ColleenFarrellon 2011-Jan-09 at 22:03:28 GMT-5: Melbourne Concert Hall, 21 March, 1983
I can't confirm the exact date of this concert but I can certainly confirm it happened and I believe this date is probably correct. Joni did three Melbourne concerts and I went to two of them; the first two were at the Palais Theatre, St. Kilda and I believe the third concert, at the Melbourne Concert Hall, was added due to demand. Joni said 'It's good to be back in this town again' and I was impressed that she came to Melbourne twice on the one tour. I felt fortunate to have seen this third concert; it was markedly different and much better than the first one I saw at the Palais.
At the Palais Joni seemed tense and a bit irritated, tired; not much rapport with the audience. I think she opened with 'Wild Things Run Fast' - certainly it was something rocky and with the band. I suspect this shocked much of the audience who hadn't kept up with her music and had expected it to be purely solo and acoustic. The venue wasn't great and that didn't help; I seem to remember the lights as being too bright. She sang 'Real Good For Free' at a grand piano with new (or restored?) lines; they went (from my patchy memory) 'Playing like a ........ angel, playing like a ........, playing like a ............, against the honking of the cars.' She did one or two songs with the dulcimer, sitting at the front of the stage at the left. While she was tuning up someone yelled out 'Fantastic!' She said: 'If I were you I'd reserve my judgement, I haven't played this thing in years.' People were shouting out requests and then someone did a great imitation of her response to the heckling audience in a similar moment on the 'Miles of Aisles' album, shouting out 'Alrrrrrrright!' Everyone laughed, she giggled and it broke the ice somewhat.
Her concert at the Melbourne Concert Hall a few days later, was completely different. It was a much nicer venue; better lighting, better acoustics. She was relaxed, warm and happy. The set list was substantially changed from the first one I saw at the Palais; a lot of different songs were included - great value for me considering I went twice!. I was amazed by the versality involved in changing a set so much in so short a time.
I also remember a sublime moment of embarrassed laughter (hers) when she spoke the words 'Wild thing ....... I thought you loved me,' from the song 'Wild things run fast.' It struck a cringe worthy note and the audience burst out laughing.
I remember her being very attached to her new husband Larry Klein. There was a lot of on-stage affection.
Joni also introduced the audience to 'LA speak,' explaining the meaning of 'hot dog' and 'yo yo' as ways to express 'a double-dose of enthusiasm.'
Joni encored with 'Heard it on the Grapevine.'
Well, I'm glad I'm still here to bear witness. Thank you Joni for the years of the pleasure you have brought me and others. [ed.] [ed.]