Review: Shania Twain in top form for Buffalo show

Niagara Gazette
By Thom Jennings
October 5, 2015

Shania Twain returned to Buffalo for the first time in over a decade on what she has stated will be her final tour. The 50-year-old singer-songwriter’s self-imposed time away from touring has not diminished her ability to captivate, connect and entertain a crowd.

Even though it has been years since Twain has dominated the charts, her 19-song set was filled with fresh versions of classics from her back catalogue. That was due in no small part to the efforts of an amazing ensemble of musicians backing her. The seven-piece band packed a powerful punch when they needed to, and had the finesse to bring it down for ballads and acoustic numbers.

Visually, it was the perfect balance of pyro, complex backgrounds and fog. The visuals always added to the music and were never a distraction, giving the show the big production elements fans deserve while not compromising the quality of the performance.

Vocally, Twain sounded fantastic, managing to deliver great vocal performances while roaming through the arena, or being suspended above the crowd, appropriately enough during “Up!”

There were many highlights, including a well-received duet with opener Gavin Degraw, “Party for Two.” Twain smile lit up the arena as she and Degraw traded vocal lines, ending with the pair singing acapella.

Before launching into a three-song acoustic set, Twain thanked her fans and began talking about her reasons for taking time away from performing. When Twain noted that her mother passed away before she was able to witness Shania’s success as a musician. Her mother would definitely be proud, Twain has not only overcome a lot of adversity, she has done it with poise and class.

During “You're Still the One” the crowd joyously sang along with the chorus while Twain sat in a chair at the front of the stage by herself with just a guitar in her lap. When she appeared onstage for the next song, “From This Moment On,” the stage was filled with smoke in front of a backdrop of clouds below a brightly lit moon. It created an ethereal visual for Twain’s final ballad of the evening before finishing her set with a bang.

The main set ended with a powerful extended version of “ (If You're Not in It for Love) I'm Outta Here!” Twain strutted around the stage, whipping the crowd into a massive frenzy before disappearing offstage before the evening’s encore.

When Twain reappeared onstage to perform her signature hit, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” the crowd roared, and she responded with a pyro filled and confetti laden rendition of the song that added an exclamation point to a stellar performance.

One can only hope that we have not heard or seen the last of Shania Twain. It’s hard to imagine she would be able to put together a full stage production of she does not tour. The fan reaction may reinvigorate her, and while she could easily continue to draw huge crowds without releasing new music, her fans would likely embrace a full album of new material.