London shows Shania the love
CONCERT REVIEW: It was a little bit London and a whole lot of Vegas as Shania Twain rocked the Bud Friday
London Free Press
By James Reaney
June 19, 2015
There was no stopping that bold and beautiful Twain from Vegas as it rolled through Budweiser Gardens Friday night.
As expected Canadian superstar Shania Twain arrived to huge cheers from about 8,900 fans treated to massive effects that wouldn’t have been out of place in Vegas.
Arrival like a goddess of glitz? Twain was lofted from centre stage on a lift to tower on a hydraulic high during the opener, Rock This Country.
Pyro? At least three blasts during the opener, with smoke from one blast temporarily obscuring Twain in her tower.
There was more pyro on either side of the singer, who was back on the stage by this time, for the second song, Honey, I’m Home.
Twain is back on the road after stepping away from touring and performed 105 show in her two-year Las Vegas residency, Shania: Still The One. It opened in December 2012 at Caesars Palace and wound up in December, 2014.
Now, she is back with her fans on a big arena tour.
“It’s been a long time,” a Postmedia Network report said she told her fans in Saskatoon. “I’m loving this reunion.”
Twain’s first tour since leaving Las Vegas has been praised by Postmedia Network for its “glitz, glamour, fireballs and hydraulics.”
When she was last at the downtown London arena in the 2000s, Twain had a Shania silhouette that had thousands looking toward it while the star suddenly emerged from another part of the staging.
This time, the audience’s first glimpse of the star had big video screen images of her in various outfits with her hair whipping in the breeze.
She still knows how to make an entrance. On Friday, she showed a fabulous mane of blonde hair and wore shades to add a touch of mystery. The shades were soon being held in her hand and Twain was looking out on the big and happy crowd.
Twain has multi-platinum album sales in 32 countries with more than 75 million albums sold, and 17 top 10 singles. Three of Twain’s albums (The Woman In Me, Come On Over, Up! ) reached diamond certification, so she is billed as the only artist to have three consecutive albums sell more than 10 million copies in the US.
Twain is back at the downtown London arena for the second of two back-to-back dates on Saturday.
Her debut album was a self-titled 1993 hit. Four years later, Come On Over became the best-selling country album of all time, and best-selling album by a female artist.
Reports from Postmedia Network have her hopping on a saddle suspended way above the audience to perform Up!
That puts her in the company of Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber and Sarah Brightman who also took to the air over the arena floor while soaring over the fans for a song or two.
“This is a celebration tour. It’s party time. The Rock This Country tour will have a different spirit than my past tours,” Twain said in pre-tour media material. “It’s a Shania they’ve never seen before. A lot of years have gone by and I’ve got a lot more to share.”
Opening for Twain in London is Calgary-raised Wes Mack.
Mack — under his actor ID of Wesley MacInnes — is known for a recurring role in the CBC drama Heartland, where he plays country musician Austin Mars.
Maybe that explains the Friday night digression when Mack put down his guitar and asked permission to “funk things up.”
That was the cue for Mack and band to spend time moving around with Uptown Funk and wasn’t that a hit for . . . Bruno Mars? Coincidence, etc.
As Wes Mack, he is the up-and coming singer touring with Twain until later this month. Mack released his major label debut single, Before You Drive Me Crazy, earlier this year.
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IF YOU GO
What: Second concert in back-to-back stops in London for Shania Twain. Wes Mack also on the bill.
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Budweiser Gardens
Details: $59, $89, $116 & $179 (price include $1 donation to Shania Kids Can), plus applicable charges. Visit budweisergardens.com or call 1-866-455-2849.
There was no stopping that bold and beautiful Twain from Las Vegas as it rolled through Budweiser Gardens Friday night.
By the time Shania Twain made her final descent via a centre stage elevator to huge cheers from about 8,900 fans, everyone had been treated to massive effects that wouldn’t have been out of place in Vegas.
Arrive like a goddess of glitz? Twain was lofted from centre stage on a lift to tower on a hydraulic high during the opener, Rock This Country.
Pyro? There was pyromania all night long with three blasts or more in the opener and many more over the 90-minute plus of of the concert. The blazing encore was Man! I Feel Like a Woman! That had the advantage of the hottest guitar riff in the whole Shania songbook and Twain’s slinkiest outfit of the night, from the Beyonce-meets-Cher wardrobe.
It also had the best fist-pumps and waves from the charismatic star — and the best singalong, shoutalong from the fans.
A huge fan — the kind you need when the flames of Vegas stage magic eat up the arena oxygen — was seen at the back of the action. Maybe it was for show. Still, Twain’s unforgettable blondish mane seemed to shimmer as if in a breeze as she and her fans celebrated the megahit.
There had been many Vegas touches to go with such Twain hits as Up! and Any Man of Mine.
“It’s been 11 years since I’ve been on tour,” Twain said, thanking the fans for being there when she returned. She vowed to get closer to those Twain folks in the upper levels. That was the cue for her to get Up! there, mounted on a saddle boosted by a big hydraulic ladder.
Twain was on ground level around the time for Any Man Of Mine. Stage crew propelled the Shaniamobile — which looked like a cross between a Zamboni and a big go-kart — around the edge of the crowd on the floor.
That meant countless photo ops for phones and a long pause for selfies.
Twain is back on the road after performing 105 shows in her two-year Las Vegas residency, Shania: Still The One. It opened in December 2012 at Caesars Palace and wound up in December 2014.
Now, she is back, reconnecting with her all-ages fans on a big arena tour. “This song is like an old friend. It’s still around and You’re Still The One, London,” Twain said as she introduced the final song in a sweet unplugged section of the show.
That is where some of her fans let her down. Apparently unaware the star had taken up a guitar, settled down and her excellent band was there with her, some fans kept talking loudly during the personal Twain songs in the unplugged set.
That can’t be right. When a singer talks about how songwriting is “therapy” and hopes the good feelings she’s found can be shared, that would — or should — command respect. And this is Shania Twain up there with more than 75 million albums sold, and 17 Top 10 singles.
Twain is back at the downtown London arena for the second of two back-to-back dates on Saturday. Maybe that crowd will listen with enthusiastic respect. Twain’s personal songs deserve it. End of sermon.
Twain had Calgary-raised singer Wes Mack, who opened the show, come out for a mid-set duet in Party For Two.
Twain sweetly urged fans to welcome a “fellow Canadian” and called Mack a “cutie.” The duet mood was spoiled by shrill feedback sounds, a time when the Vegas magic and production was undercut by old-time audio problems. There were also heavenly chorales at various points that seemed be Twain tracks of a different sort.
There has been buzz about this being Twain’s final tour. The energy and sheer fun of such hits as I’m Gonna Getcha Good and That Don’t Impress Me Much Friday suggest this Twain won’t stop rolling anytime soon.