Shania Twain pumped to visit Perth

The West Australian
By Vanessa Williams
March 4, 2018

It may have taken close to two decades but country pop queen Shania Twain is set to mark her first visit to WA in November when she begins the Australian leg of her highly anticipated Now world tour in Perth.

It was in 1999 that Twain was last on Australian soil for her debut Come on Over world tour, albeit skipping Perth.

Admittedly for the 52-year-old singer, her highly anticipated return Down Under — and her first trip to WA — have been a long time coming.

“It’s huge for me, I haven’t been to Australia for a long time,” the Canadian native enthuses.

“There’s so much of Australia that I haven’t seen and I’m going to have family with me who have never been there before so they’re really excited. We’re making an event of it on my end as well because it’s such a special place.”

With a few days to spare on tour to fit in some sightseeing, Twain is eager to check out what is renowned as one of the biggest drawcards for tourists visiting Perth — our beaches.

“I’ve never been to any of the beaches, which I know are amazing, I’ve only visited those places in photographs,” she says.

“So Perth, of course, will be awesome for that. I’ve been horseback riding when I was last in Australia and seen some of the countryside but this time I have a tonne of time in between. Last time I whizzed in and out, so this time I’m going to take a few days to look around.”

Despite still holding the record title as the highest-selling female country artist of all time, a lot has happened since Twain’s last Australian tour, most notably in her personal life.

In 2008, Twain discovered her husband and business partner Robert Lange, also the father of her 16-year-old son Eja, had been unfaithful with her best friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud.

It took some time for Twain to recover from Lange’s affair and losing her best friend, so much so that she took a step away from the music scene which many described as her “premature retirement”.

But, like the strong woman who emanates through her music, Twain eventually bounced back.

She found love with her now husband Frederic Thiebaud, ironically the ex-husband of her former best friend. The couple have been happily married since 2011.

Another part of Twain’s healing process was immersing herself back into her music. It eventually culminated in her fifth studio album, Now, which was released in September and topped the ARIA charts at No.1.

“It was very necessary for me to go on that journey because writing is very much my therapy,” she says.

“If I don’t record or release songs that I write, the process of writing the music is already a huge form of therapy.

“It’s self help I guess...Then sharing the songs with the public is another layer of that therapy because it’s as if you let it go, you get it all out there and then you let it go, so it’s a cool process.”

Not only did it mark her long-awaited career comeback and first album in 15 years, it also spurred Twain to get back on the touring circuit.

Her Now world tour kicks off in May with shows in the US and her native Canada, before making its way to Europe then Australia and New Zealand.

“It very much so feels like the right time to go on tour, I mean I’m looking forward to performing my new music on stage,” she says. “The timing is excellent in the sense that I’ve been more isolated with the recording of the album and the making of the music in a studio environment, and now it just feels really appropriate to get out there and do it all live.

“It’s very exciting to be touring with new music in the sense that I’m experiencing a new novelty phase that I haven’t had in a long time because I haven’t made a new record in so long.

“I’m going to enjoy that, there’s an excitement to that. There’s a honeymoon period of having new music that is ideal to be able to go out and share that on tour with the people, so it’s good timing for me to be on tour and getting the chance to sing the new music live.”

Fans can also expect Twain to revisit some of her older material — the singer gets a huge kick out of performing her biggest hits from feisty tracks such as Man! I Feel Like a Woman and That Don’t Impress Me Much to softer ballads You’re Still the One and From This Moment On.

“I’m going to do all the classic stuff, I love people to be able to sing along and reminisce with me, I love performing the stuff that everyone already knows,” she says.

“Man! I Feel Like a Woman is always fun, I never get tired of it. And because so much of my music is up-tempo, the show is always in a climax, it doesn’t slow down much, so once we get rolling, it’s rolling ... I never get bored no matter how many times I do a song.

“There’s no bigger compliment than seeing how the audience are so energised and really getting into your music, the pay off is instant.

“At the same time I will be playing the new music for the first time on tour and the show itself will be high energy, most of my music is up-tempo, a lot of dancing and singing and there’s going to be a lot of excitement.”

Twain is in the best shape of her life as she prepares to embark on her colossal world tour.

And while she admits going on tour is a huge feat for any artist, where does she find the energy and motivation to keep going?

“I would say the fans are everything,” she says.

“Sometimes you’re not feeling well or you’re feeling tired because you’ve been travelling so much, so from one day to the next your energy levels can be unpredictable on tour.

“But it’s the fans who are the constant, it’s their energy that is the constant and you just forget about your own personal energy when you get out of bed and you ride with the crowd’s energy to be honest.”

She adds that having family by her side also gives her the extra boost she needs to keep the momentum going.

“I don’t like to be alone on tour, I don’t like to travel without family, it’s really lonely and it’s already very isolating,” she says.

“You have to be very disciplined, at least I do. I have to be disciplined with what I eat, what time I go to sleep ... so it’s just essential for me to have my own level of personal connection outside of the travel and the shows, it’s very important to have a family member or two along.”

Shania Twain plays Perth Arena on November 30. Tickets are available from Ticketek.