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Home / Entertainment / Joni Mitchell's 75th Birthday Celebration Recap: Seal, Graham Nash, James Taylor, Emmylou's Harris Pay Tribute

Joni Mitchell's 75th Birthday Celebration Recap: Seal, Graham Nash, James Taylor, Emmylou's Harris Pay Tribute



The legend joined the artists on the stage for birthday cake and good wishes

Halfway Through Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, a Concert feting Joni Mitchell's Los Angeles Birthday Wednesday night (Nov. 7), Peter Gabriel appeared in a video to wish Mitchell the happiest of birthdays – – but also to express his condolences to the "poor bastards" who had to sing Mitchell's songs in front of the legend.

Mitchell, one of the greatest living songwriters and musicians, is known – and loved – for her notoriously complex song structures. Jazz, pop, blues, and rock.

Luckily for the musicians and the rapturous audience, most came with the prop skills to tackle such challenges. Norah Jones opened the evening with a lovely version of "Court and Spark," followed by Glen Hansard's clever reading of "Coyote," one of Mitchell's deeply humorous works on a lecherous ladies man.

The evening lifted higher as Diana Krall interpreted "For the Roses" with a spare, confident grace that almost feels like a meditation at times. She returned in the second half for an utterly bewitching "Amelia."

Rufus Wainwright ̵

1; who proudly pointed out his husband, Jorn Weisbrodt, what the evening's artistic producer – title track "Blue "As if it were a sacrifice. His voice slid up and down the melody, caressing the lyric. Mitchell, it was Wainwright who channeled Mitchell's spirit the best, as if she had recently taken possession of his body during "Blue" and his second number, "All I Want."

Go Lobos added even more rhythms to the buoyant "Dreamland," with La Marisoul, front woman for La Santa Cecilia, delivering a blistering lead vocal as the propulsive beats – and Chaka Khan, who joined the song – swirled around here. Seal closed out first with a brilliant version of one of Mitchell's best-known compositions, "Both Sides Now." With the sparest of accompaniments, his voice seems to reach every corner of the theater.

While much of the show Emmylou Harris performs "Cold Blue Steel," a song about heroin addiction, saying, "Joni is an inspiration for every girl who ever wanted to pick a guitar . "(Harris thus clarified that" Steel "had" too many chords "in it for her to play it herself.) She then grabbed her guitar for the horribly sad" The Magdalene Laundries, "about a young incarcerated now.

Mitchell's former lover Graham Nash performs the only song of the artist herself when he pulled out Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Our House," a radio classic written for [1 9459009] Mitchell by Nash when they lived together. He was 27 and she was 26, he explained, as a photo of the impossibly young and in love flashed up on the screen. Another one of Mitchell's exes, James Taylor, performed a wistful "River," the now-seasonal tune that began earlier. He returned for an almost mystical take on "Woodstock," with a seal providing otherworldly backing vocals.

Kris Kristofferson tackles one of Mitchell's most romantic songs, "A Case of You," with sweet assistance from Brandi Carlile, who guided Kristofferson through the track while trading verses. "Kris said to me backstage, 'You know, I do not remember all that much,' and I asked 'But what do you think about Joni?'" Carlile said from the stage. Kristofferson replied, "Only everything, and she's perfect in every way." After her duet with Kristofferson, Carlile sang "Down to You," her pristine upper register eerily reminiscent of a young Mitchell's.

The artists were backed by an exceptionally talented band that included drummer Brian Blade, pianist Jon Cowherd, guitarist Greg Leisz, percussionist Jeff Haynes, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and saxophonist Bob Sheppard.

Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Angelica Houston, Jon Hamm, Angela Bassett, Cameron Crowe, and David Geffen (Mitchell's former agent and label head on the subject of "Free Man in Paris," which was not performed), "Big Yellow Taxi Mitchell's best known hits The 1970s, which ended at No. 67 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970, followed by a long break Mitchell standing on stage. 2015. As the band reprised "Big Yellow Taxi," Mitchell smiled as she occasionally mouthed the words and received visitors – including Nash, who bowed and kissed

Wednesday's performance followed by a gala dinner served as a fundraiser for The Music Center, which houses the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and several other theaters. A similar performance look place Tuesday with the same performers.

JONI MITCHELL at 75 setlist:

1. Court and Spark – Norah Jones
2. Coyote – Glen Hansard
3. For The Roses – Diana Krall
4. Blue – Rufus Wainwright
5. Cold Blue Steel – Emmylou Harris
6. The Magdalene Laundries – Emmylou Harris
7. Help Me – Chaka Khan
8. Dreamland – Los Lobos
9. Nothing Can Be Done – Los Lobos
10. River – James Taylor
11. Both Sides Now – Seal

INTERMISSION

1. Our House – Graham Nash
2. A Strange Boy – Seal
3. All I Want – Rufus Wainwright
4. Borderline – Norah Jones
5. Amelia – Diana Krall
6. The Boho Dance – Glen Hansard
7. A Case of You – Kris Kristofferson and Brandi Carlile
8. Down To You – Brandi Carlile
9. Two Gray Rooms – Chaka Khan
10. Woodstock – James Taylor


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