Disappointing Shania Twain rarely knows how to touch fans with her songs

By Saskia Bosch
October 12, 2018

REVIEW - 2 out of 5 stars

Who is the best-selling country artist of all time? Carrie Underwood? LeAnn Rimes? You might think that. But it is the Canadian Shania Twain, with more than a hundred million sold records. It is not surprising that her name does not come to mind so quickly. The singer has been out of the picture for many years. Health complaints and a traumatic divorce ensured that Twain could not concentrate on her music for a long time.

But last she released an album for the first time in fifteen years ('Now') and in the context of her new tour she visited the Netherlands again for the first time in fourteen years. In the Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, the swirling spring-in-the-field of yesteryear turned out to be an aged woman in long glittery robes. Fine. That did not have to stand in the way of a good concert.

But right away at the first songs, Twain sounded rather dull, as the whole show exuded a certain amount of caution. It seemed as if the 53-year-old artist always had the handbrake on. Vocally she sounded reasonable, but unfortunately it seemed that she did not sing all songs live.

What also did not help were the many costume changes, which took the pace out of the show. And why did we have to watch old clips with Twain halfway through the show? We did not come to Amsterdam for that, did we? We can also do that on YouTube.

The most disappointing thing, however, was that Twain could rarely affect you with her songs. A poor sound tuning and a pretty bombastic instrumentation ensured that even her most personal songs left you largely untouched.  So the old hit 'You're still the one', which Twain sat on a small stage between the audience, was one of the few songs where something of the sparkle of the former Twain could be heard.

Did not the Canadian do anything good at all? Yes, she turned out to be a charming performer who pulled out all the stops to please her fans. So she played many of her biggest hits. And up to two times fans were allowed to come out on stage for a selfie, a hug and to tell what her music means to them. They were feel-good moments enthusiastically received by fans, but they could not hide the fact that Twain's performance was not the triumphant return that had been hoped for.