REVIEW: Shania Twain at Utilita Arena Birmingham - What an amazing party with wild costumes & more
and live on Freeview channel 276
Ahead of Shania’s appearance on stage, the anticipation in the 15,000 strong crowd rose. Someone must have tipped the crowd off, as eyes eagerly scanned the auditorium to see where this living legend would appear.
Wheeled into the crowd in a white draped cage, Shania Twain popped out from beneath a curtain like the most glamorous Jack-in-the-Box you’ve ever seen. Dressed in a black wrap coat, sunglasses and supersized blonde wig, this five-time Grammy Award winning superstar kicked off the show with “Waking Up Dreaming”, featured on the 2022 album after which this tour is named.
Moving slowly to her rightful position on stage, she disappeared whilst the animated set played a video of a rocket shaking before ‘Boom’ take-off, where Shania appeared on stage in an outfit she would have been chastised for in her early days.
Playing “Up!” from the 2002 album of the same name, it was impossible to peel your eyes away from this doll in a getup of black underwear made more modest with the addition of a matching jacket, sweeping chiffon cape and heeled boots; someone had clearly done a great job of handling the wardrobe.
Next we heard party ripping tune “Don’t be Stupid (You Know I Love You)”, followed by “I’m Gonna Getcha Good” where Shania draped herself over a motorbike in reference to the original music video.
Time to change the pace, she slowed things down and spoke to the crowd to introduce “Come on Over”, which was released 25 years ago and is the album with the landmark anniversary celebrated on this tour. Accompanying herself on the guitar, she reminded us that she’s not just a pretty face and a stunning voice, but a musician too.
The night swung from up tempo to slow ballads, covering her greatest hits from over three decades. These were belters only, much to the delight of a crowd that were here for a good time - with many dressed like they were at a hen do.
Sentimental weepers like “You’re Still the One” and “From This Moment On” may have been my personal favourites, showcasing the strength and emotion of her voice and writing, but the crowd much preferred the hip swinging, boot stomping tunes that took us straight to a Nashville barn dance.
Bringing back support act Breland for newest single “Inhale/Exhale AIR” and “Party for Two”, it’s worth giving a special mention to the backing singers stroke dancers who did everything from lifting the Country Music Queen gracefully from the floor or motorbike, to entertaining the crowd with some incredible moves that deserve to be in the spotlight.
Shania also brought a fan to the stage for a duet (unsurprisingly the fan opted for a selfie instead) and interacted with the crowd throughout asking for sing-a-long’s at many points in the evening. For her encore, it’s no surprise that she chose “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man I Feel Like a Woman”, performing the former in the original costume from the video (look it up if you can’t remember).
The show felt like a party from start to finish, with the atmosphere intensified by the wild costumes and even wilder moves being pulled by the crowd; everyone was here for a fun night. As the show ended and the audience spilled out into the night air, feathers, cowboy hats, boots and leopard print could be seen across the city. Shania – thanks for the memories.