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Joni Mitchell Fans Appalled by Audience Print-ready version

by Charlotte Taylor
Oklahoma City Times
August 20, 1979


In reference to Gail Mitchell's review of the Joni Mitchell concert, the "relaxed atmosphere adding to the concert," and the fact that it was "anything but a disappointment":

As one hardcore Joni Mitchell fan, and another who is rapidly becoming one, we most willingly made the drive from Austin, Texas, to see her. Joni, herself, was definitely exquisite, and the beautiful surroundings in the Zoo amphitheater were equally impressive. What was appalling was the obnoxious audience, and therein lies the disappointment.

If any lyrics were "lost in the shuffle" - and far too many were - it was due to the incessant roar of the crowd. With half the theater shouting at the other half, who shouted back to either "sit down" or "shut up," even Joni succumbed to the obvious "importance" of the issue and incorporated those exact "lyrics" into many of her songs.

She finally had to stop her music altogether, long enough to chide the audience for forcing her to play above their tumultuous protests, and ultimately suggested everyone "both sit down and shut up!"

We are curious as to how many people were there for love of Joni and how many were merely looking for another excuse to get out and get loud 'n' loaded. It would be amazing if she were to repeat an opening night performance in Oklahoma City, the city she recalled in her opening remarks as one that welcomed her with much fervour on her last visit.

Charlotte Taylor, Kit Brooking.
Austin, Texas

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Added to Library on May 6, 2002. (7924)


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chuckbob on

I must admit I had at least a small part in the tumult you describe. At the base of the stage was an open area where many gathered, standing, to get a closer look at Joni and the band. This caused those seated, picnic style, behind them to do the shouting you note. After Joni's admonition I abandoned my place in this crowd, quite chastened. I've often thought back on this concert and consider it one of my most embarrassing behaviors at a concert. I apologize for causing a less than satisfactory concert experience for you, and for Joni, as well.