Shania Twain plays Spokane Arena on final tour

The Spokesman-Review
By Nathan Weinbender
September 10, 2015

If you go

Shania Twain

With Gavin DeGraw When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Spokane Arena, 720 W. Mallon Ave.

Cost: $46-$136; tickets are available at all TicketsWest outlets.

In 2004, Shania Twain was one of the biggest performers in the world.

With hit songs like “Any Man of Mine,” “You’re Still the One,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!,” she was as dominant a presence on the country charts as the Top 40 charts, a feat few artists pre-Taylor Swift had pulled off. Her 1997 album “Come On Over” remains the highest-selling country record ever; it’s also sold more copies than any other album by a solo female artist.

But after seven No. 1 country singles and a 2003 tour supporting her fourth LP “Up!,” Twain seemed to go AWOL. She returned to the stage for a two-year residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in 2012, but it was obvious that her recording career had slowed to a trickle.

Now the country superstar is back on the road for the first time in 11 years, and with it comes rumors of an upcoming album. Twain has announced that her ongoing “Rock This Country” tour, which makes a stop at the Spokane Arena on Saturday, is likely going to be her last.

“It’s certainly not my retirement from music,” Twain said during a conference call with The Spokesman-Review and others. “I’m 50 this year, I’ve been onstage since I was 8 years old, and I’ve put in my fair share of performances. … The time is just right now to do other things musically. I want to write more, I want to make lots more records. I haven’t made enough records in my life and in my career.”

Twain said her Vegas show, “Shania: Still the One,” reignited her interest in touring.

“During the last part of the two-year period in Vegas, I realized that I missed being out on the touring stage,” Twain said. “I enjoyed Vegas very much for a lot of reasons, but it was a motivation to one more time experience going out in the arena setting and be with people in their hometowns. … For the last two years, the fans have been coming to me. I feel pumped to get out there and go to their towns and bring them this whole new show.”

The Vegas show also informed the layout and pyrotechnics of the current tour. Twain says she was able to interact more directly with her Vegas audiences than in previous shows, and she wants to be in close proximity with her fans who are front and center.

“The audiences (in Vegas) were very close to the stage,” she said. “It was one of the luxuries I enjoy, because I like to see the people close up. … I have to make sure that I’m able to get out into the audience … so there’s a plan for that.”

Twain says that an album of all-new material is imminent, but she’s not sure exactly when it’s going to be done. The tour, though, is intended to be a celebration of her hits, even if the inclusion of a new track or two is still a possibility.

“This tour’s really all about the classics,” Twain said. “If it’s close enough to when I’m about to release something, I think it would be fair then to play one or two new songs off the new album. I’m dying to do it … but I’m not sure I’d want that myself if I was going to see my favorite artist and I wanted to hear their hit songs. But if the album progresses quickly enough and the timing works out, I might just put one or two new songs in.”

And now that she can officially stamp her touring career with an expiration date – her final show is next month in her native Canada – Twain says she’s focused on luxuriating in the experience.

“I’m having a lot more fun now,” she said. “I’m more relaxed in a lot of ways. I’m savoring it because it is my last tour. I’m in a farewell spirit. I’m in a reunion spirit to get back together with the fans after all these years. It’ll be very emotional for me.”