After 20 years away, Joni Mitchell returned to the stage this weekend for a shock full live performance. The 78-year-old singer-songwriter shocked followers by performing on the Newport Folks Competition in Newport, Rhode Island on Sunday, July 24. The people legend carried out alongside Brandi Carlile, who was listed on the lineup, however it was Mitchell who took centerstage, singing a lot of her largest songs and taking part in a guitar solo.
Mitchell’s look did not simply come as a shock as a result of she wasn’t promoted as being a part of the pageant, but additionally as a result of her final full live performance occurred 20 years in the past, and the artist has confronted well being points in recent times. Learn on to seek out out extra about her Newport Folks Competition set, which made each followers and collaborators emotional.
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Mitchell final carried out a full live performance when she took the stage on the Wiltern in Los Angeles in 2002, as reported by The Guardian. Within the time since, the singer-songwriter has sometimes carried out reside, however solely a tune or two right here and there. For example, earlier this yr, she sang two songs—”Large Yellow Taxi” and “The Circle Sport”—with artists who took half within the tribute when she was honored because the MusiCares Individual of the 12 months in April, based on Individuals.
Mitchell’s most up-to-date album, Shine, was launched in 2007. She received the Grammy for Finest Instrumental Pop Efficiency in 2008 for the tune “One Week Final Summer season.”
In 2015, Mitchell suffered a mind aneurysm, which left her needing bodily remedy to discover ways to stroll and discuss once more.
“…I could not stroll. I needed to learn the way once more. I could not discuss,” she informed The Guardian in 2020. She in contrast it to a severe sickness she survived when she was younger. “Polio did not seize me like that, however the aneurysm took away much more, actually,” Mitchell continued. “Took away my speech and my potential to stroll. And, you understand, I bought my speech again rapidly, however the strolling I am nonetheless scuffling with. However I imply, I am a fighter. I’ve bought Irish blood! [long laugh] So you understand, I knew, ‘Right here I’m going once more, one other battle.'”
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Newport Folks Competition attendees had no concept they have been going to see Mitchell carry out earlier than the singer joined Carlile’s set. Whereas the 2 artists sang collectively, Carlile largely sat again, giving Mitchell time to shine. The youthful musician is a big fan of Mitchell’s and in 2021, carried out her 1971 album Blue in full with Mitchell in attendance.
Mitchell sang a lot of her most well-known songs, together with “Each Sides Now,” “Large Yellow Taxi,” and “A Case of You,” in addition to covers of the songs “Summertime” and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love.” She additionally performed the electrical guitar solo from “Simply Like This Practice.”
Mitchell final carried out on the Newport Folks Competition in 1969.
Along with Carlile, Mitchell was additionally joined on stage by musicians together with Wynonna Judd, Blake Mills, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith, and extra, based on Pitchfork. The Guardian studies that at one level Carlile stated, “I simply realized, Joni’s the least nervous particular person up right here.”
The reside efficiency mimicked the personal jam classes Mitchell has held her in her dwelling in recent times, which have come to be often called “Joni Jams,” based on The Guardian. Friends at these unique occasions have included Elton John, Herbie Hancock, and Bonnie Raitt.
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In an interview with CBS Mornings, Carlile defined that, initially, Mitchell would spend Joni Jams having fun with the opposite musicians fairly than singing alongside. It was one occasion when Mitchell began to take part herself that Carlile imagined what it will be prefer to recreate the second in Newport.
“I knew she’d do it at Newport. I am unable to actually say how I knew it. I simply pictured her on the market,” Carlile stated. “I pictured the water and the fort and the boats.”
As for Mitchell, she informed CBS Mornings that she wasn’t nervous to be performing reside once more.
“No, I’ve by no means been nervous about being in entrance of an viewers,” she stated. “However I needed to be good and I wasn’t positive that I might be, however I did not sound too unhealthy tonight.”