Joni Mitchell Gives First Full Live Performance in 20 Years Alongside Brandi Carlile

Joni Mitchell made her first full live performance since 2002 at the Newport Folk Festival alongside Brandi Carlile. See her perform “A Case of You” below.

By Tamantha Gunn Jul 25, 2022 4:33 PMTags
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Joni Mitchell has made her triumphant return to the stage. 

On July 24, the 78-year-old Canadian legend made a surprise appearance at the Brandi Carlile & Friends show at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, marking her first full live appearance since 2002. Joni took the stage alongside Carlile and a slew of other musicians including, Holly Laessig of Lucius, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Wynonna Judd, and Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons.

Joni performed a few of her fan favorites during the 13-song set, including "Amelia," "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," "Summertime," "Both Sides Now," "A Case of You" and "Big Yellow Taxi." She also played the guitar solo from "Just Like This Train."

Following the show, Joni was asked by CBS if she felt nervous about performing in front of an audience once again, to which she replied, "No, I've never been nervous about being in front of an audience. But I want it to be good. And I wasn't sure I could be. But I didn't sound too bad tonight!" 

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

Joni's return to the stage came 20 years after she headlined a benefit concert for The Walden Woods Project at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles in 2002. The singer has since been dealing with several health ailments that have prevented her from performing as frequently.  

In 2010, Joni told The Los Angeles Times that she had Morgellons disease—a rare skin condition that involves fibers appearing underneath the skin or emerging from slow-healing skin sores, according to Healthline. The illness prevented her from recording, performing and traveling altogether.

And in March 2015, the Canadian songwriter was found unconscious in her Los Angeles home after suffering from a brain aneurysm. Joni's close friend, Leslie Morris, was named as her conservator as the singer recovered. 

That summer, Leslie released a statement through Joni's website, giving an update on the musician's condition.

"Joni did in fact suffer an aneurysm. However, details that have emerged in the past few days are mostly speculative," Leslie wrote in June 2015. "The truth is that Joni is speaking, and she's speaking well. She is not walking yet, but she will be in the near future as she is undergoing daily therapies. She is resting comfortably in her own home and she's getting better each day. A full recovery is expected."