Shania Twain proves she’s 'still the one' at Hamilton show
By Graham Rockingham
June 23, 2015
Shania Twain didn't come to Hamilton's FirstOntario Centre with any new songs Monday night, but she brought a whole lot of WOW.
Twain opened the show rising from beneath the stage through a thick carpet of smoke atop a steel pedestal, her new blond hairdo framing rose-tinted aviator glasses, her legs sheathed in fishnets and thigh-high black boots below a red sequined minidress.
Lights flashed and fireworks exploded as her crack seven-piece band roared into "Rock This Country," the theme song for Twain's first tour in 11 years.
The more than 14,000 fans in the near-sold out audience rose to their feet. Many stayed standing for the rest of the show. The plan was to give them a spectacle they wouldn't forget. And Shania delivered.
The 49-year-old native of Timmins, Ont., was in control for the entire 100-minute concert, her voice as strong as ever. It was if the 11-year hiatus had never happened.
From there it was one hit after, 19 in all, plus five costume changes — including an elegant black gown in which she sang the wedding anthem "From This Moment On — and enough pyrotechnics and laser light sprays to impress even a hardcore Nickelback fan.
The crowd pleasers included "Honey I'm Home," "I'm Gonna Getcha Good," "That Don't Impress Me Much," "I'm Outta Here," and the encore "Man! I Feel Like a Woman."
She hopped into a little glass-sided wagon and was wheeled around the arena while singing "Any Man of Mine" and reaching out to make contact with her adoring audience. Cheesy, but effective.
After singing the "Party for Two" duet with opening act Wes Mack, Shania told the crowd she fondly remembered the last time she played Hamilton in September, 2003. The arena was then called Copps Coliseum and it's where she kicked off her Up tour.
"We did our rehearsals right here in Hamilton, a great place to start," she said. "It's great to be in Canada again. It's great to be home. It's been a long time coming and there's no place to go but up from here."
At that moment, she hopped onto a large saddle that was attached to a telescopic crane that rose out of the stage and sent her circling out over the crowd. And, yes, she was singing "Up." Again — cheesy, but effective.
Ironically, the highlight of the show was a three-song acoustic set, stripped of all the glitzy gimmickry, just her on a stool strumming a guitar under a single spotlight, her band in darkness behind her. The set culminated in a beautiful rendition of "Still the One."
At the start of the tour, Shania announced it would be her last. We've heard that from artists before. The Who in 1982, for instance. So it's hard to take her seriously.
There's talk of a new album in the works, fresh new songs. This time around, Shania was content to give the fans what they wanted, the classics that made her most successful female act in country music, selling more than 75 million albums.
But it's hard to believe that Shania would not want to showcase a new album with a new road show, especially when she's so good at it.
Shania Twain set list
Monday, June 22, 2015
FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton
1. Rock This Country
2. Honey, I'm Home
3. You Win My Love
4. Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under
5. I Ain't No Quitter
6. Love Gets Me Every Time
7. Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)
8. Any Man of Mine
9. I'm Gonna Getcha Good
10. Come On Over
11. Party for Two
13. Today Is Your Day
14. No One Needs to Know
15. You're Still the One
16. From This Moment On
17. That Don't Impress Me Much
18. (If You're Not in It for Love) I'm Outta Here
19. Man! I Feel Like a Woman!