Oversized: Shania Twain brings a touch of Las Vegas in the Lanxess Arena Cologne
By Erik Winkes
October 9, 2018
It took 14 years for Shania Twain to return to Germany after her first tour. The "Now" tour is a mix of hits and new songs, which in most parts are exciting, but also leave a few question marks behind.
In the far from sold out Cologne Lanxess Arena, in which the upper ranks are suspended, the spectators eagerly await the big comeback of Shania Twain.
How does she sound today?
After Shania Twain said that she almost lost her voice years ago after a Lyme disease illness, a comeback was out of the question. How does she sound now, many years later?
Shania Twain did not know any fear of contact at her 2004 concert, and at least that has not changed. The march over the grandstand through the audience is typical for a star to touch. Apart from their music, this closeness to the audience has always been their big plus. In the course of the concert she gets fans on stage and takes selfies with them.
Country with rock
Already at the opening it becomes clear that Shania Twain sounds much more rocking live than on the studio recordings. Her voice still sounds powerful, but not as perfect as it was 14 years ago. The vocal color is a bit lower, but still has that special, distinctive sound.
The stage show is a spectacle of five video cubes, which regroup again and again and also serve as a tribune for the musicians. A touch of Las Vegas wafts through the Lanxess Arena. The mood is at a good level right from the beginning, although the slightly older audience is not as enthusiastic as it is used by younger visitors.
The rocking touch gives "Do not Be Stupid" (You Know I Love You) "a fascinating new flair and also the catchy guitar solo in" That Do not Impress Me Much "is energetic and heats up the audience.
The atmosphere is quite different with "Any Man Of Mine". Now the music really sounds like classical country - the sound is dominated by Fiddlen and Shania Twain is in the black country dress on the stage. The atmosphere of a western saloon can be felt in the hall.
Also, "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" sounds more like classical country, but is much faster and invites you to dance through its catchy rhythm. Almost all the spectators stand and clap as the mood reaches a first climax with "Honey, I'm Home". With the swelling guitars there are also first standing ovations.
The big question marks
Despite an overall good show, some aspects are not perfectly implemented, such as the song selection and the performance of various titles. Just as Shania Twain has been away from the stage for so long and apparently not many younger fans have come along, she should celebrate her big hits.
In Germany, Shania Twain had four top ten hits. So why does she burn "Ka-Ching!", Which is sung by the backing singers as an interlude, while she moves to the back second stage? Such a hit the audience want to hear from her own.
Even the mega hit "Forever And For Always" only runs as a recorded video in a short presentation of their video hits - the audience had certainly imagined otherwise. One can only speculate: Does not the state of her voice after the illness more?
Almost too perfect and very close to the original sounds, however, "I'm Gonna Getcha Good", although her voice has changed significantly. Was there any technical help with this song?
Acoustic song and duet fireworks
Despite some weaknesses, there are several big moments this evening. The acoustic version of "You're Still The One" stands out very well: just Shania Twain with guitar, beautiful and emotional. The dreamy ballad "From This Moment On" is also a vocal highlight.
Giant enthusiasm triggers "Party For Two", a fast up-tempo song that Shania Twain originally sang with Mark McGrath and Billy Currington in 2004 and accompanied her support act Bastian Baker from Switzerland. The audience goes with enthusiasm, at "Swingin 'With My Eyes Closed," the fists go up to the rhythm.
With "Blue Storm", an instrumental bombast firework, it's the final. The dice pile up. On a cube stands the violinist, on the second highest cube in almost 10 meters height is now the mobile drum set.
The drummer whirls with full force, while down the two guitarists rock in front of the blue light tower at full throttle. The last song "Man! I Feel Like A Woman!" ends a spectacular show that offers 90 minutes of good entertainment, but by no means totally thrilled.
The price of the absence
For a perfect show, Shania Twain would have to make the audience even more emotional by performing all their big hits. Actually, their music fits into the time: The modern country sound is cool, booming not only in the US, but also for years in the UK. There is much more, also in Germany.
Shania Twain could be a driving force in making modern country in Germany more popular. But due to their illness, it is especially lacking in permanent live presence. The empty upper rank in otherwise well-filled arena is a sign that the show is a bit oversized for Germany.
Life's About To Get Good / Come On Over / Up! / Do not Be Stupid (You Know I Love You) / That Do not Impress Me Much / Any Man Of Mine / Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under? / Honey, I'm Home / I'm Alright / Ka-Ching! (Interlude) / You're Still The One / More Fun / From This Moment On / I'm Gonna Getcha Good / Party For Two / Swingin 'With My Eyes Closed / (If You're Not In It For Love) I' m Outta Here! / Blue Storm (Interlude) / Man! I Feel Like A Woman!