Shania Twain comes to New Jersey area on June 30, July 1 and 7

The Record
By Jim Beckerman
June 29, 2015

WHAT: Shania Twain, "Rock This Country Tour," with Gavin DeGraw.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Madison Square Garden), Wednesday (Nassau Coliseum), July 7 (Prudential Center).

WHERE: Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, Manhattan; Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale, N.Y.; Prudential Center, 165 Mulberry Street, Newark.

HOW MUCH: $50.50 to $151.00 ($49 to $149 at Nassau Coliseum).

What to bring on a long trip?

You or I might consider a paperback book. Shania Twain has a better idea.

"On one of my tours I took my horse with me," Twain says. "This was very unique, and took a bit of planning, but it was my way of getting physical exercise and getting out and seeing the landscape. And I love my horses."

Twain is not, she says, bringing her horse with her on her current "Rock This Country Tour," which has area dates on Tuesday (Madison Square Garden), Wednesday (Nassau Coliseum) and July 7 (Newarkís Prudential Center). But she will be bringing plenty of her hits, including ó based on shows so far ó songs like "That Donít Impress Me Much," "From This Moment On," and "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?"

This is the third concert tour for the Canadian country pop star, and her last hurrah as a touring artist, she says. After the "Rock This Country Tour" folds its tent in October, sheíll devote her time to recording (her fifth studio album is due out after the tour wraps), and writing songs for others.

"Itís certainly not my retirement from music," she says. "Iíll be doing music, Iím sure, until the day I die. I love music too much. The performance side of it, I feel, is a phase in my life. Iíve been doing it for so long. Iím 50 this year; Iíve been on stage since I was 8 years old. And Iíve really put in my fair share of performances. And feeling the time is just right now to do other things musically. I want to write more. I want to make lots more records Ö And I want to write songs for other artists, other artists that are coming up, and I want to sit back and enjoy them having their moment on stage and being proud that Iím part of their success."

The five-time Grammy winner is coming off of a two-year stint as an exclusive artist at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. But that, in turn, was coming off of a difficult eight-year-patch where she effectively retired from the stage and was nowhere to be seen.

In point of fact, she was in Switzerland. And what actually happened, as she revealed in 2011, is that her voice had begun to give way.

"It was very, very scary," she says. "It went beyond not being able to perform. It certainly went beyond concerns for my career or not having a career as a singer. It was a part of me that I was losing, like losing a hand or something. I was going through a grieving process. I really thought I had lost my voice, the voice that I knew and the voice I once had. It was very scary and something I was having a terrible time coming to terms with."

A clinic in Nashville discovered lesions on her vocal chords, which proved to be treatable, with rehabilitative therapy.

"Before I gave up on it completely, luckily I found the courage to tackle it and take it on," she says.

Sheíll certainly be going full-throttle in her new tour ó her first in 11 years ó which includes plenty of pyrotechnics and costume changes. But she also, she says, incorporates lessons in intimacy she learned during her two-year Vegas stint in a relatively small room. Whereas the three metro-area venues sheíll be playing in the coming days each seat about 20,000, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, belying its name, seats a somewhat less-colossal 4,100. A great experience, she says.

"The audiences there were very close to the stage," she says. "Thatís one of the luxuries I enjoyed, because I love seeing people up close and to touch the people and mingle with them. It was really cool to be able to do so much of that there Ö Itís something Iím going to take with me on the tour, even though it wonít be as easy to do because of the scale of the rooms and so on. Thatís been built into the production, to be able to do that."

She even finds room, in the middle of the "Rock This Country Tour," for a short acoustic set. But the main thrust of this farewell tour, she says, is the hits.

She may consider sneaking in a cut or two from her upcoming album toward the end of the run, she says (sheíll be working on it during her downtime between performances). But essentially, this is a best-of show.

"I donít want to bore people with songs they donít know," she says. "I know myself [that] when I go to a concert I want to hear the songs I know, and that Iím familiar with."

Bottom line, she wants to leave everyone with a great memory. Because even though she wonít have her horse with her this time, she will ó in effect ó be riding off into the sunset.

"The reason for this tour is just to say goodbye to the stage on a high, with my friends, with my fans," she says.