Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Girls Night Out: The Judds

"If it's not one thing, it's your mother."
"Friday finally came around
This girl's ready to paint the town
Tonight ain't nothin' gonna slow me down
I did my time workin' all week
Tonight's all mine, tomorrow I'll sleep
I wanna hear a band with a country sound."
-The Judds
-"Girls Night Out" (1985)

My mom is an avid concert-goer from way back. Although she'll be the first one to point out that all my physical appearances come from my dad, this little passion for seeing live acts, without a doubt, stemmed from her.  This is why it surprised me so much whenever we were talking about the Judds one night and she admitted to never getting the chance to see them.  I knew that Wynonna and Naomi had recently announced plans for their 'Last Encore' tour which would include eighteen dates and cities.  Having this little bit of knowledge, I decided to get my mom tickets for Christmas since one stop on their route would be just thirty miles away in Louisville, Kentucky.

From 1983 until 1991 when Naomi Judd was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and Wynonna pursued a solo career, the hit duo, The Judds, were considered country music royalty.  In the eight years they were together they released six studio albums and put sixteen number one hits under their belt.  Along with their chart topping songs, they picked up eight Country Music Association awards and five Grammy awards; enough to show that their fans love was alive, indeed, and that they were respected in the industry.  As a solo-artist Wynonna grabbed four more number ones and was a staple figure in country music.  Getting together again to tour after a few year absence was a dream come true for any true 'Judd-head' out there.

The newly-opened KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky was sold at half-house and an eager audience awaited what turned out to be an amazing show.  Going through a wide array of songs in their set list, Naomi, at sixty-four, appeared just as light and bubbly as she's always been and Wynonna's voice still held the edge and power that has made her so distinctive over the last twenty-five plus years.

They put on a show for the audience and playfully bantered back-and-forth between songs.  Wynonna told her mother, "Don't forget I'm the lead, you're just backup," as Naomi made 'praise' gestures toward her daughter.  Naomi danced around on the stage and allowed fans to reach up their hand to the stage and dance with her and sometimes, even to sing.  Actress and die-hard Kentucky Basketball fan, Ashley Judd, was on hand in the audience to cheer for mother and sister and gave a little wave to fans during the song "Why Not Me" during the line "Your Kentucky girl's been waiting patiently."

During the song "Mama He's Crazy" Naomi took the time out to invite a little boy up on stage to be with them.  He introduced himself as Aidan and "Wynoda," as he called her, joked around with this young cowboy and then sang the rest of the song while Naomi stole some kisses.  "What started off as a family celebration of my twins birthday turned out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity when my four-year-old son Aidan was invited onstage by Naomi," Aidan's mother Tina said of the experience,  "For the little boy with the big dream of one day being a singing cowboy, this was his little taste of fame. Naomi and Wynonna thanks for the memories!"

"Where would she be without rhinestones?" -Wynonna
about Naomi.

This packed arena, filled mostly with females, rocked it country-style with these two living legends to all their greatest hits and even to some of Wynonna's solo material.  For an encore the two performed some Christmas songs and closed the evening by asking the fans to sing the rest of the song back to them so they could get the chance to listen.  Overall an amazing night for any fan who was able to attend this unforgettable concert.