Shania Twain loves rock ‘n’ roll. And the audience was tipped off to this early at Saturday night’s packed out Spokane Arena show, which was part of her Rock This Country tour. The bumper music prior to her arrival on stage was Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” When the Canadian singer finally came out from the depths of the stage singing her song “Rock This Country,” she wore a glitzy Rolling Stones shirt dress. At the end of the song she even turned around and pumped her pelvis at the exact moment pyrotechnics went off — a true rock star move if there ever was one.
BUT for all of the rock inspiration, rest assured that this was a country show. Although the crowd, wasn’t as decked out in proper country attire as expected.
Through the better part of an hour the singer, back on tour after an 11-year hiatus, took her adoring fans through a multitude of older, country-tinged hits — the ones not on her smash hit Still the One
album — such as “Any Man Of Mine,” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under.” There was one point when there were even three fiddle players on stage and some steel pedal guitar infusion.
It’s not always right and proper to talk about how sexy a female is. But in the case of Twain, at 50, the woman was the best looking person in Spokane last night. She strutted and stomped around the stage in thigh-high platform boots, flipped her amazing mane of hair around, sparkled and smiled, and looked like she was having a blast, even going into the audience at one point. She was a goddess in the spotlight, helped majorly by a rowdy backing band and a state-of-the-art stage set-up worthy of the Super Bowl.
Sure, her vocals aren’t exactly the same. But there was a point in the 2000s when the artist thought she’d never sing again. She had to relearn to sing. Every show Twain does now, she warms up for an hour beforehand. And certainly, there were some songs that seemed like she was saving it, holding back. But when “From This Moment” finally came, she hit every challenging note beautifully, her voice soaring the same as when she blasted onto the pop charts in the 1990s.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been up here and I really missed it,” Twain said from the stage. “When you don’t do something for a long time you lose your confidence. But I’m back.” She then literally got in a saddle that was connected to a crane that came out of the stage and she delivered her 2002 single “Up.”
This is supposedly Twain’s final tour. She wants to go home and finish her new record, some of which the audience got an acoustic taste of at last night’s show. These songs were all lovely, but the big hits, the ones we were all waiting for, came at the end. “You’re Still the One” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much” were out of control. But it was the encore, the one we had to wait what felt like an hour for, that brought down the house.
Once more, coming from a trap door in the stage, Twain said the words “Let’s go girls” and the screams were deafening. We all knew what was coming. For her final song, Twain thankfully wore a Xena Warrior-inspired swimsuit that highlighted most of her butt, and sang with much panache, fireballs and falling confetti, “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!”
Sunday night, Twain said she had come to throw the biggest party possible. She didn’t disappoint.