Review: Shania Twain impresses -- much -- at Little Caesars Arena
The Oakland Press
By Stacey Sherman
June 16, 2018
DETROIT -- She may have been gone from the spotlight for a few years, but Shania Twain still knows how to dazzle.
It was all sparkles, glitter and lights on Friday, June 15, when the Canadian-born country-pop singer’s Shania NOW Tour stopped at Little Caesars’s Arena. And it didn’t take long for the substantial crowd to remember how entertaining Twain can be, and the two-hour, 21-song show DID seem to impress them much.
Twain -- in a slinky, thigh-high black dress, her rhinestone-studded black cowboy hat glinting in the spotlights -- entered the arena from the rear and walked through the crowd shaking hands and smiling at fans as if she was reintroducing herself after being away for awhile (three years). “Are you ready Detroit?” she shouted. “I said ARE YOU READY? Because life’s about to get good!” before launching into the 2017 single of the same name.
Twain’s stage production was top-notch and lent itself to the party atmosphere. Five giant video cubes moved into various configurations in time with the music and were the playground for Twain and her troupe, serving as platforms, changing rooms and shadow boxes at different times throughout the night. Six dancers also doubled as backing vocalists, and their Celtic Riverdance atop the cubes was a highlight of “Don’t Be Stupid.” Twain rose atop the cubes herself during “Up!,” while the four male dancers executed a Mylar balloons routine on the stage below her.
Twain over the crowd seated on a swing (ingeniously designed to look like an open guitar case) for a poignant “Soldier” and a heartfelt “Still The One,” which had the arena twinkling with fans’ cell phones. There were very few moments that felt flat as Twain kept things moving with the upbeat spirit of a pep squad leader -- only stumbling when she got entangled in the train of one of her numerous flowing costumes when walking back through the crowd a second time.
Twain also became visibly emotional at times when talking about the low points of her life and writing songs after her personal struggles. “Poor Me and “I’m Alright,” both from her latest album “NOW,” both featured touching introductions by Twain.
But the night was not about being down; It was about the party and feeling good. Though the new album is called “NOW” but her fans at Little Caesars were all about the songs from back then. And Twain delivered, with hits that had people dancing and singing along. Nods to her early country faves included “Any Man Of Mine,” “Honey, I’m Home” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under,” during which Twain sported sparkling red platform cowboy boots. Her four-piece band was spare but more than up to the task of playing faithful renditions of the songs.
Anthems such as “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “I’m Gonna Getcha Good” brought more costume changes, including a leopard print number of Twain video fame and a skintight, see-though body suit reminiscent of Cher. Twain’s vocals, huskier than before, had a surprisingly pristine sheen on several of the songs, but that only served the Vegas-style show, which came complete with a blast of streamers for the main-set closing “(If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here.”
The night closed out with a “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” sing-along and a confetti-punctuated “Rock This Country.” Rock, Country, Pop - Twain brought it all to Little Caesars and reminded us, in glittering fashion, that honey, she’s home.
Opening act Bastian Baker returned to join Twain for a rendition of “Party Of Two” and stayed on stage for “Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed.” Baker, a Swiss singer/songwriter and former judge on “The Voice Belgique (Belgium),” delivered a tight 30-minute set earlier in the evening, including originals such as “Leaving Tomorrow,” “All Around Us” and a beautiful cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Baker also joked with the crowd, telling them he was single and then asking them to “make as much noise as you will when the Red Wings make the playoffs!”