I was just at Joni Mitchell's birthday party. Backstage at Massey Hall. I had a slice of her birthday cake. After watching her sing (for the first time in almost a decade) from on the stage at Massey Hall.
So the last two nights in Toronto Joni Mitchell's been here for Luminato, an annual arts festival that's run here in Toronto. They had a 2 night celebration for her birthday and it's been sold out since the $100+ tickets went on sale. But yesterday night... I got snuck in backstage just before the intermission.
I followed my person blindly, put my bag down in Glen's dressing room, and kept following. Before I know it I'm at a red door with a giant "stage door" sign all over it. The door opens and I find myself stepping onto the stage at the Toronto landmark that is Massey Hall. Everyone who's anyone has stepped on that stage at one point in their careers, dating back a bazillion years.
Standing on the right side, behind the teleprompters that provided a cheat sheet to the artists covering Joni (none of whom seemed to need it, and one of whom specifically asked for it to be turned off), I had a crystal clear view of amongst others, Glen Hansard, Rufus Wainright, Katheleen Edwards, Esperanza Spalding, Liam Titcombe, Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell. I missed Cold Specks, but got to hear her for the finale medley and good heavens, she has a lovely voice!
I could see half the audience from where I was standing. It's a really intimidating view. The show was completely sold out, so there was this waterfall of people staring down at the stage.
Spent most of the night in Glen's company, of course, as he was my excuse for being there - even got to watch as a girl (who looked really familiar but I can't place where on TV I've seen her) threw herself at Glen, to a lukewarm reception. And of course - of course - Glen had promised someone who was busing outside that Glen would come out and sign a song with him. So half way through the party, he remembered this and grabbed his guitar (yes that guitar) and head out to the front of the venue. They did a Dylan song and I got a front row view.
After it ended, he was shuffled back into the party before the mob got a chance to descend on him. And along with his manager and the guy who books acts for Massey Hall and his wife, I got shuffled back into the party as well. Perfect timing as they were just getting ready to cut Joni Mitchell's birthday cake.
Joni Mitchell and Rufus Wainwright
So I stood next to Jian and sang happy birthday and we clinked our drinks to cheers Joni and then ate cake!
I didn't stay til the end of the party as the non-family/non-musician crowds were winding down and I was already completely sated. I still don't really understand just how this all happened. Or why I was lucky enough to be there.
I can trace this entire night back to LJ. Who in the world could have imagined that going to a Damien Rice concert and commenting on an LJ post about it would have led to this?!
And I get called to the Bar tomorrow. Though that event's almost going to pale in comparison to this!