them before at the taping. Sleek and sexy golden sandals worthy of Helen of Troy. Only the first few rows, I bet, caught a glimpse of her toenails, but you know they were perfect and purple, of some shade.

The essential information on accessories and hair? None and none required. Limit it to some simple sparkly earrings and a long, smooth and very blond helmet-more Lombard than Lake.

So. We were just getting the first bits of imagery down when she told us we were doing intermission. We had to, she said-as if we both agreed it wasn't a great idea. And did she change? Oh, baby……

Since we only had a couple songs left on the program from the new album, we had a hunch we were in for a treat. And what would it be? To what far off province could she take us with a 70-piece orchestra in tow? One glimpse of the outfit and you knew: it was plain as night in her “particles-of-change” skirt!

The vamp had dressed down to rock. Start with the top: more purple with a little scalloped décolletage. Over that was a long, feathery coat---almost a tailcoat---of gunmetal crunchy silk. With tight sleeves that she constantly pushed up with her large, ever-moving but empty hands. More sandals, now low-heeled and black. A hippie as seen by Hurrell. But when you saw the skirt, you knew we were up for some fun. Full-length, white, and form-fitting with a fabric dreamed up by your favorite astrologer in the middle of a major psychotic break. It breathed. On the front, there was a Gibson Girl in a swing. Poking out from under her flounces and ruffles was a sparkling wand which reached out and zapped the rest of the night-sky universe. Those charged-up particles hinted at where we were going.

We heard about the moon and stars, went traveling in some vehicle, and pretty soon we were left with an empty spotlight. But we knew she was out there, so we were okay.


Steve D: More thoughts as the brain cells regenerate:

The sound at the Greek was awesome. The orchestra did not sound electric/amplified at all. Joni's voice could have been a touch higher in the mix on a few songs, but overall, great sound.

Her first outfit was not, as someone has mentioned, very flattering. It emphasized her tummy!

How long has it been since I listened to WTRF? I had to ask Ken Corral if he was familiar with the song "fifty-fifty fire and ice" that she did. :)

Those reviewers in SF seem to be carrying way too much baggage.... at least Hilburn in the Times came through with a decent review.


Scott: Count me in with those who had no clue that "Ludwig" was part of the setlist, even while Joni told that story about Beethoven. It is an amazing composition and as stated earlier I'm so glad Joni is revisiting some of these older songs. Vince Mendoza deserves special kudos for arranging all these classic Joni numbers. I'm now curious about how much input Joni and perhaps Larry are giving Mr. Mendoza as he transcribes. He is capturing the "musically complex and advanced" qualities you write of very well.

When it was first announced that Joni would be performing some of her older songs with the full orchestra the two pieces that immediately came to mind were "Ludwig" and "Paprika Plains" because they were originally recorded with orchestras making them obvious choices. But I never dreamed that Joni would include either of them. What a pleasant surprise! "Moon and Stars" was enormous and had she done only this one song I would have gone home in amazement. (taking a page from Rick and writing note to self: don't be afraid to dream more often!)

Some have commented on the dissonance and slightly-chaotic version of "For The Roses" that was performed. I have been thinking about this and concluded that like so many of Joni's songs, they often require many listening sessions to sink in. This arrangement is definitely complex and not exactly what you'd call "accessible." It's a daring choice and I only wish I could be present at more of the concerts in order to get a few more "takes" on this one and then be able to more fully appreciate it.

Am feeling a little more refreshed today after collapsing early last night and finally getting more than three or four hours' sleep a night. After spending six days in Los Angeles it was good to be home but already I'm missing all my new (and old) friends.

The pre-concert party at "Coyote" Rick's and Brad's "Casa Alegre" (Happy House) was way beyond anything I could have imagined. After passing through the gate to this Hollywood Hills home where Joni's "Painting With Words and Music" was playing on the video monitor, we gained the upper level of the property where the pool is located in the center of a large multi-leveled patio that is ringed with many tables and chairs. Rick introduced us to Brad and quickly escorted us over to the open poolhouse where the hired bartender stood ready, willing, and able to serve any type of libation we cared for. While munching on the fine appetizers including an awesome freshly-prepared guacomole, gazing out at the lovely view, and listening to Joni's music that was piped throughout the house and the outdoor speakers I got to know serveral JMDLers including Phyliss Ward, Michael and Freda Paz, Ken Corral, Steve Jonnum, Mariana, John Lasater, Clark Carlton, Steve and lovely Michelle Dulson, Julius Mills, Don Sloan, and Phil Gibbs & friends.

Following a scrumptious dinner expertly prepared in the outdoor kitchen by Brad my wife Shawn and I strolled through the "casa" proper and stood with mouths agape over many of the rooms and their accoutrements. "Dramatic" is perhaps the best word I can come up with to describe many of the rooms. The master bedroom was truly exotic with its woven (palm-frond?) ceiling and jungle theme. One bathroom featured black and gold tiles that shone in the mirrors which entirely covered the walls and ceiling...the effect nearly left us breathless. We found a stainless steel countertop (the ONLY thing our old house has in common with theirs!) in the indoor kitchen and through the pantry and off to the side was a door leading out to a very private little outdoor nook. Coming back through the dining room we found a large hand-carved antique sideboard that was just gorgeous. Brad related that when he found this piece there was another matching unit that went with it but he didn't know where on earth he could put it...I wonder where that beautiful identical twin ended up...

The hallways and various other little nooks were tastefully filled with autographed photos and other pieces of art and collectibles and the living room was host to a Steinway baby grand piano. But being a beautiful warm Southern California day most of the partiers were gathered at various stations around the pool, where Brad had whisked away all the wonderful dinner selections and replaced them with dessert trays and full freshly-brewed coffee pots. Just as an example of the attention to detail in evidence at Casa Alegre, an open box about eight inches square was lined with linen napkins and decorated with Joni Mitchell "Both Sides Now" promotional artwork and then filled with Altoids mints. Does anyone know if these "go with" Ricola cough lozenges? :-)

Way too soon it was time to depart for the Greek Theatre. My first-ever Hollywood party was something I'll never forget. As all the guests were leaving Rick handed out detailed driving instructions for us to reach the venue with the least amount of fuss...what an amazing and generous and thoughtful couple of hosts...the whole time I never saw anything but huge smiles on both their faces... Previously I had literally begged Rick a couple of times to see if there was *anything* we could bring to the party and he always said, emphatically, "Just yourselves." I *really* do not know how to thank them for this experience, except, perhaps to just say it: "Thank you."

I still think it's a minor miracle that anyone from out of town would be able to *find* the Bel Air Hotel because you have to go miles and miles and then make several twists and turns that are not well indicated before ending up in the driveway. This stately establishment deserves every bit of its world-class reputation as the grounds and buildings are perfectly immaculate, elegant, and eclectic. I thoroughly enjoyed getting together there after the concert with all the JMDLers and was sad when we left, even though it was around 2:30 a.m.

But if I thought the Bel Air was hard to find, the next night Les Deux Cafe, a known Joni hangout when she's "in town," was even tougher to spot. Most restaurants have a sign out front but in the case of Les Deux you have to go through a parking lot to find a little sign about the size of a paper plate that announces you've found the right cubbyhole in the tall hedge to slip through to get to the place. Truly amazing that something this well hidden would be so packed with folks wanting to dine out, but Kakki had previously arranged with restauranteur and owner Michele Lamy to have a table set aside and we were immediately seated.

The oft-esoteric menu offered many intriguing selections and I think all in our party were having as much difficulty as I was in trying to decide what to order. Following a leisurely hours-long dining experience it was off to Kakki's place for yet another party.

With the backdrop of huge downtown L.A. skyscrapers just outside the windows of the "Kakkishack" we were regaled with the performances of Michael Paz, Clark Carlton, and Julius Mills. Paz quickly set up his VG-8 and was running through one Joni song after another. A special moment was when Clark and Kakki gave an impromptu acoustic duet of "Marcie." With Clark strumming his Martin and blending his sharp masculine voice with Kakki's alto harmonies I was every bit as moved as I had been approximately 24 hours previously by the Joni concert. Soon everyone in the room was singing at the top of their lungs on each song Michael would perform. It was really cool to be there among the "faithful" who knew every word to every song and whose love of Joni was most apparent. When we finally gave up sometime after 5 a.m. I don't think I've ever fallen asleep "as soon as my head hit the pillow" but this time was probably asleep *before* getting completely into bed!

Living as we do in an old house in a small town, it was quite a culture shock for Shawn and I to spend so much time in this vast metropolis, but it's easy to see what the attraction is. Kakki's high-rise, high-security building is full of amenities and her neighbors didn't even complain when the loud music drifted on until the wee hours. Downtown Los Angeles is spotlessly clean and in its own way, a work of art. We met many kind and wonderful children from this city of angels and none could be more accommodating than Kakki. She organized all the gatherings and kept everything on track, ensuring that everyone had a great time at each stop. This is not an easy feat to pull off AND still find time to enjoy yourself, which I think she did. Always non-obtrusive and considerate, she's a great representative of the JMDL. Once again I don't quite know how to thank her...another angel.


Catherine: Guess its time to post my concert report--other folks have covered the setlist and music very well, so I'll just add my .02. I know I'm a little tardy here, but I've been busy trying to readjust to life as mild mannered housewife after my weekend stint as Hollywood Party Girl.

Unfortunately, I had to forego Coyote Rick's faboolus pre-concert party on Friday for a painfully slow tour of the sights, sounds and smells of the Hollywood Freeway. :- ( Fortunately, Rick was kind enough to grant me and my SoCal pal Carrie a private audience on Saturday at Les Deux Cafes, so that made up somewhat for missing his party. :-)

Carrie and I did arrive at the Greek in time to make the long trek up the stairs to our not so fabulous seats (but I'm not complaining too loudly--I felt lucky to be there, and as Paz mentioned, the sound at the Greek was perfect). We were there in plenty of time and struck up some conversations with our fellow bench sitters. Several JMDLers commented afterwards on what they perceived to be less than polite behavior from many in the audience, and I certainly felt that too, but in hindsight it occurs to me that many folks in the audience were series subscribers, who may just have picked Joni's concert as one of several because they were familiar with her radio hits, and consequently weren't expecting the orchestra and standards. I heard a few grumblings like "play something we know," (which is funny in light of the story Joni later told before Judgment of the Moon and Stars--about a friend of Beethoven's who urged him to write music which included well known themes, because "people they like to hear something familiar, and all your stuff is just too personal . .. if you really want to be internationally famous, what you need to do is give them something that they want . . .")

Guess my point is that many in the audience were not cultists like we (thank you Kakki--an excellent term). As a matter of fact, our conversation with our neighbors included some comments that I felt were ignorant and unduly harsh, and since they didn't seem like ignorant and harsh people, I felt duty bound to set them straight, as politely as I could. The sort of embarrassing result was that I instantly became resident Joni geek, and had to field a barrage of questions from several women sitting nearby. Makes me laugh because they seemed to just accept my Solomonic pronouncements on all things Joan. Among the mysteries I illuminated: "What's with the cigarettes?" My answer: "Chain smoker." Their reply "Ohhhhhhhh . . . ." (heads nodding in unison). Also, "What's that Paved Paradise song about?" My answer: "Hawaii." Their reply: "Ohhhhhhhhh . . .. ." (heads still nodding). Very high octane exchanges.

There was a certain amount of restlessness in the audience in the first half of the concert (me included), but after intermission, once Joni got into her own compositions, she really had the audience. Sometime during Hejira I had one of those weird detached, self-conscious moments in which I realized that I was over my own nerves and restlessness and was a little overwhelmed by how intensely I was feeling those songs. I finally took my eyes off the stage and scanned the audience from my bird's eye view--no wandering people, no talkers--everyone focused and attentive. The Power of Joan.

I'm reaching my word limit here, but I can't close without seconding everyone's comments about what an amazing thing the JMDL community is. On the drive to the concert, my friend Carrie, whom I've known forever, asked me if I didn't think it was weird that I'd left my husband and child in another state and was going off to hang out with people I only knew through the computer. That can be a daunting idea, but it is offset by the fact that every in-person JMDL gathering I've been to has been full of talented, witty, generous, smart, kind and accepting people. (And they even let me come along for the ride!) I really felt how unique and precious it was to reconnect with old friends and to meet new people who were only email addresses to me before. There were so many people who made the events memorable, and I'll probably leave someone out if I make a list, but of course special thanks are due to the Hollywood hosts, Coyote Rick, and of course, Uber JMDLer and hostess extrordinaire, Kakki.


Clark: A new friend that I have just started working with played viola with the orchestra that backed Joni on Friday at the Greek. He reported to me that they rehearsed for a day and half at the Raleigh film studios in a building the size of an airplane hangar.

The violist is from Poland and not that familiar with pop music, but he said he was very impressed with Joni as a jazz singer, particularly her renditions of You're My Thrill and Stormy Weather. He noted that she does not have much range, but that she has great interpretive skills. He said Joni was smoking a lot during rehearsals which was annoying some of the other musicians even though it was a large sound stage. Finally, someone from the studio had to announce over the public address system that smoking was not allowed inside the building. The message was addressed tactfully to all of the other nonsmoking musicians but meant only for Siquomb. He said Joni was very late to the next day's rehearsal -- but traffic was so awful that night that audience members were still filtering into the concert an hour after it was supposed to have started.

Otherwise he said that Joni has a very large entourage of men, that she was surrounded by them like workers around the queen bee. He made particular mention of Larry Klein who he seemed to think was the king drone and who was particularly protective of Joni -- everything that merited Joni's attention was filtered through him first. Honey to the bees, baby.

The viola player was surprised to find out that Joni confesses to struggling with reading music and could not tell you what key she was in. Of her compositions, he was most impressed by Hejira which seemed very original to him, full of interesting dissonances. He thought Joni gave a good concert and said Vince Mendoza was