The Judds – The Final Tour in Tampa
Originally, The Judds Final Tour was to be starring Naomi and Wynonna Judd for a final tour in 2022. Unfortunately, due to the heartbreaking circumstances of the passing of Naomi Judd, Wynonna bravely decided to carry on with the tour and it became a tribute to Naomi. The tour originally was going to be eleven dates across the country and Wynonna decided to add dates in 2023. With the help of such great country artists as Martina McBride, Little Big Town, Kelsea Ballerini, Tanya Tucker and Brandi Carlile to support Wynonna in carrying on with the tour that must have seemed like an unimaginable task.
Tampa’s Amalie Arena was the second to last stop for the tour. Brandi Carlile was on board as a special guest and Martina McBride opened the show with the first set. Dressed in black sequined jacket and matching multi-colored sequined pants, McBride performed many of her number one hits including opening with “My Baby Loves Me”, “Blessed”, “A Broken Wing” and she concluded with her signature song, “Independence Day”. Ms. McBride was the original supporting act for the tour and thanked Wynonna for including her. Martina received the Academy of Country Music Icon award in 2019.
Wynonna arrived on stage with guitar in hand, lace blouse and black jacket with a cover of Elvis’ “Had A Dream (For the Heart)” that was a hit for the Judds as their debut single in 1983! For “Girls Night Out”, Martina and Brandi joined her on the 1985 charting number one. A fun number with the ladies. Brandi Carlile, besides having a great voice, is a bundle of energy, twirling and dancing around the stage. The upbeat Judds tune “Rockin’ with the Rhythm of the Rain” followed by the 1984 single “Love Is Alive”.
Lighting, sound and graphics were some of the best. Wynonna and three members of her band along with Brandi and brother Jay Carlile on background vocals took to the stage for an acoustic set that included a haunting, beautiful version of “Guardian Angels” with photos of Naomi floating on the big screen. “Love Can Build a Bridge” is particularly touching with Naomi and Wynonna singing together via big screen technology.
Wynonna’s voice is amazing. Though Naomi is a huge part of this tribute, Wynonna is sounding better than ever. Both diehard Judds fans and Wynonna fans were there in droves. She brought out some of her solo hits along with a video package from the 90’s of her going out on her own. She country rocked it on “Rock Bottom”. She was emotional about the tour coming to an end but talked about how she had to do it to keep going and how much she appreciated the fans and friends holding her up during this time. The encore was a trio of Judds tunes and she closed with “Why Not Me” with Brandi Carlile and Martina joining in. This was a beautiful show, tribute to Naomi and great music. Wynonna can be proud by honoring her mother’s legacy and hopefully will tour on her own in the future.
Vicky Sullivan Photos
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