Shania Twain embarks on final concert tour
By L. Kent Wolgamott
September 29, 2015
IF YOU GO
What: Shania Twain
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 7
Where: Times Union Center, Albany
Tickets: $46-$136. Call 800-745-3000.
ALBANY - Shania Twain hadn’t been on tour for more than decade before she began her “Rock This Country” excursion this summer. And she doesn’t plan to ever be back on the road again.
The ‘90s country star, who has sold more than 85 million albums, isn’t quitting music altogether. But she says she’s shutting down touring shortly after her current “Rock This Country” trek plays the Times Union Center on Wednesday.
“This is certainly not my retirement from music,” Twain said in a telephone news conference. “I will be doing music, I’m sure, until the day I die. I love music too much. The performance side of it, I feel is a phase in my life. I’ve been doing it for so long. I’m 50 this year. I’ve been on stage since I was eight years old and I’ve really put in my fair share of performance. I’m feeling that the time is just right now to do other things musically.
“I want to write more. I want to make lots more records. I miss making records and I haven’t made enough records in my life and my career,” she said. “I also want to write songs for other artists that are coming up and I want to sit back and enjoy them having their moment on the stage and being proud that I’m being proud of their success. That’s a whole exciting phase for me that I look forward to. I just see it as an evolution in my career really.”
In fact, Twain has begun recording a new album – her first since 2002’s “Up!” Generally artists wait until the record is completed before touring. But the timing didn’t work for Twain, who is coming off a two-year residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
That means that Twain’s show will be a retrospective affair. “It’s the classic stuff that everybody knows. That’s what this tour is all about – bringing the hits to everybody, bringing them to their hometowns,” she said. “For me, this tour is about reuniting with the fans. The reason for the tour is to say goodbye to the stage on a high, with my friends, with my fans.”
Those hits, which started in 1995 with her “The Woman in Me” as Twain’s music blurred the then-sharper distinctions between country, rock and pop – foreshadowing the crossover that typifies the sound of country’s current hitmakers.
“I never really felt it was necessary to box anything in,” she said.
“It was a lot more fun to watch things evolve and cross boundaries. That’s what I ended up doing in my own career. I never saw myself as any one thing and I never labeled my own self specifically or wrote music for any one genre. It was a pleasant surprise when my music ended up a cross-genre thing.”
Twain’s string of hits ended just over a decade ago, about the same time she left road. Initially, she took a hiatus from touring to concentrate on being a mom, raising her son who had just started school when her last tour ended.
That hiatus grew longer, and along the way there was major upheaval when Twain discovered in 2008 her then-husband, producer Robert “Mutt” Lange was having an affair. The couple divorced, and in soap-opera-worthy turn, Twain began dating and in 2011 married Frederic Thiebaud, whose former wife, Marie-Anne, was having the affair with Lange and had been Twain’s best friend.
Then came another huge scare, as Twain began to lose her voice, not just for singing, but even speaking.
“It was very, very scary,” Twain said. “It went way beyond not being able to perform. It certainly went beyond concerns for my career and not having a career as a singer. It was a part of me that I was losing, like losing a hand or something. It was going through a grieving process. I really thought I lost my voice, the voice that I knew, the voice I once had. It was very scary and it was just something I was having a terrible time coming to terms with. Before I gave up on it completely, luckily, I found the courage to tackle it and take it on.”
Lesions were found on Twain’s vocal cords and she was diagnosed with dysphonia. Once treated, Twain was able to resume her singing career, opting first for a two year residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
Twain promises the most dynamic show she’s ever done with top-flight production as she wraps up her touring career with a bang.
“I think it will be memorable. It’s going to rock,” she said. “I’m in a good spirit for it. I really feel pumped to get out there and go to their towns and bring them this whole new show, this big sign-off, this big farewell.”