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Twain thrives on eye candy visuals, music

TD Garden, Boston, July 11, 2018

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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Shania Twain TD Garden, Boston July 11, 2018

Early on during her Now Tour stop, Shania Twain uttered the oft-said lines that so many artists tell the faithful - this is a night to forget about everything else and just have a night of fun.

In Twain's case, that might have been a most accurate sentiment because her show was designed with maximum pleasure in mind.

Forget about the songs because these two hours were built on high visual concept. No, the music was not forgotten at the expense of the visual element.

In a way, it started with Twain's entrance with a shiny silver evening address with a black hat descending the steps from the back of crowd to walk to the stage as a drummer pounded away rhythms on a makeshift stage at the back.

And then it was onto the video display in a stage of six large boxes where videos were displayed on them during songs. Sometimes the band members were behind the box; other times, they stood on top of the boxes as they went up way high and down.

The colors were bright with lots of reds dominating. It wasn't quite sensory overload, but, instead, created a warm feeling.

Oh yeah, this was a concert. So what about the music? Twain designed the evening as if each song was presented separately thanks to the visuals.

If looking to hear country music, well, this wasn't exactly the concert to hear much of that. There were a few songs that fit that bill, albeit from a pop-oriented perspective ("Any Man of Mine," "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under" and "Honey, I'm Home" in succession about midway through), but for the most part, Twain was all about pop and dance songs.

That was apparent from the start with "Life's About to Get Good" from her latest disc, "Now" and such songs as the buoyant "Up" and "Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)." A few song weren't quite up to snuff, sounding on the generic side (the closing "Rock This Country").

Twain was aided by a six-person dance troupe, which, in effect, acted out most every song to good effect. They matched the liveliness of the other staging elements. Sometimes Twain would dance along with them, although she kept her own participation on the simple side.

Twain was in good vocal form throughout, not deviating all that much from the originals, but she also had a chockful of well-crafted pop songs. She took it down a lot of notches on "Soldier" from "Now" where she made her way in a swing over the crowd to a rear stage where one of the dancers was dressed up as a soldier dancing with his loved one in a song about longing for one's soldier boy who had gone overseas.

Twain may have gotten more than she bargained more when she asked a few fans to join her on the stage. The trio walked with Twain from the back of the floor onto the stage where she said she wanted to get to know the crowd a bit in an effort to connect. The 11-year-old girls from Minnesota weren't all that unusual, but then there was Ricardo.

Perhaps 40 or so, Ricardo said he came from Brazil, telling Twain with tears coming down his face that this was one of the greatest days of his life, giving her a long embrace. Holding the mic, Ricardo then switched to Spanish and told her how much he enjoyed her singing and how much it meant to her.

One wondered if Twain would gently try to stop him and take back control. She didn't and seemed to truly enjoy the moment, of course, thanking him. Ah, the power of music.

Curiously, Twain ended her set with her 1995 hit ""(If You're Not in It for Love) I'm Outta Here!"" Nothing wrong with singing it at all, but after a night of connecting with her crowd, Twain ended on a kiss-off song.

Chances were pretty good, though, Twain wasn't referring to the crowd because Twain made good on her promise at the outset - this was a night to enjoy a night of eye candy visuals and music.