Review: Shania Twain reigns in action-packed, 2-hour Victoria show

Victoria Times Colonist
By Mike Devlin
October 24, 2015


Shania Twain

When: Saturday

Where: Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)

In a word, wow.

That’s the quickest way to describe the spectacle that was Shania Twain’s concert on Saturday, her first appearance in Victoria and a concert that must be considered among the most vibrant and lavish ever to take place inside the Blanshard Street arena.

The expectation going in was that Twain would bring her considerable coterie of hits and a stage show to match, which she did. But the scope and size of the production she brought to Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on Saturday night was unexpected.

The crowd came ready to party. Even Twain appeared a bit surprised at the rapturous reception she received from the sold-out audience of 5,714. “I want to thank you for such a warm welcome,” she said. “This is so great. I just want to stand here and look at you a little bit.”

She hardly stood there — but she did take photos with fans, and sign autographs for those upfront. “I’m a mother, I can do 10 things at once,” she quipped.

During her hit, Any Man of Mine, Twain travelled the length of the floor on a makeshift cart, escorted all the while by her security. The Twainiacs would have mobbed her, had they been given the chance. She was like a queen enjoying her reign on this night, and the star of the night played the role with the right rhythm.

She never came across as entitled. Rather, Twain seemed to genuinely enjoy her time on stage, and gave what appeared to be her all during an action-packed two-hour, 18-song show.

She played Thursday in Prince George, but there was no dip in energy two nights later. Backed by a great sounding seven-piece band who gave her a few minutes to breathe backstage, Twain — sporting a bedazzled Rolling Stones shirt early on — never stopped. Nor did the hits.

Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?, I’m Gonna Getcha Good!, Up!, You’re Still the One, From This Moment On, Man! I Feel Like a Woman! and That Don’t Impress Me Much were highlights across the board, thanks to the way in which they were delivered — with ultimate energy.

On occasion, she blew a tire or two. I Ain’t No Quitter, for all its twang, didn’t work, while acoustic renditions of Today Is Your Day and No One Needs To Know — though sung with passion from Twain — halted the momentum somewhat. But those were minor flaws. But if spunk counts for anything in the concert world, Twain was pretty much perfect.

She opened the show with Joan Jett’s I Love Rock n Roll (the original, not a cover) followed by a video onstage of a glammed-up Twain in all her double video-screen glory. By the end of the first song, Rock This Country!, during which she rode an elevator platform to the lighting rig above the stage, while surrounded by blasts of pyrotechnics, all over-the-top accoutrements were accounted for. Throw in a few costume changes, and this Vegas veteran turned in an all-star performance.

On the whole, her voice is a little huskier than it was, but Twain is in fine shape as she heads toward the final concerts of her career. She will retire before 2016 is off the books, so the second of two Victoria shows (tonight at the arena) is a must-see.

Country fan or not, you owe it to yourself to see Twain before she’s done.