–By Ashley Cox
–Photos by Jen Cunningham
It was packed to the rafters Wednesday night for the Shania Now tour at the Enterprise Center, the venue formerly known as Scottrade Center. Doors opened at 7 p.m. but due to multiple Downtown events, construction, and street closers, parking lots were already packed.
The show’s opener, Bastian Baker took the stage promptly. A lone man with a guitar in a sizable venue could have been overpowered but Bastian kept the crowd’s attention. His beautiful voice, combined with model good looks, was all he needed but what made his ability to win over the crowd really shine was the absolute onslaught of amazingly corny jokes and puns between every song. He told us about his day touring Saint Louis and all of our great “Arch”-itecture. The crowd ate it up. Stand out songs were “Tattoo on my Brain” and a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.
Since the concert, I have been trying to write this review without sounding like a total fan girl but it is pretty much impossible. Since starting with Midwest Rewind, I have been lucky to see many of my favorite musicians that have spent lengthy time in the public eye and it is not uncommon to be slightly disappointed. There was no chance of that here.
The set started with the drummer pounding away on a platform in the center of the venue floor, everyone quickly stood to face her. Suddenly, a spotlight flipped to shine over my right shoulder, I turned around, and Shania FRICKIN Twain is standing 5 feet from me in the aisle. She made her way to stage while winding through the crowd saying hellos and touching hands. I watched one lady who appeared to be in her mid-50s have a full on Beatles mania style meltdown.
Shania said her brief intro and went straight into one of her newest singles “Life’s About To Get Good.” Her voice was completely warmed up and without any sign of damage or strain that I have seen from other acts whose popularity started in the 90s (can we also note that the woman has not aged at all!?). Twain spoke frequently through out the show about how important interacting with her fans is and it shows. You can tell she respects that her fans have shelled out some bucks for this concert and she treats each night as special event for that crowd.
The show was a mixture of her timeless hits, as well as songs off her new album “Now.” I especially enjoyed the Magic Mike inspired “More Fun” which showcased her male dancers to their particular advantage. Shania had 6 dancers with her on stage that also pulled double duty as back up vocals. Whereas the Rock This Country tour really focused all on Shania, Shania Now really utilized the dancers as part of the art. During “Poor Me” another song from the new album, a gauzy leopard screen descended and a magical dance number was projected onto it. The dancer went from life-size to towering over the crowed and even interacted with the singing Twain. Another lyrical number was performed on the center platform while Shania soared overhead singing “Soldier” while perched in a flying guitar case.
The stage itself was also a dynamic presence. 5 fully light cubes moved about the stage and even acted as platforms for Twain and her entourage. During “Up” a tethered Twain kept rising and rising. I am not afraid of heights but even I was getting nervous. Vibrant visuals flashed on the screen included the iconic leopard print that is synonymous with Shania due to her 1998 music video for “That Don’t Impress Me Much.’ Laser lights and even glowing costumes for the dancers during “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” rounded out the visual and auditory feast.
This was such a joyful concert with too many magical moments to note in one review. The crowd was made of all ages, racers, genders, and walks of life. During one of her multiple rounds through the crowd, she picked a family with two small girls to come on stage. One of the little girls, Baylor, was having a good time and then you could see the exact moment when she realized how people were in the crowd. She froze. It was adorable. Not all artists take the time to make each night special for the crowd and for her many fans, this is what makes Shania still the One.
Shania Twain Setlist:
Life’s About To Get Good
Come on Over
Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)
That Don’t Impress Me Much
Let’s Kiss and Make Up
Any Man of Mine
Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?
Honey, I’m Home
You’re Still the One
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!
Man! I Feel Like a Woman!
Rock This Country