For the first time in 11 years, Shania Twain performed in Southern California when she brought her “Rock This Country Tour” to the Honda Center in Anaheim. In Shania’s own words, coming face to face with her SoCal fans after such a long time felt like a reunion of sorts.
And indeed, this reunion was worth the wait. The blonde-haired Shania pulled out all the stops for “Rock This Country,” her self-proclaimed farewell tour: a set list packed with all her greatest hits, fire, pyrotechnics, costume changes, a full band, video backgrounds and even a saddle she rode high above the stage. Sure, her vocals weren’t as strong as they were 12 years (perhaps due to the strain of arena touring, or perhaps related to her voice issues she wrote about in her memoir “From This Moment On”), but the fans didn’t seem to care. The concert’s theatrics as well as Twain’s high energy made up for anything that her voice was lacking.
It is worth noting that Shania’s use of theatrics seemed to serve a very important purpose: to bring her closer to her fans. She rode around the entire floor of the arena, selfie stick in hand, to get up close and personal with fans sitting far away from the stage. Even the aforementioned saddle she rode allowed her to get closer to her fans in the higher sections. She even stopped between songs to take a selfie with a mother and daughter standing near the end of the catwalk.
Indeed, Shania went out of her way, and used all the tools she had at her disposal, to show the fans they’re still the ones. However, perhaps her greatest gift of all was her well-balanced set list that included almost every one of her hits any fan would want to hear for the last time. The trifecta, however, had to be towards the end of the show when she sang 3 hits in a row from her record-breaking “Come On Over” album: “You’re Still The One,” “From This Moment On,” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” Shania sang “Still The One” seated playing guitar and her voice sounded stronger than it did for any other song she sang. It served as a fitting tribute to her fans who have stuck by her for the 18 plus years it’s been since that song came out, as well as a passionate goodbye to them.
As fans eagerly awaited her encore, it was clear that the one song they hadn’t yet heard was her other mega-hit “Man! I Feel Like A Woman,” and indeed this signature song was a perfect closer. It got the entire audience on its feet and in great spirits when the show ended. It was clear that despite only having four studio albums under her belt, Shania has built an impressive career and an amazing catalogue of songs that have kept fans interested even without a lot of new music or tours in recent years. The “Rock This Country” Tour once again proved that Shania Twain is a genre-shattering artist and talented performer who will definitely be missed by her fans.