SHANIA TWAIN // THE SSE HYDRO, GLASGOW

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BETWEEN CROWD SELFIES AND COSTUME CHANGES, DANCE ROUTINES AND VIDEO HITS, SHANIA TWAIN DELIVERS A JAW-DROPPING PERFORMANCE, SHOWING WHY SHE’S STILL THE ONE COUNTRY MUSIC FANS WANT TO SEE LIVE.

SHANIA TWAIN KICKING OFF HER UK ARENA TOUR AT GLASGOW’S SSE HYDRO - 19.09.2018  Picture By: Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage) - Getty Images

From the moment she enters the room all eyes are on her. She ambles through the crowd from the back of the arena, glistening in dark silver sequins from the neck down, her smile beaming from beneath the brim of her black Stetson. As she takes to the stage she gives a generous salute to the audience and they respond with an almighty cheer. Life’s About To Get Good; Shania is back!

After a 14 year absence from European stages, during which she suffered the loss of her voice through illness, and the breakdown of her marriage to creative partner Mutt Lange, the Canadian singer returned to Glasgow this week with her swag of hit singles and a poignant selection of 

With no fewer than 6 full costume changes throughout the show Shania dazzled in Swarovski crystals, a blue velvet catsuit, billowing veils of leopard print and “the original [coat] from that video, you know”. It was country glamour to the extreme, particularly when the stage was transformed into a luminous line-dancing-filled honky tonk for early cuts Any Man Of Mine and Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under. Just as slick as her wardrobe choices were the instrumentals that concealed her absence at the changes, providing opportunities to showcase the other talents involved, between musicians and dancers and those constructing an ever-changing set out of 12 ft high floating cubes, videos and projections, the production was always stunning.

Less smooth perhaps, but no less endearing, was Shania’s patter between songs. Her introduction to one of the new ones, Poor Me, seemed to ramble around the painful matter of her ex-husband’s infidelity without ever actually naming the subject. While Shania could simply and articulately express her delight at being back on stage and reconnecting with fans, she seemed uncomfortable to speak directly on the point of her personal suffering, instead allowing the songs to act as therapy.  Her affection for her audience however, was undeniably genuine as she dedicated an intimate performance of You’re Still The One to everyone assembled, and was reciprocated with their heartfelt chorus. She pulled fans out of the crowd to accompany her on stage, helping hold her guitar and carry the train of her gown as she moved between satellite and main stages. Posing for photos and listening to fan’s excitedly indecipherable musings was nothing of a gimmick or formality, but an honest and meaningful connection with the people who continue to support her career

The use of video projection to conceal yet another garment swap also served as a platform for some of the hits that didn’t feature in the live set such as The Woman In Me (Needs The Man In You) and uber-pop love song Forever And For Always which is almost too saccharine for 21st century audiences, despite the immense singalong that ensued. Reaching for the inevitable climax of the set required a bigger, even soppier ballad in the soaring From This Moment On which came from a near-static position at the edge of the stage before the party was resumed via a saucy duet with her tour support Bastian Baker. Foregoing any time-wasting encore routine she closed on a high, the crowd also in full voice on Man, I Feel Like A Woman.

If there were any doubts about Shania Twain’s return to touring after so many years away these have surely been put to rest by the extravagance of this performance; The Queen of Crossover, also the Comeback Queen!

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