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Joni Mitchell Rewarding Experience For Saskatoon   Print

by Nancy Russell
Saskatoon StarPhoenix
March 15, 1974
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Weather causes long delay in concert

Joni Mitchell has a power that comes from her soul and flows with ease into the quick of the audience. And it makes no difference if the audience has to wait 40 unexpected minutes to see her, none whatsoever.

As to be expected Saskatchewan weather was an influential factor in the delay Thursday night at the Centennial Auditorium. The equipment truck for Joni Mitchell's show did not arrive in Saskatoon. In spite of the delay the show went on without any obvious problems and with the introduction of Joni Mitchell at 9:50 it was onward and upward for everyone involved.

Her performance, which passed the two-hour mark, created demands from her audience and resulted in a standing ovation and Joni's short return with two more songs to conclude a brilliant performance, leaving her audience to head home and think on her, her music, her words.

From old favorites like Both Sides Now and Yellow Taxi to a song yet to be completed Joni gave her audience more than enough, yet left the impression she could have gone on singing all night.

For the benefit of music lovers of all ages, Joni's compositions are beautifully endless and it would take more than one concert to sing all of them. Her choice of compositions was effective and entertaining, often hitting hidden feelings of nostalgia in her audience.

In choosing a number of songs from her latest album COURT AND SPARK (Asylum Records), she incorporated the sounds of Tom Scott and the L.A. Express into her music with a tight, professional performance.

Scott and the Express did a few numbers on their own. Their performance was a blending of rock and jazz, with the latter the stronger. When Joni joined them their music became more subdued, yet maintained its strength.

From Court And Spark, Help Me, which is following close behind Raised On Robbery on the hit-bound path, along with Free Man In Paris, Car On A Hill and Just Like This Train reflect Joni's preoccupation with love and freedom.

Alone, Joni just picked up her guitar and began to sing. She flitted from guitar to piano to dulcimer, then just vocal and back to guitar — every move made with ease, making her performance both natural and relaxing.

Her voice quivered and shook, chanted and spoke. She told the story of Peoples' Parties, and did a little reflecting on life in general. Most of all she sang, never missing a note or a word and went through some 25 selections from her musical library of verse.

From the innocence of Both Sides Now and such touching almost childlike songs as Marcie and The Circle Game. Joni matures a little more with each new creation, yet manages to retain the youthfulness and freshness that belongs to only her. The bitterness that seeps into such songs as The Same Situation and Trouble Child contains desperation rather than anger.

In her uniqueness she presents herself as versatile and emotionally strong, even though she often sings as a woman—heart-broken, waiting and searching. She boogied with Scott and the Express with Raised On Robbery, and sang in solitude such numbers as Yellow Taxi, People's Parties and numerous others.

The penetrating flute of Scott slipped into a number of songs while Joni strung her guitar or floated her fingers across the keyboard of her grand piano.

She was amazing, honest and sincere, and she gets better with every new creation she pours out.

 

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