Country music fans welcomed Shania Twain’s “Rock this Country” tour to Madison, Wis., on Sept. 27. The tour is Shania’s first live jaunt in over a decade, while it also ushered in a new era for the Kohl Center. The University of Wisconsin campus sports complex has not seen a live concert grace its environs in half a decade. The combination made for an electrifying evening of live music, with an excess of 9,000 in attendance for the show that also featured opener Gavin DeGraw.
Supported by a seven-piece band, the Queen of Country Pop surfaced from below the fog-engulfed stage and continued to rise well above the crowd as she opened with “Rock This Country!” Ex-husband Mutt Lange’s presence was felt throughout the show, with sticky-sweet “Honey, I’m Home” showcasing the pop-influence in her music. However, it’s those recognizable pop-hooks that catapulted her to superstardom and nearly filled an arena without any hint of new music. The boisterous crowd that appeared to span a mininum six-decade age difference was simply reinforcement of that success.
While Shania has not toured recently, she is fresh off a residency in Las Vegas. Her time in Sin City was obvious in the show–a two-hour spectacle that incorporated lasers, smoke, well-timed pyrotechnics, mechanical risers and plenty of glitter. She even took to the air while saddled upon a bull that was conveniently attached to a crane (sadly, no photo evidence) during “Up!”
The night’s biggest exclmations might have come during songs from “Come On Over,” drawing huge crowd response on “You’re Still the One” “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “From This Moment On.” She did take it down a notch for acoutic performances of “Today Is Your Day” and “No One Needs to Know” late in the set. Opener Gavin DeGraw also joined her on “Party For Two,” handling Billy Currington’s role on the duet.
Shania announced that this will be her grand farewell. Given that she’s sold over 85-million records through only a handful of studio releases, and toured on three of four albums prior to her current stint, fans should make an effort to catch this tour. Only a few dates remain as the tour sweeps to the Northeast, concluding in her homeland of Canada on October 27 in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Remaining Shania Twain “Rock This Country” tour dates:
Sept. 29 – Peoria, Ill. @ Peoria Civic Center
Sept. 30 – Columbus, Ohio @ Nationwide Arena
Oct. 2 – Allentown, Pa. @ PPL Center
Oct. 3 – Buffalo, N.Y. @ First Niagara Center
Oct. 6 – Manchester, N.H. @Verizon Wireless Arena
Oct. 7 – Albany, N.Y. @ Times Union Center
Oct. 9 – Quebec City, Quebec @ Videotron Centre
Oct. 11 – Toronto, Ontario @ Air Canada Centre
Oct. 18 – Regina, Saskatchewan @ Brandt Centre
Oct. 19 – Regina, Saskatchewan @ Brandt Centre
Oct. 21 – Grande Praire, Alberta @ Revolution Place
Oct. 22 – Prince George, B.C. @ CN Centre
Oct. 24 – Victoria, B.C. @ Save On Foods Memorial Centre
Oct. 25 – Victoria, B.C. @ Save On Foods Memorial Centre
Oct. 27 – Kelowna, B.C. @ Prospera Place