A lot has changed in my life and for the award-winning, platinum selling singer. But one thing has remained the same; Wynonna can still put on an absolutely great show. From the moment she strutted out on stage to perform the ever popular, “No One Else on Earth,” the crowd was on their feet, clapping, singing along and at times shouting “encouraging” words to the country star.
Before I continue, I think I need to redefine the term “country star.” You see there was no twangy country and western tunes that make you want to shout, “Git ‘Er Dun.” In fact, I’d classify the performance as a country rock show. For any audience members who came to the PAC to see a get down, hoedown, they were disappointed. For me, I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of audience members. It was quite an eclectic group. Fans ranged across all age groups, with the majority of fans ranging from 30-50 years old. If you were there and you are older than 50, yes, I’ve just given you a compliment!
After getting nearly a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd for her first number, Wynonna declared, “I’m Wynonna. I’ve been doing this for 28 years and I’m celebrating.”
And celebrate she did.
As she continued to chatter between numbers, it was clear that she was in charge of her show and everything else. “I’m a woman of attitude,” she stated. Wynonna talked to the audience, her so-called “Judd Heads,” about her relationship with her mother, half-sister actress Ashley Judd and about life in general.
The Kentucky born singer has a long-standing relationship with the tabloids, much of which is not flattering to the star. The twice-divorced musician and sometime actress is currently engaged to her drummer, Cactus Moser. Throughout the show, the two bantered back and forth. It was obvious they are in love.
The stage was simply illuminated by different colored stage lights and filled with the guitarists, drummer and keyboard player. I liked the fact that there were no choreographed routines, just hard guitar playing and jam sessions for many of the songs. I came to hear music and that I did. If I want to see a choreographed show, I’ll go to a Lady Gaga or Madonna concert.
As Wynonna commanded the stage, I was reminded of Elvis. Whether it was the curled up lip and snarl at some lyrics or the fringed outfit, there was definitely a Presley influence. The black outfit, if I can call it that, was not something I’d hope to have in my closet, but I guess it works for her. The tight bodysuit was enhanced with fringes hanging off the sleeves and around her lower calves. When she spread her arms to sing, I kept thinking of Elvis as the fringe made a bird-like shape. I’m sure that was the intended effect, so it worked.
Song after song was sung. Many were from the famous Judds duo with Naomi and many were the breakout solo songs she did after the mother-daughter group disbanded. I was pleasantly surprised at the non-country songs she brought to the stage. While I consider myself a fan, I shouldn’t be shocked. It was a pleasant surprise to hear the Lenny Kravitz hit, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” and even a Led Zeppelin tune.
As the show ended, the audience was not going to let the fiery redhead leave New Philadelphia without an encore performance. After a few minutes of raucous applause, Wynonna and The Big Noise returned to the stage. “I have a love song to leave you with,” she said with a smile. With those words a roaring rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” ended the show.
For anyone who didn’t get a chance to be at the Performing Arts Center, I can truly say, you missed a great show. In fact, it was the best concert I’ve seen there yet. It seems to just get better and better. I wonder what’s next.
Published: March 5, 2012