The Joy of Anticipation...

by Ebbe Rossander
Berlingske Tidende (Copenhagen)
May 16, 1983

Thanks to Christina Friis for the translation from the original Danish.

Koncert
Joni Mitchell, Falkoner Teatret, Saturday

Great expectations were attached to this concert with Joni Mitchell, the first that she has given in this country. A full house with an audience of all ages did indeed point towards her ability to maintain her original fans while at the same time gaining new ones.

That my expectations weren't fulfilled was due to a combination of many factors. The tour is, first of all, a promotion for Mitchell's latest LP, Wild Things Run Fast, which isn't very exciting considering the rest of her catalog. Furthermore, she had brought a band that in itself was fairly decent but was given an insurmountable task. It consisted of Larry Klein on bass, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Michael Landau on guitar, and Russ Ferrante on keyboards.

Joni Mitchell gave a lot of examples of her music from a career which spans more than 15 years, a dozen LP's, and a list of some the most excellent rhythm musicians in the USA. Every LP has had an entirely personal imprint depending on which musicians she has used. Obvious examples are Court and Spark with musicians from the Crusaders, Miles of Aisles with Tom Scott and the LA Express, and Hejira which primarily has been imprinted by Jaco Pastorious.

That is a quite impressive array of musicians, and neither did the band manage to convince the audience that they had the necessary empathy or the necessary musical expertise to live up to the high demands of that model.

Naturally there were moments where the star was shining bright - Help Me, Big Yellow Taxi, and Free Man in Paris worked impeccably and there were near magical moments in songs on which she played solo guitar or piano - or was simply accompanied by a single instrument. When she played the piano alone during Chinese Cafe the concert reached another plateau in this very atmosphere-filled song from the new LP.

In the end, it can only be regretted that the excitement of the audience brought out the encore, among others, I Heard It Through The Grapevine - a Motown classic - which didn't gain much by being replanted to Southern California.


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