Joni Mitchell gives first full live performance since 2002 | Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell gave her first full live performance since 2002 at this weekend’s Newport Folk Festival. Mitchell, 78, appeared at the festival with country music artist and friend Brandi Carlile to perform Mitchell classics like A Case of You, Both Sides Now and Big Yellow Taxi. During the 13-song set, Mitchell also performed Just Like This Train’s guitar solo.

She and Carlile – who covered Mitchell’s 1971 album Blue in full – were joined by Marcus Mumford, Wynonna Judd, Blake Mills, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the band Lucius, as well as Mitchell’s bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth and Celisse Henderson: a live version of the private “Joni Jam” nights Mitchell has hosted at her Los Angeles home in recent years with the likes of Elton John, Bonnie Raitt and Herbie Hancock.

“I just noticed that Joni is the least nervous person up here,” Carlile told the crowd.

In addition to renditions of Mitchell songs such as Carey, Amelia and Circle Game, the group also covered Gershwin’s Summertime, Frankie Lymon’s Why Do Fools Fall in Love and Leiber and Stoller’s Love Potion No 9. Watch videos of the pitchfork performance and read the setlist below.

Mitchell’s last full live show was on November 13, 2002 at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. She last appeared at the 1969 Newport Folk Festival on the same bill as Arlo Guthrie and the Everly Brothers.

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— Jonathan Bernstein (@jonbern) July 25, 2022

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Since Mitchell had a brain aneurysm in 2015, he has steadily returned to public life. She was present at a tribute concert celebrating her 75th birthday in 2018 and appeared on stage when other musicians performed Big Yellow Taxi to blow out the candles on her birthday cake.

To celebrate Blue’s 50th anniversary in June 2021, Mitchell shared a video in which she thanked fans for “getting” an album that originally “had faced a lot of criticism” — namely that her candid lyrics were unworthy and exaggeratedly shared. She appeared at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala in December 2021 and told reporters, “I’m hobbling along but I’m fine” — where she was among the recipients. In April, Mitchell was named MusiCares Person of the Year and made a brief appearance at the ceremony in her honor.

Mitchell is also working on a series of archival releases to share demos, previously unheard material and covers. The first, Joni Mitchell Archives Vol 1: The Early Years (1963–1967), was released in October 2020 and featured a rare new interview by Cameron Crowe in the liner notes.

In January, she removed her catalog from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young, who instructed his management and label to remove his music from the streaming platform as they supported Joe Rogan, whose podcast was shut down by doctors for spreading misinformation about Covid-19. 19 was criticized and vaccination.

“Irresponsible people spread lies that kill people,” Mitchell said. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

The full setlist from Joni Mitchell’s performance at the Newport Folk Festival

carey
Come in from the cold
help me
case of you
Big yellow cab
Just like this train
Why do fools fall in love
amelie
Love Potion #9
Seem to be
Summer
Both sides… now
The circle game

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