Joni Mitchell Performs First Full Set in Over 20 Years at Newport Folk Festival

July 25, 2022
Joni Mitchell Performs First Full Set in Over 20 Years at Newport Folk Festival

Photo Credit: Dean Budnick

On Sunday afternoon, Joni Mitchell made her grand return to the stage. The legendary singer-songwriter joined Brandi Carlile for a complete set during this year’s iteration of the beloved Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I. The gig marked Mitchell’s first full live set since 2000, making yesterday’s landmark performance one for the history books. 

The show was Mitchell’s first time playing at the Newport Folk Festival in 53 years and over 20 since playing her last complete set of music in front of a live audience. The set saw an on-stage recreation of the musicians’ secretive “Joni Jams,” which have taken place over the years at the artist’s Los Angeles home. 

After Carlile’s introduction, Mitchell joined her on stage, joined by a talented crew of artists, which included Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith, Wynonna Judd, Lucius, Allison Russell, Blake Mills, Celisse and more. The Sunday afternoon set got underway with “Carey,” which saw Mitchell add her signature vocals to the number which initially appeared on the esteemed Blue album. Next, Dawes’ lead singer, Goldsmith, helped out on “Come in From the Cold” before Celisse took the stage and lent her talent on one of Mitchell’s greatest hits, “Help Me.” 

Carlile, along with Mumford and Mitchell, took on “A Case of You,” before Carlile brought it home with a crowd-rousing “Big Yellow Taxi.” Next, Mitchell surprised the audience by picking up the electric guitar and assisting the band on “Just Like This Train,” ahead of a cover of Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers’ “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” a tune that has long been a standard for the luminary. 

As the set continued, Mitchell offered stories and engaging with the audience between songs. Following a take on the Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers standard, Goldsmith rejoined the ensemble for “Amelia.” “Love Potion #9” arrived before the group took on “Shine,” the title track off Mitchell’s 19th studio album.

The performers worked into “Summertime,” with Mitchell taking lead vocals on the cover of George Gershwin’s seminal tune. “Both Sides Now” arrived next and saw the songstress apply her range to the sweet number. For the set’s final song, Judd assisted on one of Mitchell’s most celebrated songs, “The Circle Game.” 

Watch clips of Mitchell’s surprise set with Brandi Carlile and more at the Newport Folk Festival below. 

Brandi Carlile 

Newport Folk Festival – Newport, R.I. 

July 24, 2022 

Set: Carey, Come in From the Cold*, Help Me&, A Case of You^, Big Yellow Taxi, Just Like This Train, Who Do Fools Fall in Love#, Amelia*, Love Potion #9, Shine, Summertime$, Both Sides Now, The Circle Game%


* With Taylor Goldsmith

& With Celisse 

^ With Marcus Mumford

# Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers cover 

$ George Gershwin cover

% With Wynonna Judd