Joni is captivating at the modernist concert hall beside the Thames.
"Her voice soaring and plummeting over that open-tuned guitar"
JONI MITCHELL MUST love England to the same extent that England loves Joni Mitchell. This fact was implicit throughout the whole of her two-hour concert at the Festival Hall on Saturday. The walls were still shaking 10 minutes after Joni had taken her second encore. Such was the greed and expectation, that hardly a person had left the hall when she finally returned for a farewell acknowledgement, and the audience rose en masse.
With great warmth and presence, the Canadian songstress appeared for the first set in a long red dress, her voice soaring and plummeting over that aggressive and characteristically open-tuned guitar. After three numbers Joni moved to the piano and captured the audience completely by the nature of "He Played Real Good For Free", a recent composition, which reflects her environmental change. She closed a well-balanced first half repertoire with the famous "Both Sides Now".
Next Joni appeared in blue and embarked on a much longer set which included "Galleries", "Marcie" and Michael From Mountains", and with each song she drew the audience further into her. An outstanding Richard Farina-style rock number, "They Paved Paradise And Put Up A Parking Lot", and the next Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young single, "Woodstock", prefaced the finale, which was an event in itself - Dino Valente's great song about brotherhood.
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