Shania Twain at Verizon Arena: A Review
By Bill Paddack
June 13, 2018
“... The beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”
- Audrey Hepburn
Talk about aging beautifully. Shania Twain has it down.
At 52, the country superstar is back on tour and both looking and sounding great. She brought her "Now" Tour to Verizon Arena in North Little Rock on Tuesday night and wowed a crowd of 11,118 with many of her top hits from the 1990s as well as a number of songs off her 2017 album, also named “Now.”
Of course, those fans were also delighted by the stunning slinky, shimmery, flowing outfits, the backup singers, the dancers, Twain’s terrific band members and their mastery of multiple instruments, the first-rate opening act, the artist flying across the arena on a swing, a blast of streamers, an ever-changing light show and a confetti boom.
It was all quite a show, more a Vegas-type extravaganza than a concert.
But through it all, the music was still the highlight.
Three songs back-to-back-to-back near the middle of her roughly two-hour show proved just how much the Canadian sensation is still appreciated and adored and how, despite all she’s been through in the past several years (divorce, medical problems, etc.), she’s still very much a show-stopping performer. Her voice is a little more mature, maybe a little – what’s the word? – huskier or throaty. And that’s just fine. Maybe even better.
Those three hits from her heyday – “Any Man of Mine,” “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” and “Honey, I’m Home” – had many of her fans standing, dancing, singing along and pretty much worked into a fever pitch.
And speaking of boots, she simply dazzled in those high red ones. Well, OK, she dazzled in all those outfits.
A pair of songs into her act, Twain bragged on the Central Arkansas crowd and its thunderous greeting. “You guys have made my day,” she said. “Two songs and I’m so pumped.” She was literally all over the place – on stage, on a higher platform, down in the audience, flying in that swing while singing the emotional “Soldier” – and made it all work.
Just as she also moved easily from slower, poignant numbers like “Poor Me” (a song she said was therapeutic for her) to the upbeat “Don’t Be Stupid.” She saved “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “Rock This Country” for her encore.
And at one point Twain admitted: “It’s fun being me.” Maybe it took her awhile to get back to that place in her life, but we’re glad she did. It’s good to have her back.
Swiss singer/songwriter Bastian Baker opened the show and impressed in a short six-song set that was highlighted by his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as well as the catchy “Tattoo on My Brain” and his new single, “All Around Us.” He later joined Twain back on stage for a pair of songs, including a fun “Party for Two.”