Shania's still the one they want

Winnipeg Sun
By Darryl Sterdan, Postmedia Network
June 15, 2015

Turns out you can go big AND go home.

Donít believe me? Just ask any one of the 12,000 or so fans who took in Shania Twainís Rock This Country Tour stop at MTS Centre on Monday. They witnessed it first-hand ó in all its oversized, over-the-top glory.

And thatís just how it should have been. After all, the 49-year-old country-pop superstar just spent two years working the big room on the Vegas strip. So you would expect her first Canadian trek in eons (and perhaps last, if you buy the hype) to be a Sin City-sized extravaganza of glitz, glamour, grandeur and gizmos ó with a side of good-ole-gal humility, of course.

Twain, bless her heart, did not disappoint. Making an entrance fit for a headliner (or perhaps a horror movie starlet), the recently blond bombshell ó clad in a spangly red minidress, black-fringed biker jacket, shades and thigh-high leather boots ó rose from beneath the fog-shrouded stage on a massive metallic platform, belting out the tourís title track as fireworks blasted away and huge lighting rigs rose and fell, bathing the audience in swirling shafts of red and white.

That was just the start. As Twain and her septet (including two fiddlers and a pedal-stell player) worked their way through her list of hits ó Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under, Iím Gonna Getcha Good!, Youíre Still the One, That Donít Impress Me Much, Man! I Feel Like a Woman! and more ó every song included its own little bit of crazy: Fireworks and pyro here, shirtless cowboys dancing on video screens there, the musiciansí multi-tiered platforms moving everywhere. During Any Man of Mine, she was wheeled around the arena in a Plexiglas-walled Shaniamobile with lighted floor; for Up!, she rode a saddle on out over the crowd on a telescoping arm while laser beams darted about. And of course, she sported a series of sparkly, saucy outfits (though not as many as expected).

It wasnít a non-stop parade of excess, however. Songs like I Ainít No Quitter brought some traditional country swing to the mix. The mandatory mid-set acoustic section made things a little more intimate. And between songs, Twain chatted about how happy she was to be in Canada and how much fun she was having and how sheís really just regular folk like us.

Except she does things just a little bigger.