Joni Mitchell to Play First Headline Show in over 20 Years

Brandi Carlile shared that the folk icon would perform at next year's Echoes Through the Canyon in Gorge, WA

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Oct 20, 2022

When Joni Mitchell played a surprise set (and absolutely shredded) at this year's Newport Folk Fest, witnesses had stumbled upon an incidence about as likely as getting struck by lightning — it was the legend's first full-length live performance since 2000. Now, according to Brandi Carlile, Mitchell will play her first publicly announced headlining set in decades at the 2023 edition of Carlile's Echoes Through the Canyon event in Gorge, WA.

On last night's (October 19) episode of The Daily Show, Carlile told host Trevor Noah that the Canadian folk icon was slated to take the stage at the Gorge Amphitheater on June 10, 2023. 

This year, Carlile played a show entitled Echoes Through The Canyon at the Gorge alongside Sheryl Crow and Amythyst Kiah. Next summer, Carlile is bringing it back, and will play the headlining set on Night One ahead of Joni Mitchell and the Joni Jam — a backup band that Carlile will lead, with further lineup details to come — during the final night of the event.

"'I want to do another show… I want to play again,'" Carlile recalled Mitchell saying [via Stereogum]. "Joni Mitchell is going to play. No one's been able to buy a ticket to see Joni Mitchell play in 20 years."

Mitchell has been both effectively retired and elusive from the public eye, particularly after suffering a brain aneurysm in 2015. Hosting big-name musician friends at private "Joni Jam" nights at her Los Angeles home in recent years has played a big role in the singer-songwriter's aneurysm recovery, according to Carlile.

The American also explained that the other musicians (Allison Russell and Marcus Mumford among them) that were a part of the Newport Folk set, billed as "Brandi Carlile and Friends," hadn't even known that Mitchell was planning to sing live that day: "We thought it was a jam," Carlile told Noah. "We didn't know that she was going to sing all the leads on those songs. She just started singing. We had rehearsed the songs ourselves, and we didn't know whether we should stop or what we should do, you know, so we just sang with her."

Carlile added, "She always has a plan. She knows what she wants to do, even if she doesn't say it."

Carlile also performed a rendition of her song "You and Me on the Rock" from the deluxe edition of her 2021 album In These Silent Days during the episode — which has unfortunately not been made available to watch in Canada as of press time, but you can see a clip below via Stereogum's Instagram.

A post shared by Stereogum (@stereogum)

Mitchell recently received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music, and released an archival box set.

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