"I want to knit you a sweater
want to write you a love letter
I want to make you feel better
I want to make you feel free"
Which is exactly what Joni Mitchell succeeded in doing Saturday night in Atlanta's Omni.
Her back-up group from Court and Spark, the L.A. Express, accompanied her on the tour and inconspicuosly [sic] stayed in the background where they belonged. Enhancing the material, but not distracting from the lady whom the fairly large crowd had gathered to see, they performed their duty.
After a short set alone, Joni joined them and the roses onstage to open with "This Flight Tonight" from Blue. Very poised (could one imagine her any other way?), but just "stoking the star-maker machinery" again. "I shouldn't have got on this flight tonight..." Yet there she was, and even taking the time to chat with someone on the first row. Next in was "I'm a Radio" from For the Roses, followed by a number from her new Court and Spark, by which time the audience was ready and eager to knit her as many sweaters as she could want.
Male voices repeatedly yelled out to her, and she gave the impression that she would've indeed talked to them if it'd been possible. I'm glad she sang instead.
Her first set, done in jeans, was casual and not nearly long enough. She left you wanting much more, and when she returned shimmering in red and class, she gave it. The majority of the numbers were from her last three albums, but songs from some of her older lp's [sic] received the loudest ovations. "Clouds" was a nice surprise. So was "For Free." But "nice" isn't a superlative, is it? The entire concert was low-keyed, warm, friendly. Nice. Special.
Joni Mitchell is a romantic to be understood, not idolized. But that's what a male friend told me about Dylan. At the concert Saturday, my friend said, "I haven't been this excited since I lost my virginity." Then Joni sang "The Last Time I Saw Richard" for the encore and I didn't have anything left to say.
"All good dreamers pass this way some day." Bring on some pretty lies. I don't have anything else to say.
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