Shania Twain rocks the house in Anaheim

The Orange County Register
By Kelli Skye Fadroski
August 20, 2015

Shania Twain

When: Aug. 19

Where: Honda Center, Anaheim

Next: Thursday at Staples Center, Los Angeles

Though it has been over a decade since country superstar Shania Twain has been out on tour, she hasn’t forgotten how to put on a spectacular performance. Twain, who will turn 50 next week, pulled out all the stops for her Rock This Country tour, which stopped by Honda Center in Anaheim on Wednesday night. The set was littered with her biggest hits, and fans of all ages showed up for the sold-out gig to see Twain, possibly for the last time.

After this tour is through, Twain has said, she will officially retire, though that doesn’t mean she’ll never perform live again. She spent two years (2012-14) in Las Vegas with a successful residency dubbed “Shania: Still the One” at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, but she has said that after Rock This Country ends in her home country of Canada on Oct. 11, she will no longer tour. That’s truly a shame, because Twain was on fire during this show, her vocals and energy unwavering.

The elaborate set design, costume changes, pyrotechnics and laser light show were alone worth the price of admission, but Twain, being in top form and backed by a stellar brood of hard-rockin’ and heavy-hittin’ musicians, put this performance completely over the top. It was pure rock ‘n’ roll excess, and though Twain is one of the beloved queens of the county music genre, she definitely knows how rock. She came out confident, flawlessly belting out “Rock This Country!” with her black fringe leather jacket, red tinted sunglasses, bedazzled Rolling Stones shirt, thigh-high black leather boots and fierce mane of blond hair.

All the pyro and insane lighting matched perfectly with Twain’s setlist, which flowed smoothly as she transitioned into “Honey, I’m Home,” “You Win My Love” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” She stopped to thank the crowd for making her feel so welcome, and as they cheered in response, she gave a wide smile and shared that the next track, “I Ain’t No Quitter,” was about her stubborn personality. During “Any Man of Mine” she was put on a cart and pulled around the arena. As she sang, she held up a selfie stick to take video of her victory lap, which had fans running down from their seats to try to get a closer look or a photograph.

Before heading into “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” Twain was off for a costume change, and her band showcased a little of its metal and rock ‘n’ roll chops with a powerful instrumental. Three minutes later, Twain emerged from an insane blaze of fire with multiple bursts of hot flames spewing from the stage. She had changed into an AC/DC T-shirt, a super-sparkly jacket, short shorts and some chunky blinged-out heels and started singing “Come on Over.”

She brought out opener Gavin DeGraw for the next song, “Party for Two.” The 38-year-old singer/songwriter, who slayed the early arriving audience with his hit “I Don’t Want to Be,” looked to be having the time of his life, dancing and singing with Twain while sporting an Anaheim Ducks baseball cap. As the song ended and DeGraw exited the stage, a large, glittery saddle appeared on the catwalk. Twain hopped on, and as she was hoisted into the air and the band began playing “Up!” she once again thanked the crowd, saying that though it had taken a lot of courage to resume touring after nearly a dozen years, “I’m having the time of my life.”

Though the spectacle was fantastic, it was a highlight when Twain simply sat on a stool with her guitar for a trio of softer tracks. She started out with “Today Is Your Day,” a self-motivational track she wrote to pick herself up, she explained while getting choked up. She then went into “No One Needs to Know.” Her band then left, leaving her completely alone for “Still the One.” She encouraged the audience to join her in a singalong, and of course they happily obliged.

Twain switched up outfits again for “From This Moment On,” coming out in a black dress covered by a long, flowing black jacket, an odd choice of wardrobe to pair with what has been a very popular wedding song. She got sassy during “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “(If You’re Not in It for Love) I’m Outta Here,” which was followed by a brief pause before the one-song encore.

Twain came back out wearing her sexiest and most revealing outfit of the night. Looking like She-Ra meets Wonder Woman in a black, high-cut one-piece bathing suit with strategically placed shiny metallic pieces, black thigh-high boots and long black gloves, she wrapped up the gig with a roaring version of “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”

Shania Twain setlist: Rock This Country!/ Honey, I'm Home/ You Win My Love/ Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?/ I Ain't No Quitter/ Love Gets Me Every Time/ Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)/ Any Man of Mine/ I'm Gonna Getcha Good!/ Come on Over/ Party For Two (with Gavin DeGraw)/ Up!/ Today is Your Day/ No One Needs to Know/ You're Still the One/ From This Moment On/ That Don't Impress Me Much/ (If You're Not In It for Love) I'm Outta Here! Encore: Man! I Feel Like a Woman!