Shania Twain review – soaring self-confidence leaves fans much impressed
A Shania Twain concert can only end one way. The Canadian country star has a host of Grammy-winning, record-breaking singles, but two songs from her double-diamond 1997 album Come On Over just keep getting bigger and, obviously, she’s saved them for last. Just in case it’s not obvious, Twain’s also wearing the hooded leopard-print catsuit straight from the video for sarcastic anthem That Don’t Impress Me Much.
A roaring crowd hits every beat of the song’s rejections of rocket scientists, Brad Pitt-level hunks and … men with cars, but Twain plays it admirably cool in the face of rising hysteria, somehow managing to high kick with nonchalance. She stalls a little before the finale of the finale, indulging in what she’s about to unleash. Finally: “Let’s go, Glasgow.”
Man! I Feel Like A Woman! has a riff so instantly recognisable that it feels like a fanfare, and this cowboy-booted crowd, at the first of three arena shows she’ll play in the city, embrace her call to “go totally crazy”. It would be easy to lean on blockbusters such as these, but Twain’s Queen of Me tour positions them as cherries on top of two full hours stacked with hits, zany cowboys and aliens staging, and towering self-confidence.
Queen of Me, which came out this year, is her third UK No 1 album and although she doesn’t perform the title track, its celebration of autonomy shapes the entire night. Opening with new single Waking Up Dreaming, she pops out of a box in the middle of the crowd like a magician’s assistant, proclaiming that “tonight we’re making our way to Mars”. Career-spanning hits from Up! to Any Man of Mine to You’re Still the One are loosely threaded together with visuals of aliens invading a saloon: a kitschy metaphor for Shania’s outlier status, despite her enormous success. Still criticised for being too rock, too pop, too country, too risqué, tonight Twain dances in front of a huge Explicit Content sign. “I’ve never had so much fun on stage,” she says earnestly. “I wish I’d learned to do this so many years earlier.”