Shania Twain delivers an energetic, hit-filled set and gets lost in the moment at Staples Center

The Orange County Register
By Kelli Skye Fadroski
August 4, 2018

Shania Twain knows how to put on a show.

The Canadian singer-songwriter is a seasoned pro with now decades of experience and hits under her bedazzled belt. When a drama-filled divorce, vocal issues and an indefinite hiatus from music knocked her down, Twain picked herself up and wrote a new crop of songs which eventually landed on her 2017 album, “Now,” her first since 2002’s “Up!”

Twain’s triumphant return began with a residency in Las Vegas, the 2015 Rock This Country Tour and it all culminated during her first appearance at the annual Stagecoach Country Music Festival where she impressed the masses with a powerhouse performance in 2017.

The comeback continues as Twain is currently out on her Now World Tour, which stopped by Staples Center in Los Angeles on Friday night. The production was every bit as grandiose as expected, with countless outfit changes and the use of cutting edge technology with a quintet of large, shifting cubes with crisp, clear screens to make each song really pop. Twain has also surrounded herself with an incredible cast of backup dancers and a solid backing band that she can play off of. She did so with ease Friday night.

Unlike her turn at Stagecoach, which was far more grand and stuck to the hits and some covers with a few drop-in surprise guests in an all-killer-no-filler fashion, Twain leaned heavily into her fifth studio album starting with her empowering single, “Life’s About To Get Good.”

The cheeky “Poor Me” and the self-esteem boosting “I’m Alright” received a rousing response from the enthusiastic crowd. She had a “Magic Mike” moment with her male dancers with the sultry, piano-driven, “More Fun” and the audience stood and applauded during her delivery of the pro-military “Soldier,” which she sang while floating over the floor seats, sitting atop a lift built to look like old guitar case and making her way to the second smaller stage near the soundboard.

Her single “Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed” was punched up by including her opener Bastian Baker on guitar and vocals. He also joined her for “Party for Two,” singing Billy Currington’s parts of the popular duet. Of course her hits, including the ones that made her a crossover sensation and one of the best-selling female artists of all-time, were the ones people really wanted to hear.

She didn’t disappoint.

She was playful during “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)” and sassy with “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” Fans sang and stomped their boots to “Any Man of Mine” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” and couples slow danced to her ballads, “You’re Still the One” and “From This Moment On.”

Twain has so much energy, which is certainly welcome as she belts out her songs and interacts with what’s on stage, however she can get so easily sidetracked. Like a puppy seeing a squirrel, Twain gets overly excited when she spots something in the crowd that she likes. 

In between songs she hopped off stage to take photos with a group of women and she brought a bride-to-be and a male fan sporting a swanky leopard print shirt back with her from the second stage to the main stage. She has clearly missed being down in the crowd and closer to the people, which was evident by her entrance Friday night.

She emerged from the 119 section of the arena, taking the stairs down to the floor while slapping high fives and grinning wildly amid a sea of cell phones snapping photos and capturing video. Though these moments offer the audience a chance to get up-close-and-personal and perhaps give Twain a moment to breathe, they create obvious lulls in an otherwise spectacularly over-the-top and flawless production.

Shania Twain’s 2018 Now Tour

With: Bastian Baker

When: Friday, Aug. 3

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles

Shania Twain setlist: “Life’s About To Get Good”/ “Come on Over”/ “Up!”/ “Poor Me”/ “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)”/ “That Don’t Impress Me Much”/ “Any Man of Mine”/ “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”/ “Honey, I’m Home”/ “I’m Alright”/ “Soldier”/ “You’re Still the One”/ “More Fun”/ “From This Moment On”/ “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!”/ “Party for Two” (with Bastian Baker)/ “Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed” (with Bastian Baker)/ “(If You’re Not in It For Love) I’m Outta Here!.” Encore: “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”