A CHRONOLOGY OF APPEARANCES
Compiled by Simon Montgomery, © 2001
 

1998.05.16  The Gorge Amphitheatre  George, WA

» This Concert is a part of the 1998 West Coast Tour.

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Official Tour Poster
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Related articles from the Library:
» Bob Dylan Sparkles in Triple-Treat Performance at The Gorge (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1998)
» Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell (CitySearch website, 1998)
» Dylan: still great, but at ease with it (Seattle Times, 1998)
» Happy Van, Jazzy Joni, Rockin' Bob (Seattle Weekly, 1998)
» Rock legend trio makes for great show (USA Today, 1998)
» The Legends Continue (SonicNet website, 1998)
» Three's A Crowd's Dream (SonicNet website, 1998)

Comments on this appearance


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seikaway on 2012-Feb-14 at 15:53:17 GMT-5:
This was such an amazing concert and in such an amazing place. Between the 3 folks all I could think of was hearing Joni's voice again. Sure I dug Bob and I dug Van, but Joni was the star in my eyes and heart.


Archival comments


Wally's Tour Report

On Saturday afternoon, I headed down I-90 to the Gorge with my travelling buddies, simon, our "designated driver," and Karl, our photographer, from our hotel in Moses Lake, Washington. We intended to get there by 2:30 PM to catch Joni's soundcheck, but we missed the one sign on the highway indicating the exit and ended up overshooting our mark by about 20 miles. We had to drive on even further before we could turn around and go back the other way, finally arriving just in time to hear the final chords of her soundcheck ("Just Like This Train"). Well, we tried.

As we leaned on the fence in the artists' area talking and enjoying the gorgeous view, Karl turned to me and said "Look over to your right. There's Joni." There she was, sitting on the grass with a friend, having a cigarette and also enjoying the view. Someone suggested that I go over and introduce myself, but I didn't want to disturb her privacy. After we sat down on picnic benches just outside of the backstage food tent, Joni's drummer, Brian Blade, came up and sat down to chat; Brian and I had had our telephone interview just a few weeks ago, and he recognized me since I had introduced myself to him in Vancouver on Thursday.

As we talked, Joni came out of the food tent, stopping about six feet away from us to talk to some of Dylan's entourage. simon said, "This is the closest you've been to Joni so far, eh?" When I replied that it was, Brian said "You still haven't met Joni?" I told him that I respected her right to not be bothered. Since she knew I was on the tour, I felt she'd ask to meet me when she wanted to. Brian rolled a cigarette, tooked a few puffs, then rose and said "I'll be right back." He went over and stood by Joni until the folks she was talking to walked away. When he told her I was nearby, she said "Oh, Wally? Where is he?" He pointed in my direction, and she walked over to us.

She first offered her hand to simon and said, "Hi. I'm Joni." When simon introduced me she took my hand and said, "So we finally meet! You're looking very good." Karl asked for permission to take photos and Joni said "Sure." We all talked for about ten minutes, casually discussing many things, including Kirlian photography, the fact that she hadn't put "Harlem in Havana" in her set because she'd found it difficult to both play and sing, and the Vancouver critics opinion that the show didn't contain enough of her early songs. I asked her if she was changing the set for tonight; she said "Well, not too much. I'll be moving "Big Yellow Taxi" up closer to "Black Crow" and maybe adding one song."

When I asked if we could have a photo together, she scooted over right next to me, and just as our faces got about a foot apart she said "You know, I really want to thank you for all you do for me." I blushed, "Oh, it's my pleasure, Joan." She then startled me by saying "Reprise is taking care of you, aren't they?" I never expected Joni to talk about money matters but I had to be truthful. I told her the only time they'd ever helped me financially was when I did the promotional site for the "Hits & Misses" release. She said "Really?" but I quickly added that I didn't want her to concern herself with that situation -- I've gotten so much out of working on the website, particularly by proving to myself that I could commit to a project and create something beautiful.

Joni's tour manager, Charlie, then came by to get Joni for an appointment. As we stood up I said, "Could I have a hug?" She grabbed me and said "For you? Of course!" So we hugged, and then she was off towards her dressing trailer, leaving me feeling weak in the knees. Karl took a photo of me beaming.

Now to the show. It was probably a combination of the fact that this wasn't the first night and the bands were practiced, plus the beauty of the outdoor setting of the Gorge, but all 3 artists were definitely "on." Van did a soulful 85 minute set; Joni came on at about a quarter to nine and did an absolutely stunning 80 minute show. The setlist was as follows:

Night Ride Home
The Crazy Cries of Love
Harry's House
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Just Like This Train
(Band intro)
Black Crow
Amelia
Hejira (she changed the line "Strains of Benny Goodman coming through the snowy trees..." to "I thought I heard Frank Sinatra singing through the snowy trees...")
Big Yellow Taxi (she did a crowd-pleasing vocal imitation of Bob on the added verse about the big yellow tractor pushing around her land)
Facelift
Sex Kills
The Magdalene Laundries
Moon at the Window
Woodstock

Joni's performance at the Gorge made her Vancouver show pale in comparison. The band kicked and their interplay with Joni was tight. She looked beautiful and rather ethereal standing there on stage, with the wind lightly blowing her hair and dress to the left. Her outfit was all light browns with a blouse and long skirt which looked almost quilted with alternating squares; over it she wore a medium length coat.

An hour into Dylan's 85 minute set, both Joni and Van came back out on stage and joined him on "I Shall Be Released." When Joni took a verse, she made up some lines, turned to Bob and laughed. She looked so cool up there swaying to the music, dressed this time in a blue layered outfit topped with a straw hat.

A spectacular night for three fantastic performers! I can't remember a better concert.

Reports from the Internet Community

(From BionicEars@aol.com)- I couldn't agree more with your review of the entire show Sat. nite. The setting was awe-inspiring and all three performers and their bands seemed elevated by it. Even though I made the 12 hr. round-trip specifically to see Joni, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Van and Bob!! Van's got that great swing mood happening and Bob seems to have snapped out of his mumble mode. Joni did not disappoint any of her fans there last nite. Her re-arrangements of old favorites to fit with her current touring band only show her genius. Her solo tunes were very special and her interaction with the audience was endearing. I hope she assembles a complete tour package for her upcoming album so she can revisit some of the old piano and dulcimer tunes we didn't get to hear with this trio. Larry Klein is the best bassist Joni has played with since Jaco and his interaction with Brian Blades is very tight. Been there, got the tee shirts, LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT!!!!!! Thanks for this wonderful site, Wally, and the opportunity to share our passion for "The Queen of the World" (in my opinion!!). Oops, don't want to be labeled an "Anglophile"! :-) ---

(From:chissmith@email.msn.com)-I just saw Joni at the Gorge on May 16 with Van and Bob. To preface this personal review, I am and old Joni fan from the 70's. To me Joni was the best. I used to pick her albums apart whenever they came out, digesting every word and musical note, until my head and soul was filled. I came to the Gorge to hear that old sound. I wanted to hear that grand piano, I wanted to hear that acoustic guitar with the great tunings. I was given a clue that this was not going to be my night. Joni began her concert by saying that the reviews from the Vancouver concert stated that she didn't play enough of the the old songs. She stated that she didn't prepare the piano or the acoustic, but she hoped that the songs she did pick would satisfy everyone. In other words, here's what I've chosen, I hope it works for you. Coming from an artist like Joni, I respect that. The work that she did perform was top notch. Her voice lacks the old three octive range she did so well, but what she did sing was pure Joni. Her electric guitar was flawless.

But come on Joni, Please play the old stuff! I'd sure like to see you sometime, constant as the morning sun, playing real good for me. ------

(From:ramsay@eskimo.com)- Wally, I'm responding to your review of the concert at the Gorge on Saturday night. I am interested in others viewpoints too.

I have been a Joni Mitchell fan for a very long time. I have probably two of all of her albums; one to play and one to save in "mint condition." I remember playing a game one time. The question was "If you could be any one you wanted who would you be?" My answer has always been Joni. I remember the time I was first introduced to Joni. I know where I was and who I was with and what album it was. I have loved her ever since. She gives so much of herself through her music. I am very grateful for that. I hope you get my intentions that Joni is the greatest and someone I look up to very much.

Van Morrison was great. I really enjoyed his show, but I was also very excited and a little impatient for Joni's performance.

Finally, Joni came on stage. Hearing Joni's voice in the gorge was unbelievable. Her voice was so clear and so strong. She has the most amazing voice. It was great to hear some of her new songs, but I was very much interested in hearing some of her older songs, too. There were so many songs I was hoping she would play-there is not enough time in a day. To me Joni can do no wrong. I felt so lucky that she was even doing a concert. Listening to the audience, I had the impression many missed her old songs. We were an older audience and were familiar with her older music and had come to hear those "other" songs. There were comments in the audience that all her songs sounded alike. At any rate, I still enjoyed her very much. Like I said, Joni can do no wrong.

I was wondering about Bob Dylan's performance before he ever got on stage. I have seen him before in concert and enjoyed him very much. I think Joni deserved top billing though. He had a hard act to follow. Following Joni who has such a wonderful voice must have been very difficult, although I don't think Bob Dylan was ever known for his wonderful singing voice. Needless to say, we left early along with many others. I was sorry I missed the song when Joni and Van joined Bob.

I am very much looking forward to Joni doing her own concert. I will definately be there.

Jackie ------

(From:norm@normgregory.com)- Hi Wally!

First I'd like to thank you for the fine work you have done on jonimitchell.com . . . I've been a fan since her first album and I appreciate the constant flow of fresh news and links . . . I know how much work it is . Thanks.

My kids and I went over for the Saturday night show at the Gorge (near George, as we say). It was a truly a historical night. Van was as loose as I have seen him. In fact, I think he said more from the stage that he did in all of the four previous concerts I have seen.

I hadn't seen Joni since 1979 in Seattle. Over the years I have often mentioned to people what a mesmerizing performer she is . . . so many times I have retold the concert experiences that it had become personal rote rhetoric for me . . . and then Saturday night the first time she opened her mouth the reality of it came rushing back to over whelm me. I have seen them all and there is no other performer like Joni Mitchell.

She kind of apologized for not playing many of her hits, saying she had little time to prepare for the tour. In a good mood, she frequently laughed and joked. She needn't have apologized. She was being herself and that's all she needed to be. Her time on stage was a contrast to the rest of the concert - a highly personal, slower, poetic and beautiful set, with that singing and guitar-playing. To tell you the truth, I don't think she needed the band. And the encore! I would have made the 2.5 hour drive just to hear her do "Woodstock" again. The song seem to fit 1998 even more than it did 1969 when I heard her do it on Dick Cavett.

Oh . . I should mention Bob. Dylan may be a terrible singer who can't play a guitar solo, but he proved Saturday night that he's still a powerful performer, a true original and utterly free of pretension. He is, in a word, untouchable.

One question Wally: Joni seemed to be okay physically. When I saw her on Jay Leno a while back she looked a little unsure of herself walking. I read she feared the polio was roaring back and she may end up in a wheel chair. Have you heard anything about her condition?

Thanks again. -------------

(From:perform1@ix.netcom.com)- Yes! First of all Wally thank you so much for this incredible site! It KICKS!

SATURDAY NIGHT REMEMBERED

The Gorge was stunning & JM's striking perfomance in tandem with the striking setting made it a most memorable nite. The venue and JM's music so complimentary in beauty and complexity!

It was a gorgeous, overcast, fine night for listening to JM's smooth, easy, mellow/magical performance. She reminded us all that she could crank it up too with "Slouching Towards Bethlehem". "The Beast" in the song she described gave me the shivers of something evil this way comes. Thankfully, she brought us back to a happy ending with her magnificent rendition of "Woodstock". I was so very glad and fortunate to have been there with my tribe, 4 people I love most, because as Joni said, "...like some surrealist invented this.." it was a beautiful/glorious night.

She looked absolutely radiant (from row 16, center section!:). The slight breeze blowing her hair back and the lighting setting her off like an angelic/other worldly woman.

She wasn't distant tho she was engaging & the only performer to banter with the crowd and share a few laughs. She introduced "The Magdalene Laundries" & how the Irish oppressed women (until the 70s) and someone called her an "Anglophile" and she said something like, "I heard that! All my bloods are the enemies of the English...none of the bloods that runs thru me is English... no, no I only share their little ol' language....nice little country" (somethin' like that).

Her strength was proven when she sang what pleased her and I loved that! I came to hear her and she could have played nursery ryhmes for all I cared! Everything she played was soulful & thought-provoking. It was a strong, haunting, hypnotic performance. I still have many images of the concert locked in my mind, there to be replayed and grasped at in an attempt to recall a once in a life time experience. Wow.

I hope that she doesn't wait another whole long time again to dazzle us with her wit, style and brillance in any media/medium she chooses.

Thanks for listening Wally! Mary Schutten, Portalnd, OR

PS It was our 2 teen gal's first concert- can you beleive that! :) :)! ----

(From:glederer@orednet.org)- Well, Wally, we weren't up as close as you. There were a few thousand folks between us and the stage, but we enjoyed it, too. The night was dark and the weather threatened, but held off.

Joni seemed troubled and not quite "warm", although her playing was brilliant, and the band, especially her bass player, whom she introduced as her recently ex-husband, and then gave a nervous laugh, flowed well with her mood.

She told us that the review in Vancouver was that she should have played more of her older songs, "gone further back" as she put it, but that she had had little time to prepare a set, and was giving us mostly newer material. Some of it is strange and spooky, and not easily accessible. But much of what Joni has done over the years has been like this. Of the new material, we especially liked "Slouching Toward Bethlehem" (one of my favorite poems), "Facelift", and the "Magdalene Laundries".

She did go pretty far back. I guess "Woodstock" is pretty far back. I was hoping for something for something from the Mingus album, or maybe "Twisted", or maybe "Conversation". But no dice.

She got into a discussion with a fan about being an Anglophile. She went on about her mixed racial and ethnic heritage. I wondered if someone had really said that.......

As for her joining in on "I Shall Be Released" with Bob, I got the impression that she didn't remember the words to the second verse. Neither, it should be added, did Bob. Of course, a few of us in the crowd remembered, though, and so, interestingly, did Van.

"Now yonder stands a man in this lonely crowd.
A man who swears he's not to blame.
All day long I hear him shouting out loud.
He's crying out that he was framed."

I wish her the best, and want to hear the new album. Anyone know where a bootleg might be available?

:)g ---

(From: Frederick Sharp )-

The concert at the Gorge. May 16, 1998.

These are my pretentious ramblings about the experience. Please keep in mind that 1) I do not write well and b) I don't get out much. Incidentally the Fritz Whiffometer (based on my position nine rows from the front and to the right of center stage) registered thusly:

1. Morrison/concession food trays
2. Mitchell/reefer & cigs
3. Dylan/stogies & reefer

Mitchell once said of pot that it was sort of beneficial, in that it (I'm paraphrasing from memory) sat her on her ass and showed her who her God was. She added however that "if you let drugs become your God, that's bad." Yup.

Sandwiched between the pleasingly porcine Morrison and the ever more cadaverous Dylan, our Joni was a radiant angel. She appeared to drop one entire (or did she just forget again?) verse of the astonishingly under-applauded "Black Crow" --the verse referring to her looking (several boom-boom-pachyderms ago) at her own "haggard face in the bathroom light."

Curious given the artist's tendency to overemphasize her age-lines in oils, while otherwise denying her vanity in words. I recall Mitchell once saying of her fans "They want, they want, they want!" and it's true--no matter what she gives us, it's never enough! She did give us wonderful electric solos of "Woodstock" and "Big Yellow Taxi" (the former an encore.) Anyway at one point fans were shouting out "Come back soon!" and Joni kept repeating what was said with comedic misstatements. Then she heard one fan shout (in response to her lengthy intro. into "The Magdalene Laundries") "Joni, you're an anglophile!" She vigorously denied this, asking "Qu'est-ce que c'est qu'une anglophile? I'm a mutt, darlin'!" Then she started the song, interrupting herself again to add that there wasn't a drop of her blood that was pro-English though she conceded that England is "a pretty little country" and that she "love[s] the language." I, being situated nearer the shouting dude, could have sworn he shouted, "Joni, you're being amplified!" But such are the sweets of celebrity: you're allowed to smoke where it's otherwise verboten and to be occasionally, interestingly cantankerous. She mainly continues to rap (by which I mean the 60s lingo for "talk to an audience between songs") with the land borne grace of an albatross. Last time I saw her live (in 1983, I believe, at Wembley Arena in London although from my rafter seat the pinprick alleged to be she might have been anyone)--at that time one exasperated fan screeched out "Sing!!!" toward the end of a rather prolonged prattle about "vinegar" apropos an analysis of her feelings toward the title figure of "Carey." The 1998 Gorge imprecation seemed to be "Give her a piano!"

I heartily agree with the wish that she, in fact that all three, should "come back soon" to the Gorge. However I drove myself (and my little black Jeep) crazy getting there from Seattle doubtless because this was a once in a life cycle experience.

As for Joni's two mates, I have always held a guarded liking for Van Morrison due to my having perceived some of his metaphysical fascinations to be "preachy." In his set he introduced a song as being sort of about Cliff Richard and then sang in praise of "Jesus!" The woman next to me nudged me in the ribs and asked if this was what I had meant about his being "religious" and I said "yes" but to be honest I don't always glean enough from VM's raps to be sure what he means or how far his tongue may be in cheek. Bobby D was another matter! (Joni, incidentally, had quipped in her own set that the verse in Big Yellow Taxi having to do with a "big yellow tractor" was actually "penned by Bobby" and then proceeded to drone the lyric early-Dylan-esquely. This pleased the audience rather more than me, as I prefer the impression done by Joan Baez (on "Diamonds and Rust" in "Twist of Fate?") One Joan outperforms the other owing, I suppose, to having had more osmosis with that particular "unwashed phenomenon."

Anyway I hadn't "liked" Dylan since "Nashville Skyline" and knew little of his later work, or at least thought I did. Something about his performance was compelling--not all his songs, I was bored to begin with, but by the end of his set (and that was the end of the evening concert) I was up on my feet with everyone else and reelin' in the groove. There is something about the little dervish and the way he moves when he gets into his musicianship, some Gemini knack of making what is understated and coy seem absolutely supreme. An ability to click with the universe and leave me not wondering what happened to the other castanet, only feeling my young blood inflamed, knowing that some part of my brain is in love. -

(From: Holiday Inn Express )- The first Gorge show is done and we're (Bryan T. and John B. from Seattle) are going back for more! Joni is happy, joyous and free, and it shows in her voice and her spirit. Highlights of Saturday's show: A cookin' Black Crow, a fun Big Yellow Tax and the set-ending Woodstock (solo w/ guitar), which brought the crowd to its feet. And that guitar is too cool! Great, warm brass sounds from the guitar, Joni dances with it when she plays, swaying her hips almost hula-like. The band includes Klein, who clearly adores doing this music. Joni was talkative and cheerful throughout, and poked fun at herself for so many "dramas" in her songs.

Another highlight: Joni and Morrison joined Dylan for I Shall Be Released. What a beautiful experience! With my binoculars, I caught Joni flirting with Dylan's' bass player (or maybe the lead guitar guy), with whom she was sharing a microphone. More later -- we love Joni and are so grateful for this opportunity. Thanks Wally for the website.

(From: Eric G. Postel )-

Greetings from Wenatchee Washington. It was unbelievably great!!

Prologue and Setting:

Having ridden three hours down Interstate 90 from Madison, WI to Chicago, flown 3.5 hours to Spokane to rejoin Interstate 90 and driven about two hours west across the Columbia basin, I began to see hills about thirty miles off in the distance and behind them snow covered mountains. At the exit I got off and followed the signs for The Gorge. The road was crossing farmland close to the hills. After creeping in traffic, I parked and began walking into the concert facility. Even after the obligatory search and ticket collection and concession stands, the site did not seem as pretty as had been said. And then I came to the edge of a steep hillside overlooking the stage and my my breath was taken away. There directly (and I mean directly) behind the stage was a gorge with the huge Columbia River flowing through it. It was spectacular, even with the usual Seattle-type grey cloud cover everywhere.

The crowd was all ages -- from 16 to 60. The concert started exactly at 7pm (as in Vancouver) so I strongly encourage everyone attending down the road to be on time. Short reviews of Van and Dylan are near the end for those interested. After an almost 90 minute set by Van, the stage was changed in only 15 minutes.

Joni Mitchell:

Then the announcer said "Ladies and Gentlemen ... Joni Mitchell". And there she was walking from the middle of the back of the stage to stage center. And bowed. And smiled. Joined by the band she moved directly into Night Ride Home. And it was perfect. Her voice is in great shape. The sound was absolutely crystal clear. (I was sitting in the 18th row directly in front of her amongst some Dylan regulars who go to almost every show and all of us agreed this was some of the best any of have ever heard.) The sound of the band was wonderful and Joni's guitar and tuning "computer" seem to me, as a listener, to work great.

Saying "This is a brand new song though I guess it has been running around a bit in bootleg form if you've got it - this is off the about to be released album ..." she then launched into "Crazy Cries of Love." A nice song, it fits right in with the sort of sounds found on Turbulent Indigo.

Larry Klein plays on Joni's immediate left. He locates the bass relatively high up on his body but still often hunches over it. Very unusually, the drummer, Brian Blade, is to Klein's (and Joni's) left facing them, not the audience. Similarly, the pedal steel guitarist, Greg Liesz, is on Joni's right -- facing her side looking directly across at Blade. Joni's controls, monitor and a stool with beverages on it were to Joni's immediate right. So, behind Joni there was absolutely nothing other than a see-through black backdrop and behind that the bluff of the gorge. So the sight was just Joni, with her guitar and the bluff behind her with daylight waning. It was so wonderful -- the sound plus the view made it seem like it was just Joni and us and nothing else. Intimacy with 17,000.

Joni then said the "complaint" after Vancouver was she did not go back far enough (I for one ABSOLUTELY DO NOT share that opinion) but she hoped we'd "like these songs because I haven't toured in a long time and there are a lot of pieces I have never played in public and I tried to pick a set that would please myself and try to throw in .. I hope I cover you " She then played onwards with Harry's House. By the middle of the song, I started to cry (from happiness) it was just all so wonderful.

Greg's role is, as one would expect, rather understated and the pedal steel is not played in a country & western style. Klein, who was introduced as "Klein, Klein, Larry Klein (pause) my recently ex-husband on bass (little giggle and then hearty laugh" doesn't move around much but is integral to the sound. Blade plays his instrument in a really diverse manner. For instance, on one song he played the snare and other drums with his hands, conga style, not with sticks or brushes, the usual methods.

And then there was Joni's smile -- a big, wide, frequently given smile. it was so infectious. I of course do not know her and her moods but she seemed to be genuinely enjoying herself. She seemed fairly loose. At one point she even threw a reference to Frank Sinatra into the lyrics of Hejira. People next to me who where in Vancouver two nights ago said she was much more confident at the Gorge. Especially compared to Van Morrison who said almost nothing, Joni was quite talkative introducing a majority of the songs and making comments. her humor also showed through. In the middle of Big Yellow Taxi she said "Bobby wrote this verse, if I can remember it" and then sang it ("late last night I heard the screen door slam...") in a perfect Bob Dylan imitation that was hilarious.

I haven't seen Joni perform since 1983 and the thing that either I had forgotten or is different now is how she moves. She sways but not in some sort of gentle folk like unspecific matter. She moves to the beat in a very African way. She definitely feels the rhythm and all the things she has explored since Mingus.

All of the songs she performed are infused with the various styles she has explored over the last 15 years. Fans of her early period may be disappointed with Big Yellow Taxi and Woodstock because they sound somewhat different, but I really liked them.

The set list was similar but not the same as Vancouver. For instance, Big Yellow Taxi was played earlier and the encore was Joni playing Woodstock solo. She pointed out that she came out on relatively short notice and had not worked up any piano or dulcimer based pieces from her "repertoire".

The one sad note, as Joni was introducing Magdalene Laundries somebody yelled "Anglophile". She heard it and said "Que-est-que-ce un anglophile, I'm a mutt darlin'". But it clearly affected her, especially on a song covering such a topic. She started playing the chords and then had to stopped saying she was still thinking about it and added that her ".. all my bloods were the enemy of the English but I love their language..."

Of course, other artists without her sensitivity and acuity would have just "ignored the asshole" but not her -- it all seems to affect her. Again, who am I to know, but it seemed to affect her mood on the song and the next (last one) . As she took off her guitar to leave the stage, Klein reached over, hugged her and kissed her on the forehead. Did that happen in Vancouver? Again who knows but I guessed that was "support" in the aftermath of the jerk.

As in Vancouver, the set lasted 75 minutes or so (77 to be precise). It was over so quickly but in some ways it seemed longer than it was -- not from boredom but just from being totally engrossed.

As a postscript, near the end of Dylan's set, Joni and Van came out and surprised him and joined him on "I Shall Be Released". They were all a bit uncoordinated and Joni bumped into Dylan's guitarist on a couple of occasions. She sang lead on one verse and improved it. She had changed her attire from when she performed and was wearing a big cowboy hat.

So that was it. It was great! I am so thankful for Joni's having braved the complications, hassles and "nervousnesses" and come out and played and so thankful I could be here (and go again tonight)

Morrison and Dylan:

As far as Van Morrison, he was really good also. He brought the horns, including the great Pee Wee Ellis, and did a mixture of songs from all eras. He said nothing to audience. He does not work from a set list -- he shouts out the next number to the band. He's very intense.

Dylan and his band were also good. Of course, if you never liked his voice, you'll hate it now. Its even more gravely ... if that is possible. My main impression was Bob Dylan as guitar hero. There was a lot of guitar jams and he played a lot of lead. It could have been the Allman Brothers (though obviously not so bluesy). He played old "hits" but also songs from the new album (which is very good). At the end he did not seem to want to stop playing. After one song in the encore, part of his band took off their instruments but Dylan sort of paced in a circle and then they went into two more songs.

All told a bit over 4 hours. What a diverse group of musical talent sharing one stage. All true artists who have over th years continued to explore various aspects and genres of music and are not standing still. It was stupendous!

And now I have to hours to cleanup, eat and go again. I have died and gone to heaven.

Eric

(From: J Callan )- I was also lucky enough to latch on to the hard to get tickets for the Saturday evening show at the Gorge, and while I did enjoy Joni's set, I'd have to say that "stunning" may be the prefect word, since the audience was stunned into comatose condition, sad to say. My daughter commented that it looked like a war zone on the hill, since over half of the people were laying down or were otherwise tuned out.

Behind me was a young group of five or six people, who were probably born around the last time that Joni Mitchell toured (has it really been since 1983, as I read at another website?). One of the guys said before Joni came on stage that he knew nothing at all about her music, but was curious. He was sound asleep by the fourth song.

When she came back for the tremendous version of Woodstock, he woke up, and said that he was surprised to learn that that was one of her songs...and all I could think of was what a pity it was that in addition to the great new stuff she played, she did not hit the "blasts from the past", and enlighten a whole new generation to her talent...only playing "Big Yellow Taxi" as a hook, and overlooking the pleas from the audience to play her other well known songs.

Have to admit that my major impetus for getting tickets was to see Van Morrision, and that I was totally blown away by his set, as well as that of Bob Dylan. I did enjoy a lot of what Joni played (I was really taken by "Sex Kills"), but think she may have missed a chance to convince 20,000 fans that she is in the same class of performers as Bob and Van. Sorry to sound negative about what was a very impressive concert overall. I just feel that if there had been a bit more of a nod to the past, her present music would have been better received.

James M. Callan -----------------

(From: Scott Price )- Wally, congratulations for finally getting the opportunity to meet Miss Mitchell. I can only try to imagine your excitement. What a thrill that must have been. I'm pleased that it happened to you, who has given so much to her through your work at the website. Way to go, bro!!!

It's not often one gets a chance to fulfill a dream. Had I never been able to see and hear Joni Mitchell perform it would not have lessened my admiration of her artistry. But that's all changed now. One of my long-running dreams has come true...and it was better than I had ever dared imagine. After having visions of this event for well over 20 years, it has now been acted out before me, and left a permanent impression which will never leave me.

Before we left early Saturday morning I was able to compile a tape of her Vancouver set-list songs and we spent the greater part of our six-hour drive to the Gorge listening to this as well as many of her other albums. By the time we hit the parking lot we were more than ready for what was to follow. The venue is breathtaking in its stark beauty. It sits on the steep side of the Columbia River Gorge, which at this point resembles the Grand Canyon in its depth. It's easy to look just past the stage and see the mighty river below and see how it has carved out its path through this canyon over millions of years. Later, just as the sun was setting, Joni Mitchell took the stage.

She was wearing a very tasteful and classy ensemble: beige sweater, ankle-length skirt with a very subtle argyle pattern, long brown knit sweater over everything, and off-white sandals and sheer white stockings. Her long blonde hair was brushed straight down and caught the gentle breezes as she rocked back and forth to the rhythm. She sipped from a couple of different glasses between songs and someone from the audience was able to get past security far enough to deposit a nice bouquet of freshly-cut flowers on the stage close to her.

The set list was slightly different from Vancouver, but only slightly. She introduced each song, some with more details than others, and engaged in various bits of conversation with the audience between songs. The "anglophile" comment from the audience took her aback, as she had already started playing the introduction to Magdalene Laundries and after about ten seconds stopped abruptly, and said without hesitation to the person who had been "heckling" "Hey, I've been thinking about what you said...." It was a dramatic moment in an evening that was FULL of them. At least twice during song introductions, she commented "here's some more drama for you" and "this one's a drama." It seems that she considers her earlier material "songs" and the more recent ones "drama." This set-list has been carefully designed to appeal to a broad range of concertgoers, and also spanned much of her career. I noticed that many of those in close proximity who haven't heard anything from her in years were paying close attention. There were a few comments about "mellowing out music" since she followed a rocking Van Morrison, but they were made seriously, without malice.

The attendees, at least in the area where we were sitting, proved to me once again that the most courteous and attentive audiences anywhere are from the great State of Washington. There was no background noise, no one was talking or yelling....they were mostly, like me, on the edge of their seats. It was pure pleasure to not have to worry about someone around the immediate area being rude during her performance.

She opened with a magical rendition of Night Ride Home. By then darkness had fallen over the outdoor amphitheater and this song set the mood for the rest of her set. Crazy Cries followed, which served to further warm up the audience for Harry's House, the third song. It's amazing how she is able to reach back from the HOSL era and add new colors and textures to this song and make it sound fresh and exciting, while still retaining much of its original feel. Slouching Towards Bethlehem was next, followed by "This Train" and "Black Crow." Her assembled cast of musicians added enormously to the sounds of the night, taking turns coming to the fore and setting the mood, but never overpowering the main attraction, Miss Joan. Klein laid a solid but muted foundation to the arrangements and Brian Blade and Greg Liesz added many colors to this collective palette. But Joni's guitar was always there, sounding strong, distinct, and steady. Her voice also seemed in top form: bright and crisp, never wavering.

We knew that "Amelia" was next and for me it was an unforgettable moment. As she began singing the opening verse there were several gasps from the audience. Literally every hair on my body was standing straight up and a shiver went through me. It was strictly involuntary, and profound. By the time the song was halfway over my wife was in tears and I was fighting like hell to keep from crying too. When Joni strummed the final note with that flourish we could have floated out of there right then and been 100 percent content. But she followed with "Hejira" and it was just as moving. Then, she inserted Big Yellow Taxi to the delight of the crowd, who cheered loudly for this very-recognizable melody. Joni put a humorous light on this version, and left everyone buzzing.

"Facelift" was done next, very cleanly, no muddiness at all from any of the instruments, and very effectively, vocally, I thought, because each word was clearly enunciated, making it easier, I believe, for those in the audience who weren't familiar with this song to be able to follow it. The drama returned with a dark and complex version of "Sex Kills." Next came "Magdalene Laundries" which stood out for its ability to project to the audience the horrors and the struggles faced by the women at this forsaken place. The band was able to create a whirling, gyrating feel in the background while Joni sang the lyrics. Their playing heightened the feeling of inner turmoil and confusion without getting in the way of Joni and her guitar. Her last song was "Moon at the Window," one of my favorites, and was stunning in the way she mixed jazz nuances while altering the arrangement to fit the instrumentalists who were on hand.

After a standing ovation, she returned for one more song, and I was completely taken by surprise when she began that anthem of a generation, "Woodstock," which somehow seemed so very appropriate to the mood and the setting of the full house which had assembled under the night skies. Her solo rendition of this classic was hauntingly beautiful in its simplicity and its message. It reinforced to all those assembled that this woman has staying power. She wrote the defining song about that generation, and she's still here giving us glimpses at her talents decades later. It was the perfect ending to her show, even if some (like me!) thought she should have played longer!

And now that the dream has come true I briefly thought about what might be next? Do I need to come up with a new dream-theme? Answer: nope. Reason: *nothing* could top this one! Siquomb.......

Scott ---

(From: Hdhndsft )-Last Saturday night amongst the beauty of the Columbia Gorge, I fell in love again for the first time. Joni's words hit my heart about 29 years ago, so seeing her for the first time was a touch of heaven. Her gentle swaying and crystal clear voice made my five hour drive more than worth the time. The band was flawless.....and her repore with the crowd was uplifting. All I could think of is what a kind person she seemed. So gentle yet aggressive in her song delivery. One of the true statesmen(women) of modern music. Joni, I hope you don't wait so long for your next visit to the great northwest................maybe Portland next time? Love and warm memories

JASON MOORE HDHNDSFT@AOL.COM ---

(From: JodgeMes )-It is very cool to stumble upon this website. I drove from Portland to see Joni at the Gorge on the 16th and it was just amazing. I had paid $100 to be as close as possible and it was pretty much well worth it. She looks fantastic, her voice is still surviving, and seemed to get stronger as she sang through the set. She was so much more personal and involved with her audience than I had expected since she tours so infrequently. I was completely exhausted and emotionally drained after her set and I've been reminiscing ever since -- a mere 5 days ago! In response to the person who wished she'd played more old stuff, you need to remember that her voice has changed SIGNIFICANTLY since she was in her twenties. Voices change naturally; that, coupled with smoking and some throat problems has made her a low alto versus a practically lyric soprano, and she'd need to change a lot of the old songs pretty seriously to sing them. It was okay with me, personally. She played a lot of stuff from Hejira, in my mind probably her finest work, or at least one of them, and I liked the way all her songs had a newer, more current "Joni" feel. After all, she's not just a folk singer any more. Glad so many people loved the show -- I know I did. ---

(From: PHIL STERETT )-This one is easy! I had no expectations of old songs, open to receive her show, and what a show it was! Sound was clean, and late sundown behind the clouds made it appear as if the stage and her voice were hovering in space. OH my gawd- her voice was ethereal, every nuance could be heard. The new songs were so good, and the Hijera material made the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Why self centered a-h---s in the crowd scream insults at the performing artist, I will never know. but the slur "angliophile" was enough to bend Joni's ear, and interupt a nice flow. Maybe the jerk can't hold his booze or acid or?. Congrats to Joni and her fine band. The pedel steel complemented Joni's phrasing, Larry K's intimate bass interplay so important to the music. Mr. Blades percussion so touching and expresive! This is music that takes you somewhere else, I wonder if the band feels this as they play? I will remember this show, and hope there was some recording done this tour, would love to have a cd of this set.

Regards, Phil ---

(From: Tom Johnson, thomas@halcyon.com)-Joni just blew me away - I'm 31 years old and have been a big fan of hers for years - I remember the first time I really heard Joni was "Free Man in Paris" on the radio in the backseat of the family car while mom shopped for groceries when I was a little boy; later as I got into music I listened to her a lot, always struck by the unusual beauty of her voice and instruments, and the way she touches me emotionally. Over the years I've played Joni's music to celebrate, to inspire, and to heal. I had read somewhere a few years ago that she did not tour and so when I heard about this show I was SO excited - I had NEVER expected to see her. That night at the gorge was like a dream - the skies were so still, and with the view of the canyon and hills streched out beyond the stage it was so earthly and wonderous. When Joni appeared, MY HEART SOARED SO MUCH. She looked beautiful, and her music flowed out so rich and sweet I was truly enraptured for the entire set, my mind and body and soul flowing with her chords. I felt comforted seeing her and hearing her play. (And wow, does Joni know how to dress!) Joni's show was a dream come true and her performance was excellent. And I love how interactive she was with the audience - that was VERY nice. I hope she does her own tour sometime!

-Tom Johnson ---

(From: Martin Cassidy)-Hi Wally,

Thank you so much for maintaining this wonderful site! I recently printed up the guitar tunings and have been trying them out. I noticed, however, that Joni never retuned her guitar during this show, even though she played many songs that are listed as having radically different tunings.

Her guitar sound was stunning. A friend of mine commented that he had thought her latest albums sounded over-produced, until he heard her live, and realized she really could get all that sound just out of her guitar.

I think you and others have covered the show splendidly, but i just want to add that i, for one, had no expectations that she would play any of her old stuff. She's come so far since the days of "Blue" and "For the Roses"- who can expect her to still feel like playing those songs.

While i love those old songs, i especially appreciate her jazzier material. "Hejira" is still probably my all-time favourite Joni album, so i was thrilled to hear so many songs from there; and i thought Larry did an admirable job trying to fill Jaco's shoes.

Wally, if you do get another chance to speak with Joni, please let her know that some of us appreciate just what she's doing. I have no need to see her perform her greatest hits like so many other fosilized rock stars. She's a constantly changing, developing artist. Who would want to stymie that? ---

(From: Mark or Travis, Mark-n-Travis@worldnet.att.net)-Oh, you people going to the California concerts, you are in for such a treat! You will not be disappointed. This show will fulfill your expectations and then some.

I looked around for JMDLers on Saturday night but didn't see anybody before the show started. We got there plenty early (around 5) and scoped out our seats which we were delighted with. Almost dead center 33 rows back from the stage. The weather was cloudy but warm on Saturday night, almost balmy. Van Morrison opened with 'Domino'. I don't really know his music but I did recognize 'Moon Dance'. His set was tight and it rocked. He must've been enjoying himself because he played for nearly an hour and a half. He didn't really do an encore. At the end of his last song, he picked up the mike stand, hauled it toward the offstage area on his shoulder like it was a cross and then threw it down as he finished singing and walked off. That was it. He was done.

Then came the anticipation as the roadies started to reset the stage. I was so keyed up by this point I couldn't possibly leave my seat. I had to be right there when Joni hit the stage. Finally the wait was over and the moment I had waited 20 plus years for arrived. Larry Klein, Brian Blade and the slide guitarist (whose name escapes me) took their places and Joni's name was announced. And then she walked onstage and I was on my feet applauding and shouting. She picked up her guitar and started 'Night Ride Home'. From then until she finished my attention was pretty much riveted to her. She made some semi-apologetic statement saying that there had been criticism that she hadn't gone far enough back into her catalogue to choose her setlist. Of course those of that were there to see *her* only applauded and did what we could to let her know that we wanted to hear ANYTHING SHE WANTED TO PLAY. She said she hadn't toured in a long time and that she had chosen a set to please herself. She also said that she couldn't resist going on this tour. Joni! Give in to temptation more often! Please! Although her vocal range has diminished considerably there is still power in that voice. When she sang 'head of a m-a-a-A-A-N' in 'Slouching Toward Bethlehem' it sent shivers up my spine. When she sang 'Hejira' it wasn't Benny Goodman, it wasn't Miles Davis - on Saturday night it was 'I thought I heard Frank Sinatra coming through the snowy trees'. On Sunday it was 'old Blue Eyes'. The set list was pretty much the same as the Vancouver concert. When she left the stage we stood on our feet and applauded and yelled until she came back. Her encore at the Gorge both nights was 'Woodstock'. The crowd was delighted. At this point let me say that although there were a fair number of people that got up to get food or use the bathroom during her set the crowd was for the most part respectful. There were people talking (at one point Travis turned around and shshed the people behind us - bless his heart, I love that man and I'm so glad he loves me) but I did my best to block it out. For the most part I was successful.

When Joni finished her set I went out to find the port-a-potties and there standing in the aisle at the end of our row was Mendi and Mary! It was so wonderful to finally meet someone from the list face to face and especially to meet Mendi. The warmth that comes through in her posts to the list is very real and she radiates it. We hugged and had a brief visit. We had talked on the phone after she and Mary had arrived in Seattle but circumstances had prevented us meeting until Saturday night. She and Mary are both great people. You know it immediately on meeting them.

I got back to my seat just as Dylan was starting his set. I'm not a great fan of Bob's but I did enjoy his set. He did 'Tangled Up in Blue' and 'It Ain't Me Babe', 'Highway 61', 'Love Sick' and 'Simple Twist of Fate'. I particularly enjoyed the 'acoustic' part of his set - acoustic bass, mandolin and guitars. On Saturday we had the added treat of having Van and Joni join Bob for 'I Shall Be Released'. Joni was dressed in a suit and tie and felt hat. She didn't know the lyrics to her verse of the song and giggled at herself. All three performers appeared to be enjoying themselves immensely. Dylan did an extended encore, wrapping up with 'Everybody Must Get Stoned'.

It took about about an hour and a half to get out of the parking lot of the Gorge Amphitheatre and what with a brief detour due to a wrong turn it was 2:30 am by the time we got to our motel in Moses Lake. We were exhausted. My friend Melanie and I napped awhile on Sunday afternoon. Travis and our other friend Val had to drive back to Seattle on Sunday.

Sunday night Mel and I got to the Gorge around 5:30. We did run into Meriwether, Skip, Don Fluke and friend at the appointed meeting place. While standing in line to get in I happened to turn around and see someone with one of our denim shirts. It was Dionne from Issaquah who was attending the concert with her mother. Later after we got to our seats, Meri spotted us and waved. I walked down and met Wally Breese and Simon. It was great to be able to tell these guys in person how much I appreciate everything they do to keep Joni's name and music in circulation.

Dylan opened on Sunday with a set that was about 80% different from Saturday night. I remember 'Lay Lady Lay' and 'Just Like a Woman' but can't come up with any other titles right now. There was no joint singalong on Sunday with Joni & Van during Dylan's set. He finished again with 'Everybody Must Get Stoned'.

Joni was wearing a long coat and a wide-brimmed hat when she hit the stage on Sunday. The weather was colder and windy. Fortunately though there was *no rain*! There was a problem with static and she took the coat off at one point hoping it would help. She was still getting some popping sounds from time to time. I thought she was in a little better voice on Sunday. Also since it was an hour earlier than Saturday and we were 5 rows closer we could see her better. Melanie & I both thought the lighting for these shows was lousy. But Joni looked radiant in the natural light of the setting sun on Sunday night. Don Fluke & friend were down in row 5 (lucky dogs) and they held up a banner that said 'Fort Lauderdale loves Joni' which she saw and pointed to. If that doesn't tell her that there are those of us who love her music, then I don't know what will! I think through both nights, Joni knew we were out there. At the end of her Sunday set I was yelling 'Thank you, Joni!' as loud as I could. I hope she somehow heard me and realized that I wasn't just thanking her for the concert but for 20 plus years of inspiration and wonderful music. We had agreed that we couldn't hack another hour and a half wait in the parking lot and we were both pretty tired, so Melanie & I left after Joni was done on Sunday. So I can't report on Van Morrison's Sunday show.

I have a wonderful feeling of having reached a goal. Something was satisfied in me and finally completed and fulfilled in a very wonderful way. Part of it was that I needed to feel just once that Joni was singing just for me. Never mind all the other people that were there. I could look up at her and imagine that she was performing just for me. The variations in the melodies and slight changes in the words were only proof that she was there, performing the songs as she was feeling and thinking them right at that moment in time. It was magical and truly a dream come true at last for me.

There are over 100 messages in my inbox that I haven't read yet. A lot of what I'm writing here is probably redundant to you as I know there have been some reviews posted already. But I had to get down as many thoughts and impressions as I could while they are still relatively fresh. It's been a wonderful weekend, everything went off without a hitch and I will treasure the memory always. We bought three of the t-shirts so I will have two of Joni's wonderful paintings to wear and Travis has a really cool white t with the concert poster on it. Great mementoes!

California people! Enjoy! I hope the rest of the JMDL gets a chance to see Joni in the near future. It's an experience you won't forget!

Mark in Seattle


First Set: Van Morrison
Second Set: Joni Mitchell
Third Set: Bob Dylan

JMDL Member Comments

ERIC: Greetings from Wenatchee Washington. It was unbelievably great!!

Prologue and Setting:

Having ridden three hours down Interstate 90 from Madison, WI to Chicago, flown 3.5 hours to Spokane to rejoin Interstate 90 and driven about two hours west across the Columbia basin, I began to see hills about thirty miles off in the distance and behind them snow covered mountains. At the exit I got off and followed the signs for The Gorge. The road was crossing farmland close to the hills. After creeping in traffic, I parked and began walking into the concert facility. Even after the obligatory search and ticket collection and concession stands, the site did not seem as pretty as had been said. And then I came to the edge of a steep hillside overlooking the stage and my my breath was taken away. There directly (and I mean directly) behind the stage was a gorge with the huge Columbia River flowing through it. It was spectacular, even with the usual Seattle-type grey cloud cover everywhere.

The crowd was all ages -- from 16 to 60. The concert started exactly at 7pm (as in Vancouver) so I strongly encourage everyone attending down the road to be on time. Short reviews of Van and Dylan are near the end for those interested. After an almost 90 minute set by Van, the stage was changed in only 15 minutes.

Joni Mitchell:

Then the announcer said "Ladies and Gentlemen ... Joni Mitchell". And there she was walking from the middle of the back of the stage to stage center. And bowed. And smiled. Joined by the band she moved directly into Night Ride Home. And it was perfect. Her voice is in great shape. The sound was absolutely crystal clear. (I was sitting in the 18th row directly in front of her amongst some Dylan regulars who go to almost every show and all of us agreed this was some of the best any of have ever heard.) The sound of the band was wonderful and Joni's guitar and tuning "computer" seem to me, as a listener, to work great. Saying "this is a brand new song though I guess it has been running around a bit in bootleg form if you've got it - this is off the about to be released album ..." she then launched into "Crazy Cries of Love." A nice song, it fits right in with the sort of sounds found on Turbulent Indigo.

Larry Klein plays on Joni's immediate left. He locates the bass relatively high up on his body but still often hunches over it. Very unusually, the drummer, Brian Blade, is to Klein's (and Joni's) left facing them, not the audience. Similarly, the pedal steel guitarist, Greg Liesz, is on Joni's right -- facing her side looking directly across at Blade. Joni's controls, monitor and a stool with beverages on it were to Joni's immediate right. So, behind Joni there was absolutely nothing other than a see-through black backdrop and behind that the bluff of the gorge. So the sight was just Joni, with her guitar and the bluff behind her with daylight waning. It was so wonderful -- the sound plus the view made it seem like it was just Joni and us and nothing else. Intimacy with 17,000.

Joni then said the "complaint" after Vancouver was she did not go back far enough (I for one ABSOLUTELY DO NOT share that opinion) but she hoped we'd "like these songs because I haven't toured in a long time and there are a lot of pieces I have never played in public and I tried to pick a set that would please myself and try to throw in .. I hope I cover you " She then played onwards with Harry's House. By the middle of the song, I started to cry (from happiness) it was just all so wonderful.

Greg's role is, as one would expect, rather understated and the pedal steel is not played in a country & western style. Klein, who was introduced as "Klein, Klein, Larry Klein (pause) my recently ex-husband on bass (little giggle and then hearty laugh" doesn't move around much but is integral to the sound. Blade plays his instrument in a really diverse manner. For instance, on one song he played the snare and other drums with his hands, conga style, not with sticks or brushes, the usual methods.

And then there was Joni's smile -- a big, wide, frequently given smile. it was so infectious. I of course do not know her and her moods but she seemed to be genuinely enjoying herself. She seemed fairly loose. At one point she even threw a reference to Frank Sinatra into the lyrics of Hejira. People next to me who where in Vancouver two nights ago said she was much more confident at the Gorge. Especially compared to Van Morrison who said almost nothing, Joni was quite talkative introducing a majority of the songs and making comments. her humor also showed through. In the middle of Big Yellow Taxi she said "Bobby wrote this verse, if I can remember it" and then sang it ("late last night I heard the screen door slam...") in a perfect Bob Dylan imitation that was hilarious.

I haven't seen Joni perform since 1983 and the thing that either I had forgotten or is different now is how she moves. She sways but not in some sort of gentle folk like unspecific matter. She moves to the beat in a very African way. She definitely feels the rhythm and all the things she has explored since Mingus.

All of the songs she performed are infused with the various styles she has explored over the last 15 years. Fans of her early period may be disappointed with Big Yellow Taxi and Woodstock because they sound somewhat different, but I really liked them.

The set list was similar but not the same as Vancouver. For instance, Big Yellow Taxi was played earlier and the encore was Joni playing Woodstock solo. She pointed out that she came out on relatively short notice and had not worked up any piano or dulcimer based pieces from her "repertoire".

The one sad note, as Joni was introducing Magdalene Laundries somebody yelled "Anglophile". She heard it and said "Que-est-que-ce un anglophile, I'm a mutt darlin'". But it clearly affected her, especially on a song covering such a topic. She started playing the chords and then had to stopped saying she was still thinking about it and added that her ".. all my bloods were the enemy of the English but I love their language..."

Of course, other artists without her sensitivity and acuity would have just "ignored the asshole" but not her -- it all seems to affect her. Again, who am I to know, but it seemed to affect her mood on the song and the next (last one) . As she took off her guitar to leave the stage, Klein reached over, hugged her and kissed her on the forehead. Did that happen in Vancouver? Again who knows but I guessed that was "support" in the aftermath of the jerk.

Her setlist was:
Night Ride Home
The Crazy Cries of Love
Harry's House
Slouching Towards BethlehemV Just Like This Train
Black Crow
Amelia
Hejira
Big Yellow Taxi
Happiness is the Best Facelift
Sex Kills
The Magdalene Laundries
Moon at the Window
Encore: Woodstock

As in Vancouver, the set lasted 75 minutes or so (77 to be precise). It was over so quickly but in some ways it seemed longer than it was -- not from boredom but just from being totally engrossed.

As a postscript, near the end of Dylan's set, Joni and Van came out and surprised him and joined him on "I Shall Be Released". They were all a bit uncoordinated and Joni bumped into Dylan's guitarist on a couple of occasions. She sang lead on one verse and improved it. She had changed her attire from when she performed and was wearing a big cowboy hat.

So that was it. It was great! I am so thankful for Joni's having braved the complications, hassles and "nervousnesses" and come out and played and so thankful I could be here (and go again tonight)

Morrison and Dylan:

As far as Van Morrison, he was really good also. He brought the horns, including the great Pee Wee Ellis, and did a mixture of songs from all eras. He said nothing to audience. He does not work from a set list -- he shouts out the next number to the band. He's very intense.

Dylan and his band were also good. Of course, if you never liked his voice, you'll hate it now. Its even more gravely ... if that is possible. My main impression was Bob Dylan as guitar hero. There was a lot of guitar jams and he played a lot of lead. It could have been the Allman Brothers (though obviously not so bluesy). He played old "hits" but also songs from the new album (which is very good). At the end he did not seem to want to stop playing. After one song in the encore, part of his band took off their instruments but Dylan sort of paced in a circle and then they went into two more songs.

All told a bit over 4 hours. What a diverse group of musical talent sharing one stage. All true artists who have over th years continued to explore various aspects and genres of music and are not standing still. It was stupendous!

And now I have to hours to cleanup, eat and go again. I have died and gone to heaven.


SEANAPPER: Hello List! I have been reading the discussion list for quite awhile, but this is my first post. I'm Neil, 36, live in Seattle, and am a hard-core Joni fan. Nice to meet all of you!

Last night, I died and went to heaven! I was really looking forward to meeting other JMDLers in the designated meeting place about an hour before the show, but unfortunately, getting to the Gorge took me a bit longer than I had anticipated (rather, getting to the parking lot took longer than I had planned). By the time I got there and made a pass through the Beer Garden (it was a must after the drive from Seattle), everyone must have already scattered to their seats, so I regret not meeting any of you that were there.

Eric G. Postel's review of the concert is perfect. I was in the 10th row, but on the side next to these speakers the size of a truck, so the sound I heard was a bit overwhelmed by the bass at times. Nevertheless, it was wonderful! I was surprised at the range of songs she chose, and was delighted that she chose THREE from my favorite album, Hejira, including the title song, which is my all-time favorite song. One advantage of being right by those huge speakers was that I was just blown away (almost literally) by "Slouching Toward Bethlehem." It was like thunder and jet engines, beautiful and quite frightening at the same time; a religious experience. It left me shaking!

Fortunately, where I was sitting, there were no rude assholes around; everyone was very attentive and appreciative of the Goddess. Or maybe it's just that my ears were ringing and I couldn't hear them. Walking back to the parking lot and then while waiting in my truck for a solid hour to get OUT of the parking lot, I heard lots of snippets of conversations of passers-by. Many were about Joni and none that I heard was negative, so I didn't have to focus the Evil Eye on anyone. I got back home and into bed at about 5:00 in the morning, tired, but still wired from finally getting to see Joni. Now I only wish I had gotten tickets for BOTH nights!


SCOTT: It's not often one gets a chance to fulfill a dream. Finding a soulmate (thanks, Shawn, for putting up with all the hope and the hoplessness for all these years!), raising a family together, enjoying good health and modest prosperity are all defining moments for me. I have walked the beach at sunset, felt the sun's rays beaming down on many spectacular days, and sat around campfires with kindred spirits. I have sailed on the ocean and flown the friendly skies to faraway and exciting places. Most every day I have known the joy that books and music can bring. Despite all this, I have always wanted more. Had I never been able to see and hear Joni Mitchell perform it would not have lessened my admiration of her artistry. Actually, I had pretty much resigned myself to this fate, due to her reduced (or non-existent!) touring schedule and my away-from-it-all location. But that's all changed now. One of my long-running dreams has come true...and it was better than I had ever dared imagine. After having visions of this event for well over 20 years, it has now been acted out before me, and left a permanent impression which will never leave me. I am beyond contentment; it's nirvana!

Before we left early Saturday morning I was able to compile a tape of her Vancouver set-list songs (in order, and using the "live" versions whenever possible) and we spent the greater part of our six-hour drive to the Gorge listening to this as well as many of her other albums. By the time we hit the parking lot we were more than ready for what was to follow. The venue is breathtaking in its stark beauty. It sits on the steep side of the Columbia River Gorge, which at this point resembles the Grand Canyon in its depth. The stage is on the lower portion of the property, and there is a fairly steep grade leading down toward it. It's easy to look just past the stage and see the mighty river below and see how it has carved out its path through this canyon over millions of years. Later, just as the sun was setting, Joni Mitchell took the stage.

She was wearing a very tasteful and classy ensemble: beige sweater, ankle-length skirt with a very subtle argyle pattern, long brown knit sweater over everything, and off-white sandals and sheer white stockings (didn't notice any holes or runs in them :-). Her long blonde hair was brushed straight down and caught the gentle breezes as she rocked back and forth to the rhythm. She sipped from a couple of different glasses between songs and someone from the audience was able to get past security far enough to deposit a nice bouquet of freshly-cut flowers on the stage close to her.

The set list was slightly different from Vancouver, but only slightly. She introduced each song, some with more details than others, and engaged in various bits of conversation with the audience between songs. The "anglophile" comment from the audience took her aback, as she had already started playing the introduction to Magdalene Laundries and after about ten seconds stopped abruptly, and said without hesitation to the person who had been "heckling" "Hey, I've been thinking about what you said...." It was a dramatic moment in an evening that was FULL of them. At least twice during song introductions, she commented "here's some more drama for you" and "this one's a drama." It seems that she considers her earlier material "songs" and the more recent ones "drama." Also, this set-list has been carefully crafted. It was designed to appeal to a broad range of concertgoers, and also spanned much of her career. Before playing the "Hejira" songs she said that she had included some of the older tunes "so that you might be able to recognize a few of my songs here tonight." Of course, the implication is that the casual listener may not have heard much Joni in the past several years, but probably was familiar with some of her earlier projects. I noticed that many of those in close proximity who haven't heard anything from her in years were paying close attention. There were a few comments about "mellowing out music" since she followed a rocking Van Morrison, but they were made seriously, without malice. After reviewing the setlist and the arrangements I'm sure that she put a lot of thought into this element of her performance. The "dramatic" pieces were strung together, as were the older classics. The effect was to take the listener back and forth, past and present, while preserving the immediacy of her presence. As I had been pondering my own preferences beforehand for her setlist, I now realize that she constructed this list with a much bigger picture in mind than just picking out a few favorites, or playing to the casual listeners; the consummate professional, she picked them to appeal to the widest possible audience while remaining true to her own desires. I should have known. :-)

The attendees, at least in the area where we were sitting, proved to me once again that the most courteous and attentive audiences anywhere are from the great State of Washington. There was no background noise, no one was talking or yelling....they were mostly, like me, on the edge of their seats. It was pure pleasure to not have to worry about someone around the immediate area being rude during her performance.

She opened with a magical rendition of Night Ride Home. By then darkness had fallen over the outdoor amphitheater and this song set the mood for the rest of her set. Crazy Cries followed, which served to further warm up the audience for Harry's House, the third song. It's amazing how she is able to reach back from the HOSL era and add new colors and textures to this song and make it sound fresh and exciting, while still retaining much of its original feel. Slouching Towards Bethlehem was next, followed by "This Train" and "Black Crow." Her assembled cast of musicians added enormously to the sounds of the night, taking turns coming to the fore and setting the mood, but never overpowering the main attraction, Miss Joan. This is probably a "first" for me in that I didn't think the sound man had the bass turned up too far! Klein laid a solid but muted foundation to the arrangements and Brian Blade and Greg Liesz added many colors to this collective palette. But Joni's guitar was always there, sounding less shrill than it does on some of the audio tapes. She apparently has become very comfortable with the VG-8, as I didn't see her fiddling around with it much at all between songs. Some of her previous efforts with this electric axe have sounded to me as though there is a degree of tremolo coming through but it was absent during the live performance...each note was clear, strong, distinct, and steady. Her voice also seemed in top form: and strong and crisp, never wavering.

We knew that "Amelia" was next and for me it was an unforgettable moment. As she began singing the opening verse there were several gasps from the audience. Literally every hair on my body was standing straight up and a shiver went through me. It was strictly involuntary, and profound. By the time the song was halfway over my wife was in tears and I was fighting like hell to keep from crying too. When Joni strummed the final note with that flourish (the upward strumming motion, holding the finish high above the guitar for a moment) we could have floated out of there right then and been 100 percent content. But she followed with "Hejira" and it was just as moving. Then, surprising me, she inserted Big Yellow Taxi to the delight of the crowd, who cheered loudly for this very-recognizable melody. Joni put a humorous light on this version, and left everyone buzzing.

"Facelift" was done next, very cleanly, no muddiness at all from any of the instruments, and very effectively, vocally, I thought, because each word was clearly enunciated, making it easier, I believe, for those in the audience who weren't familiar with this song to be able to follow it. The drama returned with a dark and complex version of "Sex Kills." Next came "Magdalene Laundries" which stood out for its ability to project to the audience the horrors and the struggles faced by the women at this forsaken place. The band was able to create a whirling, gyrating feel in the background while Joni sang the lyrics. Their playing heightened the feeling of inner turmoil and confusion without getting in the way of Joni and her guitar. Her last song was "Moon at the Window," one of my favorites, and was stunning in the way she mixed jazz nuances while altering the arrangement to fit the instrumentalists who were on hand.

After a standing ovation, she returned for one more song, and I was completely taken by surprise when she began that anthem of a generation, "Woodstock," which somehow seemed so very appropriate to the mood and the setting of the full house which had assembled under the night skies. Her solo rendition of this classic was hauntingly beautiful in its simplicity and its message. Much closer to the LOTC recording than the MOA version, it reinforced to all those assembled that this woman has staying power. She wrote the defining song about that generation, and she's still here giving us glimpses at her talents decades later. It was the perfect ending to her show, even if some (like me!) thought she should have played longer!

Apologies to Mr. Dylan, but we were part of the (my estimate) 200 people who left before Bob started his performance. Neither Shawn nor I felt that ANYTHING could possibly compare to what we had just witnessed, and we wanted to leave the moment intact for as long as we could. Playing her albums over and over on the long drive back home convinced me that the moment *will* remain with us, forever. The sound of any Joni song now brings forth a full set of visual and aural images from last night....ones which I didn't think I'd ever be able to capture.

What is it about her that captivates my imagination and penetrates my soul? Amplified by years of listening to her songs, over and over again, and discovering new notes and emotions years later...her music transcends time. These songs that she's playing are happening right now and yet they evoke such powerful memories of the past. She may not perform the songs now exactly as she would have years ago, but so what? She has continued her growth, honing her craft, and the end result is truly breathtaking. It's been a rollercoaster, at times, trying to follow her career as she moved from one genre to another, but I never wanted the ride to end. Now, thankfully, resplendent with images of her up there on that stage, the moment will always be with me.

And now that the dream has come true I briefly thought about what might be next? Do I need to come up with a new dream-theme? Answer: nope. Reason: *nothing* could top this one! Siquomb.......


FRANK: I witnessed the [anglophile] incident in the 20th row, center (wow), and have a few observations to add.

In general, I think Joni Mitchell and the "heckler" treated it more playfully than has been portrayed here, though obviously it caught her off guard. The incident came shortly after she tried to interpret a shout from closer in the audience (I don't know what was said either). She offered three interpretations, including something like "you're a baboon", and expressed her amused appreciation (no, I don't think anybody called her a baboon). This, I think, was a signal that she was listening to the audience, and implicit encouragement, along with resignation about not being able to interact well. When the anglophile shout was made after the Magdalene introduction (literally from left field), she said something like "'you're an anglophile', that one I heard...". I think the comment was in fact "you're an anglophile," and my impression (only one person really knows) is that the "heckler" was reacting playfully to the earlier crowd interaction, and the perceived pretension of the Magdalene and Bethlehem/Yeats introductions.

As great and historic as the performance was, in the end it's just a rock and roll show, and this is a trivial incident for a major artist. Although the anglophile comment was a bit goofy, I was as much thrown off by the "mutt" response, which I didn't "get" right away either. So I'd advise everyone not to get bent out of shape about the incident, enjoy the shows, and hope for more.


MARK: Oh, you people going to the California concerts, you are in for such a treat! You will not be disappointed. This show will fulfill your expectations and then some.

I looked around for JMDLers on Saturday night but didn't see anybody before the show started. We got there plenty early (around 5) and scoped out our seats which we were delighted with. Almost dead center 33 rows back from the stage. The weather was cloudy but warm on Saturday night, almost balmy. Van Morrison opened with 'Domino'. I don't really know his music but I did recognize 'Moon Dance'. His set was tight and it rocked. He must've been enjoying himself because he played for nearly an hour and a half. He didn't really do an encore. At the end of his last song, he picked up the mike stand, hauled it toward the offstage area on his shoulder like it was a cross and then threw it down as he finished singing and walked off. That was it. He was done.

Then came the anticipation as the roadies started to reset the stage. I was so keyed up by this point I couldn't possibly leave my seat. I had to be right there when Joni hit the stage. Finally the wait was over and the moment I had waited 20 plus years for arrived. Larry Klein, Brian Blade and the slide guitarist (whose name escapes me) took their places and Joni's name was announced. And then she walked onstage and I was on my feet applauding and shouting. She picked up her guitar and started 'Night Ride Home'. From then until she finished my attention was pretty much riveted to her. She made some semi-apologetic statement saying that there had been criticism that she hadn't gone far enough back into her catalogue to choose her setlist. Of course those of that were there to see *her* only applauded and did what we could to let her know that we wanted to hear ANYTHING SHE WANTED TO PLAY. She said she hadn't toured in a long time and that she had chosen a set to please herself. She also said that she couldn't resist going on this tour. Joni! Give in to temptation more often! Please! Although her vocal range has diminished considerably there is still power in that voice. When she sang 'head of a m-a-a-A-A-N' in 'Slouching Toward Bethlehem' it sent shivers up my spine. When she sang 'Hejira' it wasn't Benny Goodman, it wasn't Miles Davis - on Saturday night it was 'I thought I heard Frank Sinatra coming through the snowy trees'. On Sunday it was 'old Blue Eyes'. The set list was pretty much the same as the Vancouver concert. When she left the stage we stood on our feet and applauded and yelled until she came back. Her encore at the Gorge both nights was 'Woodstock'. The crowd was delighted. At this point let me say that although there were a fair number of people that got up to get food or use the bathroom during her set the crowd was for the most part respectful. There were people talking (at one point Travis turned around and shshed the people behind us - bless his heart, I love that man and I'm so glad he loves me) but I did my best to block it out. For the most part I was successful.

When Joni finished her set I went out to find the port-a-potties and there standing in the aisle at the end of our row was Mendi and Mary! It was so wonderful to finally meet someone from the list face to face and especially to meet Mendi. The warmth that comes through in her posts to the list is very real and she radiates it. We hugged and had a brief visit. We had talked on the phone after she and Mary had arrived in Seattle but circumstances had prevented us meeting until Saturday night. She and Mary are both great people. You know it immediately on meeting them.

I got back to my seat just as Dylan was starting his set. I'm not a great fan of Bob's but I did enjoy his set. He did 'Tangled Up in Blue' and 'It Ain't Me Babe', 'Highway 61', 'Love Sick' and 'Simple Twist of Fate'. I particularly enjoyed the 'acoustic' part of his set - acoustic bass, mandolin and guitars. On Saturday we had the added treat of having Van and Joni join Bob for 'I Shall Be Released'. Joni was dressed in a suit and tie and felt hat. She didn't know the lyrics to her verse of the song and giggled at herself. All three performers appeared to be enjoying themselves immensely. Dylan did an extended encore, wrapping up with 'Everybody Must Get Stoned'.

It took about about an hour and a half to get out of the parking lot of the Gorge Amphitheatre and what with a brief detour due to a wrong turn it was 2:30 am by the time we got to our motel in Moses Lake. We were exhausted. My friend Melanie and I napped awhile on Sunday afternoon. Travis and our other friend Val had to drive back to Seattle on Sunday.

Sunday night Mel and I got to the Gorge around 5:30. We did run into Meriwether, Skip, Don Fluke and friend at the appointed meeting place. While standing in line to get in I happened to turn around and see someone with one of our denim shirts. It was Dionne from Issaquah who was attending the concert with her mother. Later after we got to our seats, Meri spotted us and waved. I walked down and met Wally Breese and Simon. It was great to be able to tell these guys in person how much I appreciate everything they do to keep Joni's name and music in circulation.

Dylan opened on Sunday with a set that was about 80% different from Saturday night. I remember 'Lay Lady Lay' and 'Just Like a Woman' but can't come up with any other titles right now. There was no joint singalong on Sunday with Joni & Van during Dylan's set. He finished again with 'Everybody Must Get Stoned'.

Joni was wearing a long coat and a wide-brimmed hat when she hit the stage on Sunday. The weather was colder and windy. Fortunately though there was *no rain*! There was a problem with static and she took the coat off at one point hoping it would help. She was still getting some popping sounds from time to time. I thought she was in a little better voice on Sunday. Also since it was an hour earlier than Saturday and we were 5 rows closer we could see her better. Melanie & I both thought the lighting for these shows was lousy. But Joni looked radiant in the natural light of the setting sun on Sunday night. Don Fluke & friend were down in row 5 (lucky dogs) and they held up a banner that said 'Fort Lauderdale loves Joni' which she saw and pointed to. If that doesn't tell her that there are those of us who love her music, then I don't know what will! I think through both nights, Joni knew we were out there. At the end of her Sunday set I was yelling 'Thank you, Joni!' as loud as I could. I hope she somehow heard me and realized that I wasn't just thanking her for the concert but for 20 plus years of inspiration and wonderful music. We had agreed that we couldn't hack another hour and a half wait in the parking lot and we were both pretty tired, so Melanie & I left after Joni was done on Sunday. So I can't report on Van Morrison's Sunday show.

I have a wonderful feeling of having reached a goal. Something was satisfied in me and finally completed and fulfilled in a very wonderful way. Part of it was that I needed to feel just once that Joni was singing just for me. Never mind all the other people that were there. I could look up at her and imagine that she was performing just for me. The variations in the melodies and slight changes in the words were only proof that she was there, performing the songs as she was feeling and thinking them right at that moment in time. It was magical and truly a dream come true at last for me.

There are over 100 messages in my inbox that I haven't read yet. A lot of what I'm writing here is probably redundant to you as I know there have been some reviews posted already. But I had to get down as many thoughts and impressions as I could while they are still relatively fresh. It's been a wonderful weekend, everything went off without a hitch and I will treasure the memory always. We bought three of the t-shirts so I will have two of Joni's wonderful paintings to wear and Travis has a really cool white t with the concert poster on it. Great mementoes!

California people! Enjoy! I hope the rest of the JMDL gets a chance to see Joni in the near future. It's an experience you won't forget!


MENDI: I just arrived home from Washington. We stayed for seven days. The entire experience was wonders to behold. Many parts of this state will truly take your breath away. But that is another story altogether.

I have not read any of the other reports from fellow Gorge concert goers as yet. I have 322 post awaiting my attention. I wanted to put my thoughts down before hand so as not to cloud my own impressions.

We are creeping to the Gorge in a looooong line of vehicles of every description. Old VW vans that had to be restored just for this event. Limo's with police escorts. Jaguars with tops down. Campers large and small, and all that is in between. A human mass is walking from camp sites and parked autos knowing that they are about to take part in an event that should not be missed. I've got Joni playing on my cd player. 45 mins or so of bumper to bumper creeping. As I pass one group of walkers a voice calls out " Slide it down and crank it up - that's Joni I hear." With a thumps up and a big smile I honor the request. We finally pull into our parking slot and join the walking, excited beyond words. Every age group was represented. Babies and tots, to what looked to be people sixty and up. The three big names showed they could bridge the gap. Mothers and fathers came with daughters and sons and grans. This was and was not an unusual sight. The cross section of people was a story to be told in it's own right.

I was constantly on the look out for any JMDLer's. But up to that point had sighted none. Talked to many who asked about the denim shirt I was wearing. I hope to see a few new names on the list because of it. Some actually wrote the site address down.

Concert time and VM takes the stage. Van had surely left his stage fright behind. He was on top of his game and got the crowd moving. Myself included. His band was great. I have a renewed respect for Van after this concert. I've liked Van for about as long as I've loved Joni. But after this concert I will put him on the spiral a bit more often.

It's now JONI TIME - years of waiting are finally coming to a climax. Good fortune had smiled on me. Me and Mary had turned our lives upside down to be here for this moment. Perfection would have been to have a few of my friends from the JMDL sitting next to me. As it happened a large part of those that were around me had come to hear Joni. About 20 -25 of us had been talking Joni before the start of the concert and during this stage change. Now there was a silence between us that was shared, knowing that enough time had passed for set - up and Joni was about to take the stage. Joni is introduced and for me and many of those around me nothing or no one could spoil the moment. I had talked to Mark Scott on the phone and had a good idea where he was sitting. Hoping he and all the other JMDLer's that had come was having the rush I was experiencing. But I knew they were clapping as hard and as loud as I was. Hanging on every word sung or spoken and engulfed by the music. Oh the joy of it all. Joni knew where she stood. She knew that there were a lot in the audience who knew of her from back when. She understood that some had come because of Bob and/ or Van. But she also knew that there was more than a few that knew of Joni not just in the past but in the now. But most importantly she stayed true to the Joni that we know and love. "Take me as I am" I am not and can't stand still in time. Which is not to say that she did not play selections from a wide range of her collection. But she wanted people to know that there was more to her than 'Court and Sparks' or 'Ladies Of The Canyon', or even 'Hejira'. But 'NRH', 'TI' and soon 'TTT' and all those in between that have and will constitute the essence of Joni Mitchell. I came away from that first night holding more respect for Joni than I ever had. I'm sure that by now others have posted on what she wore, her set song list, etc. No need to run that pass you again. IMHO she sang the songs that matched well with her vocal style as it is now. And surpassed my highest expectations. At the end of her set I looked at those around me that I knew HAD COME to see Joni. Just like me they had not been disappointed.

It was at this time that I turned to Mary and said, "Let's find Mark. I have to share this moment with a JMDLer." So we went looking in the one spot that I was fairly sure a true friend in spirit would be. Hoping that if I made myself visible he would have the opportunity to spot me as well. In a sea of faces and colors I'm hoping to see a JMDL T-shirt or denim. Turning around about to go back to my seat but still seeking, I hear - "Mendi is that you?" Now we're talking full joy. The hug is real, warm and genuine. I can tell that he is walking in the same stratosphere that I am. We knew that our time was limited, being between sets, but treasured it will always remain in my heart. If we hadn't spoken another word it would have been enough. Because the warmth that he showed in his greeting spoke volumes. But we did share a few more moments together and I wished there had been more time. But what better memory could our first face to face meeting be associated with than sharing the joy of seeing and hearing Joni live - bridging the gap at the Gorge.

Dylan was in a zone that any true Dylan fan had to relish. Top notch band behind him. He was smooth and he knew the night was special.

BTW - Klein -- he was there for Joni all the way. Ex - mate yes, but he played his heart out and it showed in his every move on stage that he made. He wanted Joni to live large on this tour. He gave every ounce of support that he could give. It was a pleasure to watch.

Both nights were special. Would I do it all over again? You can bet your bottom dollar on it. Joni don't stop now.

There is so much more that could be said!!!!!


I have waited so long to post so I could get my thoughts and words to come out right. I am no writer or talker, so it took awhile. It's only been a week ago, but my dearest joni experience has left me with post pardom depression. The night is come and gone, but at least it is in my memories and photos.

Bob came on first that night, and after his performance, due to the cold evening, (extremely cold for a Floridian ) it was necessary for me to use the porta-pottie. The line was exceptionally long, and as I stepped into the

number four position from the front of the line, they announced Joni Mitchell. Four in that long line, I had to complete the task I set out to do. So as I was standing in the urinal listening to Joni's opening number, I only wish I could cut off my _________ and never have to pee again. It wouldn't stop. Finally after completion I ran to my 5th row seat. exhausted!

After waiting all these years for this opportunity, I entirely missed Night Ride Home. O.K., calmness set in and I relished in the beauty of Joni and her music. No perm, shorter straight hair, and looking her very best. Smiling, and gleaming with the crowd, after her opening number, she remarked 'It's nice to see faces." Well, It was my face that was gleaming and smiling!

Well needless to say, I went to the Gorge prepared. After her third song or maybe her fourth ( I don't know the adrenaline was flowing so heavily, I could have died and not knobbed it) Well after that particular number, I reached into my backpack and displayed my labor of love. I painted a 4 x 3 foot banner ----Ft. Lauderdale Loves Joni---- Well from the fifth row there was no way Joni was going to miss this one.

I heard her sigh a tiny laugh of acknowledgement. And as I waved to her --- She smiled back, and pointed to the banner. You would think that would be enough to satisfy me, but as I said I waited too long for this. Joni just finished another number, and paused to blow her nose. Now it was my opportunity. ( I dreamed that Joni would sign my program or my t-shirt or something, but I knew that would not happen.) So as Joni was in her second blowing ,...I scooted up to center stage and presented her with my custom-made Joni shirt, identifying the JMDL, signed by ME.! e-mail included.

Do you think Joni got the idea! We love her.!!!!

I convinced myself that the rest of the show was devoted entirely to me. "Joni and me at the Gorge." What games this tiny little mind can play. Sorry I can't give an intelligent review of the show, cause as you know there were only 2 people there.

I was really impressed with the people at the Gorge. Never have I been to a concert where the people have been so orderly and polite, and friendly. Maybe its just that the baby-boomers are maturing. Thank God. And everyone around row 5, LOVED her too. (no hecklers, cause I was screaming and applauding, and yelling too loudly, 'Joni,... Joni,... we love you....' ;I drowned out any heckler who could even try. Trust me Joni heard nothing negative, I made sure to that!

And how impressed I was to see 'Klein Klein' on stage! Wow! Just can't shake Klein, can you Joan? And why not! Exquisite base.

Ah, in Hejira ("Strains of Benny Goodman coming through the snowy trees...") it was "old blue eyes crooning through the snowy trees" and the next line went "I don't know" . Did it belong or did she loose the thought.

And, yes, I bought an over-priced lithograph of Taming the Tiger. "NO REGRETS....." Along with that and the numerous, good photos, it looks like I can finally create my own JONI shrine.

Joni said Taming.......... would be released in September. So, now what is she fine tuning. Is she putting more of Klein Klein on bass, or what? I hope you guys have kept up with me, cause I always promised myself that I would never do a long post. Cause I rarely read long ones, just scroll thru.

In closing, THANK YOU WALLY !!!!! If not for you, I probably would not have had this experience. Les, I thank you too.