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Joni Mitchell Finally Returned. Her Fans Were Waiting. Print-ready version

The crowd at the singer-songwriter’s first announced concert in more than two decades was intergenerational and grateful.

by Lindsay Zoladz
New York Times
June 23, 2023

The Joni Jam, featuring a cast of collaborators, was part of Brandi Carlile’s Echoes Through the Canyon festival.

On the night of June 10 at the majestic Gorge Amphitheater in George, Wash., on the lip of the Columbia River, the 79-year-old singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell played her first headlining show in 23 years. Her appearance had the air of a comet's return: rare, breathlessly awaited and well worth camping out all night. That many concertgoers had traveled long distances made the experience feel all the more like a Mitchell song - perhaps one of the poetic highway travelogues recorded on her 1976 album "Hejira," or even one of the romantic, intercontinental voyages she sang about on her 1971 landmark "Blue." It was a crowd dotted with tie-dye and graying braids, yes, but also one full of lifelong friends reunited, mothers and children bonding over intergenerational musical tastes and enough homemade Mitchell T-shirts to rival Taylor Swift's Eras Tour. As Mitchell said to the adoring crowd as it held glowing cellphone lights aloft, paraphrasing one of her most memorable songs, "You're stardust, and golden."

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Added to Library on June 24, 2023. (1664)


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