Despite threatening rainclouds, thousands of fans turned out to enjoy an evening of rock music, as songwriter, Joni Mitchell made her debut at Ravinia Park on August 2.
The Jazz-rock group, Tom Scott and the L.A. Express, entertained the audience with some of their original compositions, and backed up Joni, giving most of her songs a greater depth and tone.
After almost an hour of jazz music by the L.A. Express; tall, blonde, Joni Mitchell took the stage and started singing "Yellow Taxi".
Joni has had her songs performed by a score of entertainers. Yet, to grasp the true mood of mysticism and sometimes bleakness, one should experience Joni Mitchell in person.
For example; Joni sang "Blue", she spun a web of emptiness and despair with her penetrating voice. Warning of the bottomless pit of "acid, booze, needles, guns, and grass. Lots of laughs. Lots of laughs..."
As Joni slowly sang "Both Sides Now", she accompanied herself with an acoustic guitar. However, her thin voice with startling highs and lows did not sound especially thrilling. The song seems designed for the rich, relaxed melodramatic voice.
The one aspect of the concert that was most disturbing, was her attitude toward the audience. Most of the concert goers did everything in their power to hear Joni, but not as silently as Joni wished. More than once she stopped singing to comment on the noise, and said, "If you don't care to listen, please leave."
It seems Mother Nature did not quite appreciate Joni's attitude either. As she started singing "Woodstock", the rain started pouring. At that moment, memories of how a few years ago millions of kids had gathered in the rain to enjoy music and create a legend called Woodstock, came to mind.
As Joni sang of "Woodstock", most of the crowd sought shelter under the blankets they brought, while others were drenched in the downpour. Yet, they all stayed; listening to Joni Mitchell's solid well-written songs, which leave a person hungry for more.
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