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Review... Joni Mitchell, a Real Person Print-ready version

by Dave Hobill
The Tech News (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
December 16, 1969
Original article: PDF

Typist's note: This article, obviously written by a student who doesn't have writing skills, is filled with errors. I have kept most of them in place. - Jodee C.

Joni Mitchell's concert last Friday night in Harrington auditorium proved to be a real pleasure to the dedicated fans who turned out to attend the next to the last concert in Miss Mitchell's American tour of public appearances.

The concert began late, about twenty minutes late. Well, her car had a flat tire on the way here from Boston. But in spite of all the delays, the audience patiently waited in the Harrington lobby while Miss Mitchell became acquainted with the acoustics and lights of the auditorium. And, after the "great race for front row seats" they waited equally as patiently for her to come on stage.

She finally appeared dressed in a long red gown and with her long blonde hair glistening in the light that carressed [sic ]the features of her face, she opened with "Chelsea Morning" to the delight of the audience. During this first set we heard some of her more popular songs such as "Night in the City" and "Cactus Tree" in which she displayed the remarkable talents of her voice.

Miss Mitchell, as always, was politely nervous before the audience except for one instance preceeding [sic] the intermission in which she nicely asked one certain boisterous Arab to be quiet during the remainder of the concert. As cameras clicked and photographers changed positions, Joni became a little more nervous. Before the concert began it was asked that flashbulbs not be used since in previous concerts Miss Mitchell became so self-concious [sic] that she even forgot some of her own lyrics.

In ending the first set with "Both Sides Now", she did make a few minor mistakes while playing the guitar, but smiled very sweetly at the audience and everyone quickly forgave her.

Returning in a green gown which had no real significance, (as to the season or "red for stopping, green for going" or "red for anger green for jealously [sic]"....) except that Miss Mitchell later said "I just like the colors red and green", she performed with a little more confidence and much more personality.

"Two weekends ago I was in Hawaii. It was a bummer because I didn't get to stay long enough... In the morning I looked out my hotel window and saw big Sugar Oaf all green and lush and white birds flying around and this was paradise but in the middle was a big parking lot." So she wrote a little song called "Big Yellow Taxi" which turned out to be a real hit with the audience. ("They paved paradise and put in a parking lot.")

We also heard a few other of Joni Mitchell's well known songs such as "Marcy" and the "Circle Game." The ghostly garden grew quite well in the coldness of "Nathan La Franeer."

Miss Mitchell performed "Rainy Night House" and many of her more recent compositions with the piano. One of the new ones she did was "Woodstock" in which the accompanyment [sic] contained a faintly neoclassical style. "I don't think there ever will be another Woodstock. I missed it...and then felt sorry for myself.. This song is written for all of you." ("I'm going down to Yasgur's Farm. Can I walk beside you?")

Returning on stage for an encore Miss Mitchell was requested to sing "the Urge for Going" which, though it didn't sound particularly bittersweet, (as it does when performed by Tom Rush) was very attractively put together.

No one seemed to mind that the concert started late, or that Miss Mitchell's lovely voice at times became strained, or her playing was not completely perfect. No one that is, except Miss Mitchell. But Friday night any one not in love with Joni Mitchell, was after the concert. They loved her lyrics her music, her voice, but most of all they loved Joni Mitchell a real person who even brought her knitting to the concert with her.

Before she returned to Boston so that she could leave for her concert in Buffalo the next night, we had an opportunity to speak with Miss Mitchell. Presently she is working on a new album and also a book of peotry [sic]. She intends to stay in Europe after her January concert in London for much of the next year. With us she reminisced with friends about festivals in the past and when asked what she thought of Spiro Agnew she thought for a while, made a statement (which can not be repeated in print since she could not hold a formal interview with the press) and then decided it was about time to leave.

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