(This article was originally written in French)
It was a disastrous day for an open-air show at Place des Nations. Under a sky auguring filthy weather, we arrived at the box office to find nearly 10,000 youngsters waiting for the doors to open. This finally happened around 9:00 because the organizers found it necessary to cover the expensive speakers and amps. And when 8,000 finally made it in to Place des Nations, it was announced that the show would not begin until 10:00.
Actually not until 10:30. And this wait was decorated with rain lasting nearly an hour. Many had anticipated this because raincoats and umbrellas were plentiful. All this emphasizing the unprecedented attraction of the rock shows at Place des Nations which have drawn crowds of about 10,000 even at the rate of one or two shows per week.
Tom Scott's L.A. Express are accompanying Joni on the tour. He is a well experienced musician who first became known for composing the themes for several dozen television programs. Recently Scott and his group have been recording for the A&M label.
Joni Mitchell herself, who makes her records for Asylum (a Warner Brothers division), recently reached the pinnacle of her career with the ‘Court & Spark’ album, collaborating with David Crosby, Tom Scott, Graham Nash, Susan Webb, Cheech and Chong, Joe Sample, Robbie Robertson, and Jose Feliciano.
One must say that this icon has come a long way since her arrival on the international scene. She herself recently declared that over her career she has had sixteen lovers. And many of her songs reflect episodes from this astonishing love life. In any case, an important change for Joni Mitchell is that she is now in better shape and more optimistic than previously.
And her show the other night at Place des Nations was without dispute her greatest concert in Montreal. Casting through her vast repertoire and more often than previously among her newer songs, Joni Mitchell accompanied by the L.A. Express gently rocked an audience that could not have asked for more.
It was a homage to a young Canadian woman who has long been a unique and legendary figure on the international popular music scene.