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Review: Twain wows at Fargodome show


The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead
By John Lamb
September 21, 2015


FARGO – It may have been more than 11 years since she's been to town and 13 years since her last studio album was released, but to her fans at the Fargodome on Monday night, Shania Twain is "Still the One."

A smaller crowd (attendance numbers weren't available at press time) was on hand than the 18,000 that packed in to see her in 2004, but those in attendance gave her a warm welcome for what she's said is her farewell tour.

In 2004 Twain raced around the Fargodome in slim black pants and a neon top looking like a soccer mom. On Monday night, she hit the stage looking more like a motorcycle mama and she wasted no time getting her fans revved up.

She rose above the stage on a platform singing "Rock this Country!" She was dressed appropriately, wearing a leather jacket with long fringes, a bedazzled Rolling Stone's shirt, thigh-high boots and presumably short shorts, that's how short they were.

The singer's brunette locks are now sandy blond and combined with the large red sunglasses, she was looking quite vampy and ready to prove that blondes do have more fun.

The glasses seemed to be something of a safety measure as "Rock This Country!" and "Honey I'm Home" featured a steady stream of pyrotechnics. After those first two songs, she ditched the shades.

While she hasn't toured in more than a decade, Twain did a residency in Vegas and some of that glitzy stage show made its way on this tour as she performed in front an impressive light show.

Just like no regular light show would do, Twain's backing band included as many as three fiddlers at one time, like "Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)."

All the extras may have been there to supplement her vocals, which have slipped some over the years, contributing to her disappearance from the spotlight. She just doesn't have the range she used to, which was obvious on "Any Man of Mine." Then again, that was when the singer was being pushed around the floor in a cart by her crew, so fans were too busy trying to get a closer look and didn't seemed too concerned with her vocals.

Similarly, "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!" could have been problematic, but the singer emerged from a wardrobe change with a long, sheer dress and a jacket and sang in front of a wall of fire, so that was cool. Twain also seemed to be singing over pre-recorded tracks giving her some extra help. That was most evident on "Up!," the song she did sitting on a red saddle on the end of a fireman's ladder, rotating over the crowd. So, yeah, who cared about the singing.

Twain has always been better known as an overall entertainer than strictly a singer and in this day of the diva, it's nice to hear someone not trying to blow out every note.

She slowed down the show in the middle for an acoustic mini-set, kicking it off with the would-be inspirational "Today is Your Day," from her reality TV show. It was her latest, but not her greatest. The stripped-down sound worked well on the honky-tonk, "No One Needs to Know" and a sing-along to "You're Still the One" showed that even when her voice isn't at her best, she can rely on fans' support to fill out the song.

After Twain emerged from another wardrobe change—this time wearing a full-length shimmering gown—she made her way to the end of the catwalk to sing "From This Moment On." With the spotlights on her and holding a bouquet, it seemed like she won a beauty contest, something at 50 she could still easily do.

She ditched the gown to show off a flowing, and, yes, sparkling black scoop top and now red thigh-high boots for "That Don't Impress Me Much" and "If You're not in it for Love Outta Here!" From 1995 to 2004 Twain's favorite body part seemed to be her ever-exposed belly, but now she's apparently a leg lady.

After a break and, you guessed it, another wardrobe change, Twain returned in a black and metallic outfit with elbow length gloves and knee-high boots, naturally, that made her look like a dominatrix superhero (if that's not redundant) for a grand encore of "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" The love she got from the crowd showed that she's all woman in their eyes.

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