Legendary singer-songwriter to play first real concert in over 20 years on second night of Carlile’s fest at the Gorge in Washington state
Joni Mitchell will perform her first official concert in over 20 years when the legendary singer joins Brandi Carlile for a gig at the Gorge Amphitheatre next summer.
Carlile revealed on The Daily Show Wednesday that Mitchell — who made a surprise, unannounced return to the stage this past summer at the Newport Folk Festival — will take part in the “Echoes Through the Canyon” shows scheduled for June 2023 at the scenic Washington state venue.
“Joni Mitchell is going to play. No one’s been able to buy a ticket to see Joni Mitchell play in 20 years,” Carlile said. “So this is enormous, and she’s so excited because it’s close to Canada… I can’t believe it’s happening, but it is happening, and she is going to crush it.”
Prior to the Newport Folk Festival gig — which Carlile also participated in — Mitchell hadn’t played a full live set since 2000. The singer has spent the past decade working her way back from a brain aneurysm in 2015 but has frequently hosted private “Joni Jams” sessions at her California home during her recovery. Those gatherings — often attended by Carlile — were the catalyst for the Newport performance.
“I still can’t believe that happened,” Carlile told host Trevor Noah. “It was just a few months ago, and the fact that it was at Newport Folk Festival, which is such a monumental and historic place. [Mitchell] always has a plan. She knows what she wants to do even if she doesn’t say it.”
Carlile added, “We thought it was a jam. 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.”
After the Newport show, Mitchell told Carlile, “I want to do another show. She said, ‘I want to play again.’” Carlile — a Seattle native who previously played “Echoes Through the Canyon” shows at the Gorge in 2021 with a lineup that included Sheryl Crow — suggested a return to the venue she dubbed “one of the most beautiful venues in the world.”
The two-day “Echoes Through the Canyon” fest will feature Carlile headlining the first night on June 9, followed by an all-star, Joni Jams-style performance fronted by Mitchell on June 10. Other participating artists have not yet been announced.