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Review: Shania Twain's NOW tour hits Rogers Arena


Vancouver Sun
By Stuart Derdeyn
May 5, 2018


The return of Shania Twain to the stage is a big deal. The best-selling female country star of all time released Now to big sales, good press and charting singles.

So why was it so quiet outside at Rogers Arena before the first night of her two Vancouver shows?

A ticket reseller confirmed sales were sluggish. Maybe two shows was … ambitious?

Those inside the building, though, were ready to hear the Timmins, Ont., star belt out all the hits and more. Always a crossover artist, the pre-show playlist boasted tunes by Beyoncé, Pharrell … all the top pop acts of the day. And, based on one cowboy boot-wearing, big hat-sporting fan on the floor, you can line dance to pretty much anything.

Cool. Life was already getting good when Queen’s We Will Rock You, the stomp-and-clap, was met with a big cheer. Freddie, you are missed.

The silver dress and matching sparkling platforms Twain wore when she hit the stage would’ve made the late Queen singer proud. Who knew she was a glam rocker?

The Now tour is a huge production. Five mobile hydraulic cubes featured constant projections. The band, consisting of a drummer, two guitarists/fiddlers and an accordionist/fiddler, were kept busy. And an additional front-of-stage, leopard-print curtain displayed even more film projections, including a giant modern dancer during Poor Me.

This new tune probably has one of the best lyrics she has ever written and she really gave it her all. Then it was back to the party.

Twain talked a lot about coming back from a hard time and her life’s course over the past decade. It has been well-documented how her divorce, complete vocal paralysis due to complications of Lyme disease, and abusive upbringing were major hurdles to clear to come back.

She certainly appeared to be back in fine form as Saturday’s marathon 20-plus song set made abundantly clear. And the interlude with the drummer soloing and camera close ups on fans — both opposite and same-sex kissing — was one of the cuter catch-your-breath/costume change moments in an arena show.

The dance number for Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under with the metal spring mannequins was hilarious fun.

Shania now is every bit as good as Shania then.

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EDITED VERSION

The return of Shania Twain to the stage is a big deal. The best-selling female country star of all time released Now to big sales, good press and charting singles.

So why was it so quiet outside at Rogers Arena before the first night of her two Vancouver shows?

A ticket reseller confirmed sales were sluggish. And based on my own observations, I took their word with my own experience to judge the veracity of the statement.

What happened next was a first in decades of music reviewing.

The morning after the first Rogers Arena show, I heard from Shania Twain’s manager Scott Rodger who took exception to my comments:

“Thanks for the positive words. You do need to correct the “sluggish sales.” We all do our jobs to try and kill resellers ripping  people off and it works. We sold out 100% tonight. Wasn’t thin at all. We’re you actually here?? Tomorrow night we’re 98% sold. Not a sell out but I guarantee it will be tomorrow.”

To be really technical we were oversold by 37! We added extra rows of seats at the back. Top tier at the back we can’t sell due to restricted view because of our projectors and lights for B stage.”

Again, you’ll see accurate box office results in Billboard in due course. We’re super proud to publish them as it’s important that people know she’s doing 26,000 tickets this weekend.”

This reviewer stands corrected and actually has to admit that the reason it was slow outside before Shania’s appearance on stage was likely because the vast majority of the audience was already in the building.

I mean in the building on time!

Any regular arena show attendee in Vancouver knows this is beyond rare. As for the empty seats around me, they account for a smattering of the total attendance and people always shift around at gigs.

This show was not “sluggish.” The usual outdoor mingling was. 

Thanks Mr. Rodger and have a great tour.

Those inside the building, though, were ready to hear the Timmons, Ont., star belt out all the hits and more. Always a crossover artist, the pre-show playlist boasted tunes by Beyoncé, Pharrell … all the top pop acts of the day. And, based on one cowboy boot-wearing, big hat-sporting fan on the floor, you can line dance to pretty much anything.

Cool. Life was already getting good when Queen’s We Will Rock You, the stomp-and-clap, was met with a big cheer. Freddie, you are missed.

The silver dress and matching sparkling platforms Twain wore when she hit the stage would’ve made the late Queen singer proud. Who knew she was a glam rocker?

The Now tour is a huge production. Five mobile hydraulic cubes featured constant projections. The band, consisting of a drummer, two guitarists/fiddlers and an accordionist/fiddler, were kept busy. And an additional front-of-stage, leopard-print curtain displayed even more film projections, including a giant modern dancer during Poor Me.

This new tune probably has one of the best lyrics she has ever written and she really gave it her all. Then it was back to the party.

Twain talked a lot about coming back from a hard time and her life’s course over the past decade. It has been well-documented how her divorce, complete vocal paralysis due to complications of Lyme disease, and abusive upbringing were major hurdles to clear to come back.

She certainly appeared to be back in fine form as Saturday’s marathon 20-plus song set made abundantly clear. And the interlude with the drummer soloing and camera close ups on fans — both opposite and same-sex kissing — was one of the cuter catch-your-breath/costume change moments in an arena show.

The dance number for Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under with the metal spring mannequins was hilarious fun.

Shania now is every bit as good as Shania then.

.