PHILADELPHIA---She's at once sultry and sweet, sensual and sensitive. She's both poet and songwriter. She's Joni Mitchell and she won the hearts of the sold-out concert crowd at the Spectrum, Monday night.
That's not to say that everyone did not love her before they walked into the hall, including Bruce Springsteen, who attended the concert. It only served to reinforce an appreciation of Joni's much-heralded genius.
It was a subdued and unthreatening crowd that came to hear her, certainly a welcome change from the usual rowdy, beer-drinking crowd that frequents concerts at the Spectrum. They came to listen and enjoy, and they were not short-changed.
Joni Mitchell paints beautiful images of joy and sorrow. And with her unique singing voice that has such an amazing range, she makes one feel even more sharply the emotions she is expressing.
Accompanied by the L.A. Express, she chose a selection of songs from several of her albums, but concentrated mostly on her newest album, "The Hissing Of Summer Lawns." While she continues to use strong, evocative images in these songs, they are much rougher than her more romantic songs. But she interspersed some of those softer tunes, which made for an effective contrast in moods and feelings.
The uptempo melodies sounded a little too loud in the cavernous Spectrum. Yet that same reverberation lent itself to her solo numbers, which she performed simply with guitar or piano, producing a haunting and chilling effect.
However, the designer of the "Spectrum Theatre" that cuts the hall in half should go back to the drawing board. During the opening act, maybe sixty per cent of the audience could see the stage. The other forty per cent, who paid good money to see the show, were left with a fantastic view of the curtain that surrounded the stage.
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Added to Library on July 14, 2021. (1543)
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