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After a rough decade-plus, Shania Twain returns to Fargodome


Grand Forks Herald
By John Lamb
September 20, 2015


FARGO, N.D. -- Shania Twain returns to the Fargodome Monday for her first show here in 11 years. Actually, this is the country singer's first tour in as long.

Between then and now she has suffered a messy divorce, survived a bout of dysphonia, leaving her temporarily unable to sing, and struggled to record the follow-up to 2002's blockbuster album, "Up!"

Despite not having a new album to promote on tour, Twain is on the road one last time for a farewell tour, though she's leaving open the possibility of a casino residency, like the one she did from 2012 to '14.

When the singer broke out with 1995's "The Woman in Me," she was an exciting new talent in Nashville with an energetic delivery and songs directed more toward the dance floors than dirt roads. By the time '97's "Come on Over" came out, Twain established herself as the biggest crossover artist at the time. The album would sell 40 million copies worldwide, 17 million in the United States alone, making it the biggest-selling country album ever and the sixth-best-selling album in America.

Artists often say numbers will grow and change with the performer. Since most of Monday's tunes will be at least 13 and some up to 20 years old, we wondered if the meanings of some songs have changed.

"Rock this Country" -- The singer was a bit of a soothsayer, seemingly predicting the blurred lines between country and rock. Sure, Garth Brooks made country-pop crossover possible, but Twain's co-writer, producer and husband, Robert "Mutt" Lange, crafted hits with AC/DC and Def Leppard before they hooked up.

"Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under" -- This '95 hit, the first release from the Twain/Lange power couple, again was a strange bit of foreshadowing. In 2008, Twain announced they had split after discovering he'd had an affair with her best friend. To make things more like a soap opera, Twain later married her former best friend's now ex-husband.

"I Ain't No Quitter" -- The title and the chorus would drive an English teacher crazy, and the song may be about the singer's dedication to a flawed man, but in light of all she's overcome, this track is more appropriate now than when she released it on her 2005 greatest hits record.

"Up!" -- When she released the title track from her third album, it was hard to imagine things could possibly get better for the singer. It was hard to take the opening lines, "It's about as bad as it could be/Seems everybody's bugging me," seriously, but with fans and media constantly asking when her next album is coming out, the song seems timely.

"Today is Your Day" -- The first and only song Twain released since splitting from Lange, and her first piece solely written by herself in 18 years. Released with her 2011 reality TV show, "Why Not? With Shania Twain," the song is basically a self-help motivator with lyrics like, "You got what it takes you can win/Today is your day to begin." As Twain seems to be struggling with her next album, this tune seems like a nightly musical affirmation.

"You're Still the One" -- This one has to hurt to sing. After establishing themselves as a power couple, Twain and Lange heard people gossip about their marriage, like that she was using him to further her career and he was too old (16 years senior) for her. This song seemed aimed at answering the critics with the lines, "They said, 'I bet they'll never make it'/ But just look at us holding on/ We're still together, still going strong." Ouch. Always one to find a silver lining, since the divorce, Twain has said the song is a reminder of the love between her parents who died in a 1987 car accident.

"That Don't Impress Me Much" -- A classic kiss-off song, this song should still have as much snap and glare as when it came out in '97.

"Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" -- Twain delivered the party anthem for every country girl's night out in '97 with this catchy ditty. "We don't need romance, we only want to dance." The tune will no doubt still serve as a shout-out to the ladies, but knowing that both Britney Spears and Carrie Underwood covered the song a decade ago, it might just make Twain feel like an older woman.

If you go

Who: Shania Twain

When: Opener Gavin DeGraw starts at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Monday

Where: Fargodome, 1800 N. University Drive

Info: Tickets range from $46-$136. For more information and tickets, visit www.fargodome.com

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