Remember the days when you used to sit And make up your tunes for love And pour your simple sorrow To the sound hole and your knee? - Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell remembers the days.
It was a while ago, but she still remembers.
Though her songs are much harder now and her sorrow much less simple - and money is love and love is money - she sang some of the old ones along with the new Tuesday night at the Dane County Coliseum.
The audience was almost cult-like, and Ms. Mitchell tried to please everyone, from the fans of many years, who listened, to the newer ones who hollered out their love.
Joni is slick. No tender maiden, she dressed in tight, almost strapless glittered gowns and her arrangements were as hard and ambitious as herself.
Armed with a guitar, and an incredible backup band called Tom Scott and the L.A. Express, she belted out Joni Mitchell standards like "Big Yellow Taxi," "For the Roses," "Woodstock," and "Cactus Tree." She accompanied herself on dulcimer for two songs, including 'I Could Drink a Case of You."
Sometimes she was too shrill, though she has a voice better than her records would prove. And she hit off-notes with amazing frequency. Her own guitar playing set was boring in comparison with the LA. Express and Scott.
But stardom has taken the reality from her to some degree and she just wasn't as easily trusted as she might have been in a somewhat less glamorous setting.
She still writes, and writes mightily, of the people she knows, her neighbors and friends; but one feels that her comparisons are longer people like ourselves, and that time any troubled person could feel completely at ease in one of her lyrics is over.
The softness and the care, the cutting edge of sensitivity is gone, and the only feeling left is of hard and hollow Hollywood.
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Added to Library on February 25, 2021. (726)
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