Shania sparkles in concert spectacle
The Quad-City Times
By David Burke
July 27, 2015
Shania Twain apparently had a lot of concert special effects to catch up on with her "Rock This Country Tour," which stopped at the iWireless Center on Sunday night.
More than 10 years since she'd been on the road, and 11-plus since she played Moline, the Canadian country-rocker's almost two-hour show was filled with lasers, fireworks, smoke, fog, video and all sorts of technical wizardry.
And the crowd, if not a sellout darned close to it, ate it up — standing throughout the night, singing along to Twain's hits, pumping their fists and rushing to the perimeter of the arena where she rode in a cart while singing "Any Man of Mine," the song that first gained her national attention in 1995.
All of the bells and whistles throughout the night could be used to cover up a singer who hasn't had a top-10 country hit in more than a decade.
But Twain — whose vocal cord injuries forced her to take a lengthy hiatus since her last big tour — and her delivery could have held up well even without all of the visual extras heaped onto her.
Just a few days and a month away from turning 50, Twain showed she's still fashion-forward, with three major costume changes and numerous variations throughout the night.
She made her entry — as a blonde, which was disconcerting to more than a few fans — on a hydraulic lift from center stage to the song "Rock This Country!," wearing a fringed black jacket over a sparkly red mini dress, with thigh-high black boots and, inexplicably, large, red-tinted sunglasses. The shades were tossed after the second song, the jacket doffed after the next tune. Her costume changes continued throughout the night, with a variety of off-the-shoulder dresses, short skirts and at least one more pair of thigh-high boots.
Twain took delight in the crowd, whose eager response to some of her songs appeared to throw her.
"I love watching you guys," she said at one point in the night. "You are my show."
Besides being carted around the stage, she also mounted a black saddle atop a red-fringed horse-type body, which took her above the crowd on a lift for a 360-degree ride during her hit "Up!"
Twain's most recent top-10 hit, the duet "Party for Two" with Billy Currington, was re-created with opening act Gavin DeGraw filling the male vocal.
DeGraw gave an animated set to start the night, with his own tunes such as "I Don't Want To Be," "Chariot" and "In Love With a Girl," as well as covering Billy Joel's "Big Shot" and Bryan Adams' "Heaven." During the Joel song, he made his way to the edges of the arena, and climbed into Section 107, where he climbed the stairs to a barrage of high-fives, fist bumps and selfies.
Earlier in the night, DeGraw noted the Quad-City Times Bix 7, and asked if anyone in the crowd had run the race.
"Did you win?" he asked the volunteer. "Did you get, like, a Gatorade sponsorship or something?"
Twain had said this is her farewell tour, but if other locations responded as resonantly as the Quad-Cities, she may consider changing her plans.
Shania Twain's set list from Sunday at the iWireless Center:
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)
Today Is Your Day (acoustic)
No One Needs to Know (acoustic)
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!
Man! I Feel Like a Woman!