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Concert Reviews:
Shania Twain rocks this Palace with hits-heavy show
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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AUBURN HILLS -- Shania Twain has said her Rock This Country Tour will be her last -- a claim that also curries skepticism when it comes to show biz.

But if it does prove to be Twain's farewell trek, she's going out on a winning note.

The Windsor-born singer, whose fusion of country, pop and rock made her a multi-platinum superstar during the 90s and early 00s, brought her latest brand of spectacle to town Saturday night, July 25, as part of her first tour since 2004. During the interim she went on hiatus to raise her son, divorced and almost lost her voice -- which on Saturday was a bit huskier than before and sounded road-strained on a couple of songs. But that hardly diminished the appeal of Twain's high-energy 19-song, hour-and-46-minute show that offered plenty of eye candy but also a more genuine musical experience than we usually get from pop divadom.

Unlike many of her (mostly younger) peers, Twain didn't populate her show with dancers or large-scale production numbers. She did change outfits four times, rode around the edge of the Palace floor on a cart, brandishing a selfie stick, during "Any Man of Mine" and flew above the crowd on a faux mechanical bull for "Up!" There were pyrotechnics, flames and lasers, as well as prepared footage on a massive rear-stage video screen.

But none of that eclipsed Twain and her seven-member band as they cranked out hits such as "Rock This Country," "Honey, I'm Home," "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under," "Love Gets Me Every Time" and a rocked-up arrangement of "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!" She also dug into her catalog for first-time inclusions of "I Ain't No Quitter" and "Party For Two," with opening act Gavin DeGraw covering the duet parts recorded for different versions by Billy Currington and Mark McGrath.

Twain also debuted a brand new song, "Today Is Your Day," during a short acoustic set that also included "No One Needs to Know" and "You're Still the One," while the show finished with a bomastic, torchy take on "From This Moment On" and high-octane renditions of "That Don't Impress Me Much," "(If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here!" and an encore of "Man! I Feel LIke a Woman!," with Twain in black and silver dominatrix regalia for the latter.

Twain didn't play the farewell card during the show; in fact, she kept her comments brief and concise, explaining at one point that the time away exacerbated her natural stage fright. But on Saturday Twain proved she's managed to get over it -- and then some.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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