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Joni Mitchell shocked fans with a performance at Newport Folk Festival on Sunday (24 July) – her first full set in 20 years.
The 78-year-old joined fellow country musician Brandi Carlile at the festival, singing a range of her classics including “A Case of You”, “Both Sides Now” and “Big Yellow Taxi”.
Among the other artists to share the stage were Blake Mills, Taylor Goldsmith, Marcus Mumford, Wynonna Judd, Lucius’ Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig.
“I just realised, Joni’s the least nervous person up here,” Carlile told the crowd, according to The Guardian.
It was Mitchell’s first full live show since playing the Wiltern in Los Angeles on 13 November 2002, and her first live performance since suffering a brain aneurysm in 2015.
“This scene shall be forever known henceforth as the Joni jam!” Carlile declared during the set, referring to the jam sessions Mitchell famously hosts at her LA home with musicians such as Harry Styles, Dolly Parton and Chaka Khan.
Joni Mitchell singing Both Sides Now at Newport Folk Festival this weekend. It doesn’t get much better than this.
— Jason Reid (@JasonReidUK) July 25, 2022
Mitchell has made a string of public appearances since recovering from her brain aneurysm.
At the Grammy Awards in April, Mitchell was honoured as the 2022 MusiCares Person of the year by the Recording Academy. She then introduced Carlile for a live performance during the ceremony.
Neil Young was the first to issue an ultimatum to Spotify over its affiliation withThe Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which he said had spread “false information” regarding Covid-19 vaccines.
“I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue,” Mitchell said in a statement.
Mitchell’s albums were later pulled from Spotify.