The rain didn’t stop anyone from going to the Ashland Armory to see Wynonna Judd and the Big Noise.
The line for the singer and the band she shares with husband/drummer Cactus Moser wrapped all the way around the building, people and their umbrellas anticipated the doors to open. Many of the concert-goers had seen Wynonna in the past, which added to the camaraderie that audience members shared. People from all over exchanged stories of seeing Wynonna in concert, which lead to people talking about all the other shows and concerts they had seen.
When the doors opened, the audience strode to their seats and prepared for the grand show. For the first half of the show, the band The Big Noise played songs from their self-titled new album, along with a few covers. Each member of the group was able to showcase their unique talents, from slide guitar to harmonica to bass to drums. The quartet even preformed a moving, which was a homage to the Allman Brothers Band, and the times they shared with them.
After a killer first set, the band went into intermission while the audience talked about the show so far, bought food, or looked over the merchandise that was on sale. Meanwhile, the band prepared for the reason everyone was there: Wynonna Judd. The multi-award-winning country singer released an album with The Big Noise in 2016, furthering her 34-year career. Initially apart of the mother-daughter duo “The Judds,” she has won over 60 awards and has been dubbed as “the greatest female singer since Patsy Cline” by Rolling Stone magazine.
Once the intermission was over, everyone in the audience went wild when Wynonna, covered from the top of her fiery red hair to the soles of her feet in glitter, came on stage, starting the set with a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love.” Right from the start, Wynonna established herself as a commanding force on stage. Her powerful voice, songlike, lifted everyone in the Armory, with help from The Big Noise, now acting as her back-up band and singers.
After the first song, Wynonna established a very intimate relationship with the audience, talking to them, and even holding their hands between songs when they came up to the front of the stage. She would greet them with a smile, look them in the eye, and thank them for coming. She would even converse with a few of them, like the ninety-two year-old-woman who came to see the singer. She wanted to connect with everyone in the building.
The rest of the show consisted of many of Judd’s hits, such as “I Saw the Light,” “No One Else On Earth,” and “I Want To Know What Love Is,” along with some newer songs, such as “Staying in Love” “Cool Ya’,” off of the Wynonna and the Big Noise album. At many points in the show, Wynonna would point her microphone to the audience and let them continue the song, like in the emotional number from her time as “The Judds,” “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days).”
After that number, Wynonna looked into the audience and was joyful to see that people still remembered her songs. “This is why I still tour,” she said, gesturing out onto the audience, “This is why I still play.”
At what seemed to be the end of the show, Wynonna and the Big Noise finished with a bang and left the stage, but the audience wasn’t done. The audience roared her name and clapped, cheering for more. After a few minutes, Wynonna and the Big Noise came back to the stage. “You want more?” Wynonna asked with a grin.
They played a few more songs, eventually ending with another early “Judds” hit, “Young Love (Strong Love),” which the audience helped finish again.
Without a doubt, it was a fantastic, incredible show. Wynonna’s passionate voice filled the building, touching the hearts of every concert goer, whether it was their first time or fifth time seeing the singer. One could tell that she loved performing and loved connecting with the audience on more than just a performer-audience relationship.
She wanted to feel a connection with the audience, and she wanted the audience to feel that connection. Wynonna herself said it best during the show, when, after one of the first songs she played where she let the audience finish the song. At the end of the song, she smiled, gazed out onto the audience, and said, “This is what I’m talking about: music connects us.”