How Wynonna Brought Mother Naomi Judd to the Stage During First Tour Stop
Wynonna Judd kept her promise to continue the Judds Final Tour after the death of her mother, Naomi Judd. The late family matriarch was more than just a spiritual presence during an opening night show in Grand Rapids, Mich.
A performance of "Love Can Build a Bridge" was — as expected — among the more emotional moments of the 25-song concert. The song is closely tied to Naomi Judd's life and death, if for no other reason than it's the last one she performed live, during the CMT Music Awards in April. She also wrote the Judds hit.
Video from opening night of the tour finds Wynonna Judd backed by a chorus of vocalists as she sings lead. Then, Naomi speaks to the crowd from a large video screen behind the band.
"I believe in the power of love. And I believe there is always hope," she says in an '80s era clip. Wynonna Judd would then add her own words of hope and inspiration.
"Thank you Mama for writing this song. I will continue to sing it for all the days of my life," she says as the song swells to its conclusion.
A fan-submitted setlist for the kickoff of the Judds Final Tour is below, courtesy of SetList.fm. Brandi Carlile was billed as the first of several special guests, and now fans know how that will work. She joins Wynonna Judd on four separate occasions, singing two songs each time, except for her encore appearance, when she just joined in for "Why Not Me."
The set list is a mix of Judds songs and Wynonna Judd solo songs. Her final Top 40 radio hit finishes the show. In 2004, the oldest Judd sister released "Flies on the Butter (You Can't Go Home Again)" and credited her mother as joining her on the single.
In addition to Friday night's (Sept. 30) show at Van Andel Arena in Michigan, the Judds Final Tour also visited Toledo, Ohio. There are nine more dates through Oct. 29. Martina McBride is opening the tour.
Naomi Judd died by suicide on April 30, 2022.
The Judds Final Tour Set List (Grand Rapids, Mich.):
1. "Had a Dream (For the Heart)"
2. "Give a Little Love"
3. "Girls Night Out"
4. "Rockin' With the Rhythm of the Rain" (With Brandi Carlile)
5. "Love Is Alive" (With Brandi Carlile)
6. "Tell Me Why"
7. "I Know Where I'm Going"
8. "Rompin' Stompin' Blues"
9. Let Me Tell You About Love" (With Brandi Carlile)
10. "Guardian Angel" (With Brandi Carlile)
11. "Young Love"
12. "Rock Bottom"
13. "Cry Myself to Sleep"
14. "I Want to Know What Love Is"
15. "River of Time"
16. "Born to Be Blue" (With Brandi Carlile)
17. "Turn It Loose" (With Brandi Carlile)
18. "She Is His Only Need"
19. "I Saw the Light"
20. "No One Else on Earth"
21. "Love Can Build a Bridge"
22. "Mama He's Crazy"
23. "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)"
24. "Why Not Me"
25. "Flies on the Butter"