Please pass the Kleenex. Again.

Facial tissues were needed more than once on Tuesday night at the Minnesota State Fair grandstand. Once to dab the tears of joy for witnessing Brandi Carlile, long a Minnesota favorite, being so overjoyed because she got to share the stage with one of her sheroes, Wynonna Judd, in her favorite city in which to perform.

Carlile was personal, confessional and excited to be back in the Twin Cities. "I feel like it's coming home," she announced early in the show. "I feel like we grew this thing together."

We knew her when — oh yes, we did like back in 2006 at the 400 Bar in Minneapolis and all those appearances at the Minnesota Zoo, Basilica Block Party and even the fair's bandshell 15 years ago. And now she's a superstar even without the help of a major hit single.

Oh, Brandi! A sell-out crowd of 13,414 was verklempt. A tissue, please.

Kleenex was necessary earlier in the evening to wipe away the tears of sadness as Judd appeared in Minnesota knowing, for the first time, that her mother, Naomi, her partner in the Country Music Hall of Fame duo, the Judds, who died last year, would never join her here onstage again.

Judd reminisced about playing the Great Minnesota-Get-Together 35 years ago with her mom. Naomi was definitely present in many ways, especially during the Judds' hit "Grandpa," asking him to tell her about the good ol' days. At the end of the melancholy ballad, Wynonna looked sad momentarily but wouldn't allow herself to wallow in sorrow.

At 59, the always talkative Judd spouted Juddisms during her hourlong performance — like being better not bitter, being broken but blessed and having been on Oprah 18 times, which may have been too much therapy, she joked.

But Judd injected as much attitude and sass in her songs, especially the bluesy rocker "Ain't No Thing," the determined "Rock Bottom," the slow burn "Cry Myself to Sleep" and a soaring reading of Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is," which she delivered like she owns it.

Carlile joined Judd for background vocals on two numbers, including singing Naomi's harmonies on "Grandpa." Jay Carlile, Brandi's brother, sang backup for Judd and provided harmonica throughout her set. And Judd returned the favor, appearing during Carlile's set for Judds' duets — the peppy "Girls Night Out" and reassuring "Love Is Alive."

"We sound good together," Judd proclaimed during a pause in the final chorus. And then after they finished, the country star let out a big "whew" sigh of relief.

"This is heaven," Carlile declared.

There were plenty of emotional sparks just a few moments earlier. Carlile, 42, had talked about her first date with the woman she would marry and how it didn't go so well because Carlile didn't like the album Catherine brought to share — Joni Mitchell's "Blue." It inspired Carlile to write one of her first love songs, "I Belong to You," for which Catherine waltzed onstage to harmonize with her at the end and then seal it with a kiss.

The couple then offered the Indigo Girls' "Closer to Fine," which they'd recorded for the movie "Barbie." Carlile promised that their version had no "Kenergy."

Her 135-minute set had plenty of energy, though, including "Broken Horses," "Sinners, Saints and Fools," and an encore of Queen's "We Are the Champions." And her gig had plenty of palpable emotion, as well.

Both Carlile and Judd filled their performances with deep felt emotionalism. They didn't dazzle with vocal gymnastics like Mariah Carey or rock 'n' roll screams like Carrie Underwood. They reached deep inside their souls to expose their inner feelings without fear of consequences. You felt their pain, heartache and happiness — whatever they were trying to express.

Maybe it was fitting that Carlile and Judd teamed up at the State Fair because the very first concert Carlile attended — and the second and third — featured the Judds at the Washington State Fair. And, as an encore, Carlile and Judd wrapped it up with one last duet, Cher's "Turn Back Time."

Also during the encore, Carlile turned over the stage for one selection to SmallTown Strings, featuring Caroline and JayJ Carlile and their dad Jay. "Thank you to Aunt Brandi for opening for us," Caroline, 16, joked. Then she sang "Dream Again," a performance that suggested that maybe those dreams might come true.