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Review: Shania Twain at Manchester Arena

The Canadian superstar comes to Manchester with a sophisticated and classy show

Manchester Evening News
By Danielle Roper
September 23, 2018


Shania Twain: 3 out of 5 stars

You've got to love an artist who sang about being a woman in a pop world where Girl Power was touted as the ultimate aspiration for half of the population.

For there is nothing girlish about the world-weary lyrics of country music, and although the sassy Canadian multi-platinum selling superstar's latest Now album in particular is distinctly pop infused, it tells the story of someone who has seen it all and come out on top, and what is more irresistible than that?

Erupting onto the stage in a glittering slit to the thigh black dress and cowgirl hat, the 53-year-old kicks off her first show in Manchester in 13 years with new album track Lifeís About to Get Good. But to tell us who she's become she needs to remind us of who she was and Up!, one of a handful of heroes from her golden back catalogue, and sung, appropriately, from atop a series of leopard print cubes, does just that.

Poor Me, a lament penned following her high-profile divorce from cheating ex-husband and producer Mutt Lange, is next and is a surprising high point. Then comes a biggie with Donít Be Stupid, a track that gets everyone on their feet.

That Donít Impress Me Much should be up there in the top three songs of the night but somehow feels a bit rushed, which is a shame.

Delivering more what is expected of them are romantic smash You're Still The One, the perfect hoedown tune Any Man Of Mine and the bouncy Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under. Shania looks every inch the country queen in her third of seven outfits of the evening comprised of black taffeta and red glittery stiletto boots but, although surrounded by incredibly high energy musicians and dancers, the star still seems to be conserving hers somewhat.

What she lacks in energy, she makes up with some entertaining audience interaction but the crowd are still waiting for that ultimate concert buzz.

New tracks Swingin' With My Eyes Closed and (If You're Not In Love) Iím Outta Here! pave the way and there is suddenly a bit more za za zoom in the room.

Then, better late than never, it comes, THAT longed for point in the show with what has to be THE Shania anthem: Man! I Feel Like A Woman, the only time the night truly lifts off.

This is a sophisticated production for sure. It just lacks a little of the grit you expect from country somehow. Shania's vocals could do with a little injection of oomph sometimes too and it is definitely more show than substance at times but, thanks in no small part to some excellent musicians, a fabulous female drummer and female violinist among them, it is unarguably a good one and Shania fans leave happy.

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