Rocking denim and sequins, Shania Twain rocks and serenades Kohl Center crowd

The Daily Cardinal - University of Wisconsin-Madison
By Maham Hasan
September 28, 2015

I am not a fan of country music, and, as such, I’ve never quite understood the great furor it inspires. Like most rap music, it all sounds the same to me. Not to quote the same old clichés, but every song seems to be about a woman, beer, trucks and the country. With that twang, oh the twang, that is the hallmark of all that is country. I’m foreign and I knew how to recognize country music before setting foot on American soil. Admittedly, it does have some redeeming qualities as far as entertainment and charm go. I did, after all, go to the South and line dance to “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” at a real honkey tonk. Yes, it happened.

One never quite knows how to react then when they’re handed press coverage tickets to a Shania Twain concert. Thank you? One then also frantically wracks their brain for all the things that they know about the artist. She’s country, she’s as old as my mom but doesn’t look like anyone’s mom, and she has that one song that seems to be every woman’s anthem. We all know what I’m talking about. I won’t exaggerate, the enthusiasm for this concert was lukewarm at best. I asked my editor what he was thinking, sending a classic rock connoisseur such as myself to a country concert. It just seemed baffling, like a person who was only a fan of competitive synchronized swimming showing up to a Packers game. My editor, however, did not budge, that tyrant, and merely catered to my ego in his insistence.

The crowd swarming to the Kohl Center under the supersized eclipsing moon on Sunday was an interesting one. Denim and bedazzled clothing were in abundance, and the age range of men and women alike was wide. I’m pretty sure I saw somebody’s great-grandmother rocking some boots, a denim jacket and senility. This Kohl Center was not the one you see for Badger games, but redesigned for a stage fit for an arena show. I had made the fatal error of forgetting that Gavin DeGraw was opening for Twain. For someone who had embarrassingly enough grown up with “One Tree Hill” and witnessed the start of every single episode with DeGraw’s most iconic song, well, the 14-year-old in me could not have been more excited. DeGraw channeled a very enthusiastic energy with his powerful ballad and quick feet, taking us through all his big songs. “I Don’t Want to Be,” “Not Over You” and “Chariot” were performed with a vigor that really did justice to how well known they are.

Twain strutted out soon after, paying homage to The Rolling Stones with her attire, amidst fireworks and large video screens depicting her in all her glory. Then began what can only be described as a no-holds-barred, visual fiesta of a performance lasting 90 minutes with Twain’s greatest hits. For someone who went into the concert more than fully prepared not to enjoy herself, I have to hand it to Twain. She really knew how to get a crowd on its feet, whether it entailed dancing without abandon everywhere you looked, or polite manly swaying.

With it being more than a decade since her last big tour, the now 50-year-old star performed like she did this every day in her sleep. With all the pomp and flourish that goes into a glittery show, Twain surrounded herself with fireworks, lasers, light, costumer changes and even the soulful acoustic singing with the crowd. Favorites among the crowd included “Any Man Of Mine,” “You’re Still The One,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much” while ending with the country song for females of this generation, “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!"