Review: Musically and emotionally, Shania Twain gives Saskatoon a concert to remember

Shania Twain's concert Saturday night in Saskatoon started with a flashy bang, and the country superstar dazzled in song after song.

Saskatoon StarPhoenix
By Matt Olson
May 13, 2018

Shania Twain entered SaskTel Centre through throngs of screaming fans like she was royalty.

The Canadian superstar proceeded to spend the night reminding everyone why she’s considered by many to be the reigning queen of country music. 

Twain’s Now tour, to promote the album of the same name, rolled into Saskatoon on Saturday. The concert started strong with Twain’s opener and new single “Life’s About to Get Good.” But the crowd really exploded with cheers for “Up” a couple songs later, and that energy never went away.

The show was filled with extravagance and punctuated with genuine emotion. The large, moving video cubes made a dynamic stage for Twain and her performers. And when two dancers walked onstage wearing harnesses adorned with dozens of silver helium balloons during “Up” (yes, there was balloon choreography), it set the flashy and fun tone for the evening.

The first half of the show traded betweens songs from her new and old albums, from the new “Kiss and Make Up” to country favourites such as “Any Man of Mine” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” The second half hit highs with a glowing light show to accompany “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” Twain owned the stage, flirting and joking with her crew and the audience.

Most noticeable was the difference between Twain’s older and newer music. The audience cheered for every song, but they screamed for the classics. It’s no coincidence that Twain saved “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “Rock this Country” for the end.

About halfway through the show, Twain paused to offer her condolences for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Having lost both of her parents in a car accident, the superstar spoke to the audience from a personal place.

“It’s really devastating… I share your pain,” Twain said.

Her next song, the powerful ballad “I’m Alright,” was met with a chant of “Let’s go Broncos!” to accompany the applause. 

Opener Bastian Baker started the night off with a charming acoustic opening set that contrasted well with Twain’s powerful hits. Twain brought the Swiss singer back later to help perform the duet “Party for Two” — to the audience’s delight.

As Twain waved her final goodbye to the audience, there was an irrepressible energy in the arena.  Many fans thought they might never get to see her perform live again after she’d announced her previous tour would be her last.

If this is indeed the last time she tours through Saskatoon, it was unquestionably a performance to remember her by.