The Joni Mitchell concert at Johnson Gym and the Sly and the Family Stone concert at the Civic Auditorium were both basically dull and very disappointing.
Canadian folk singer Joni Mitchell was greeted by a scattered ovation as she stepped on stage. Backed by Tom Scott and the L. A. Express (the opening act) during part of her show, she switched from acoustic guitar to grand piano, singing her songs with a voice like a crystal bell.
At first her show wasn't bad, but it hit a low point when she went into a long, rambling explanation of a verse from "Big Yellow Taxi."
As the show progressed, it became more and more boring. She did do some good songs, including a pretty one which she's still in the process of writing, but the majority of her numbers sounded like variations of one song.
Her set lacked variety and her style became monotonous: she sang just about every song the same way, constantly repeating phrases and words, and exaggerating high notes.
Tom Scott and the L. A. Express opened up Mitchell's show with some jazzy instrumentals similar to Section's music. Even though some of the songs sounded much alike, the group still displayed expertise. Tom Scott's zesty saxophone playing kept the entire show from being a complete waste of time.
Sly Stone's show dragged, and Sly acted like he was half asleep. Instead of boogying, energetic versions of hits like "Thank You" and "Dance to the Music," one had to put up with sloppy, laid-back versions.
Things didn't pick up until the last number, "Higher and Higher." The members of the band then put some life into things and Sly finally got up from his organ and danced a bit.
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