It’s been nine years since Joni Mitchell last sang in public — and 20 years since she last did a full concert set.
Mitchell almost died from a brain aneurysm in 2015, but the Canadian folk icon surprised and stunned fans on Sunday when she showed up at Rhode Island’s Newport Folk Festival to perform a bunch of her classic songs with the help of some very famous friends.
The closing set had been billed as a performance of “Brandi Carlile and friends,” but Carlile had other plans.
She turned the center stage over to the 78-year-old singer who performed 13 songs as part of a “Joni Jam” — a public rendition of the private concerts Mitchell has been hosting at her Los Angeles home in recent years with guests that have included Elton John, Dolly Parton, Harry Styles, and Chaka Khan.
“Holy Ish dude I opened for @JoniMitchell today yo! KING #JONIMITCHELL!!!!! YO!!!!!!!!,” wrote Questlove, who performed with his band, the Roots, before Mitchell appeared onstage, in an Instagram showing Carlile announcing to the crowd that Mitchell would be appearing.