Shania Twain's empowering Friday night anthems have accrued a certain
gravitas in the age of #MeToo, as her surprisingly meaty tour proves
Daily Mail - UK
By Graeme Thomson
September 29, 2018
Shania Twain - SSE Hydro - Glasgow
4 out of 5 stars
In a lull between belting out formulaic pop-country bangers, Shania Twain confides in us. She often struggles to overcome lifeís everyday adversities, she admits, standing atop a giant leopard-print neon cube, dressed in slashed silk and fishnets, suspended 20 feet in the air.
The incongruity defines a show that mixes gushing intimacy with a ruthless demonstration of Vegas-grade star power. One minute, Twain is swishing around like the queen bitch from Dynasty; the next sheís over-sharing like a bridesmaid on her second bottle of Prosecco.
The tour is titled Shania Now, a concept that turns out to be not far removed from Shania Then. Last yearís comeback album, Now, was crammed with the kind of laser-guided earworms that propelled the Canadian to superstardom in the Nineties.
The key difference is of perception. In recent years Twain has battled betrayal, divorce, dysphonia and Lyme disease, a trail of misfortune that allows her to return as a survivor, and her live show to be framed as a frenzy of post-traumatic positivity.
ĎIím an optimistic person,í she declares after Up!, one of five songs tonight boasting an exclamation mark in its title. Though Poor Me and Iím Alright revisit her marriage break-up, they simply accentuate the rampant exuberance of Lifeís About To Get Good and pretty much everything else.
Itís cheesy, but effective. The set is dazzling, a constantly shifting tableau created by the inventive deployment of five video cubes, resembling a fancy game of Tetris. The musical filling, meanwhile, is surprisingly meaty.
A punchy, no-nonsense band combines with Twainís creamy, flawless voice to weaponise big hitters like That Donít Impress Me Much and Iím Gonna Getcha Good! Now and then, her country roots show through.
Driven by two mean fiddles, Any Man Of Mine has a hard bluegrass kick, while she ascends a revolving podium to strum an affecting Youíre Still The One. Written with her ex-husband, tonight itís dedicated to her fans.
The pacing could use some tweaking. Having faffed about taking selfies and frogmarched a mother and daughter on stage, for some reason Twain dons a top hat to watch a montage of her old video clips on the screens.
Ten minutes of filler kills the momentum, but a focused finale brings the show back on track, climaxing in the irrepressible Man! I Feel Like A Woman!
Thatís another thing that has changed: these empowering Friday night anthems have accrued a certain gravitas in the age of #MeToo. All in all, Shania Now isnít a bad place to be.