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Wy rocks the house

La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, La Mirada, Cal., February 14, 2015

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Although Wynonna arrived on stage 25 minutes late with no explanation, her nearly two hour set of songs and stories more than atoned for her tardiness. Billed as "Wynonna and Friends: Stories & Song," there was no shortage of stories, as Wynonna is a really talker. But there was also no shortage of fine songs either.

Wynonna opened with a self acoustic-guitar accompanied version of "Mama He's Crazy." And while this talented singer was in fine voice - even at the extremely early concert hour of 2 p.m. - she tended to over sing on this and most other songs during the set. It was as though she was attempting to project to a much larger arena, but the La Mirada Theatre is a relatively small hall - one that only holds 1,261 people at capacity.

The singer was accompanied by a sparse backing unit, which included her husband Cactus Moser on percussion, as well as occasional mandolin, acoustic guitar and banjo. She was also joined by a guitarist and bassist. The group performed acoustically for about the first half, but switched to a more amplified arrangement beginning with "What It Takes." Highlights included the nearly sing-along of "Grandpa, Tell Me About The Good Old Days" and a rollicking "Turn it Loose," both songs of The Judds.

Many of Wynonna's stories revolved around the many times edgy relationship she had with her mom in the highly successful mother-daughter '80s duo. She oftentimes joked about the hairstyles and fashion choices back in the day. She teared up, though, when recollecting Moser's accident that nearly took his life. She often spoke of having a much better appreciation for the good things in her life than she did back when she entered the music business at 18.

Along the way, Wynonna took note of a four year old boy in the front row wearing a cowboy hat and looking as cute as a button. Near show's end, she took him up on stage for a photo op. It was a sweet moment, and one that could have only happened in such an intimate concert atmosphere.

It was funny to watch all the white-haired matinee attendees bobbing all those aging-haired heads to Wynonna and band going into a credibly rocking cover of Cream's "Crossroads" as she exited the stage. This may have been an unusual concert start time, with a fairly wizened audience, but Wynonna nevertheless rocked the house.

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