Joni Mitchell performs at the Newport Folk Festival

Joni Mitchell played a set at this year’s Newport Folk Festival last weekend! It was her first full concert in nearly 20 years. She was joined on stage by friends and fellow musicians. Considering her well- documented health problems this is amazing. There were a couple of articles in yesterday’s Times and quite a few clips from her performance coming up on a thread on the The Steve Hoffman forum.
Who knows maybe we could yet see her on the Glastonbury legends spot.


That would be good.

I saw a few clips, one with her playing electric guitar, amazed after her ill health.

Not a hope of her playing a Glastonbury set or similar. She can sing a line or a single chorus but is otherwise wholly supported vocally by the surrounding musicians. What you saw at Newport was as good as it’s going to get.

Anyone who has seen Brian Wilson live would recognise the mix of the sublime and the heart rendingly awful. This was well below that. Wilson takes 2 or 3 songs to get going; can hit his stride for 4 or 5 songs at a time before a dip. Joni isn’t even at the 1 song all the way through stage.

Lovely to see the video and all but I’ve a friend who was there; videoed it all (not on social media) and who described it as a freak show. A genuine musical superstar surrounded by a supporting cast of sycophants in denial about what was really on display.


I only watched one song (Big Yellow Taxi linked to the NY Times article), so take my response for what it’s worth. I saw a supporting cast of artists, most of whom, if not all, were inspired by a genuine musical artist thrilled to have have an opportunity to share the stage with her. Do you seriously think they were in denial of her limitations?


Having read the comments of one of them in a recent interview then, yes. at least one of them is.

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