Shania Twain – Fresno, CA – 8.1.18
Save Mart Center – 8.1.18
Words and Photos by Curtis Vadnais
There aren’t that many artists that can stand the test of time, or are even in remotely the same league as country-pop icon Shania Twain. The multi-Grammy Award winning superstar has been in the entertainment industry for well over two decades and made a significant musical comeback following the announcement of her fifth studio album, Now. The album marked Twain’s first venture back into music in nearly fifteen years from an indefinite hiatus after being diagnosed with dysphonia and Lyme disease. Both contributed to the loss of Twain’s signature vocals, a struggle which continued for years after. Twain stated herself she was unsure if she was ever going to be able to sing again. Her journey is something to be admired, as she persevered to find her voice again during those years of hardship, eventually launching an extremely successful Vegas residency and comeback tour. Twain’s 2015 comeback tour, titled Rock This Country Tour, was stated at the time to be her final trek on the road.
All we can say is, we are eternally grateful that wasn’t the case. In August 2017, she announced she’d be hitting the road once more with her Now Tour. After Twain released Now last September, she stated that she was so inspired by her new music and wanted to be able to share that live with her fanbase that has been loyal to her for the past two decades. The Now Tour is a perfect representation of Twain’s legacy as an artist and a direct reflection of her perseverance that’s brought her to where she is now.
Twain brought her Now Tour to Fresno, California’s Save Mart Center last Wednesday, Aug. 1. The night got off to a rough start, with opener Bastian Baker taking the stage nearly a half hour later than expected due to Twain’s late arrival to the venue. Fans were visibly concerned, some even overheard in the lobby questioning whether the show was going to happen at all. Fortunately, Twain arrived fashionably late, kicking off her set with “Life’s About to Get Good,” the lead single off her most recent record. Just under the two hour mark, Twain managed to pack in as many hits as possible ranging from her earlier catalogue to most recent. Among those included fan favorites such as “Don’t Be Stupid,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “Any Man of Mine,” and some fresh numbers like “Swinging With My Eyes Closed,” “Poor Me,” and “More Fun.” There’s no denying Twain’s vocals are even remotely close to that of her prime, but her time away has definitely given her cords time to improve and remained mostly consistent throughout the night. Twain’s production consisted of plenty of elements to keep the audience engaged including numerous costume changes, crowd interaction, and a confetti-filled encore for signature hit “Man! I Feel Like a Woman.”
Not all went according to plan, though. Twain stated amongst the factors that contributed to her late arrival, her crew was experiencing technical difficulties with some of the stage props, including a swing that normally propels her to the back of the arena for acoustic performances for “You’re Still the One” and “Soldier.” “Our transportation broke down on the way here tonight. In over twenty years in my career, I have never once been late to a show and for that, I’d like to apologize.” Twain explained mid-set as she instead hovered stage left. One slip-up in a twenty-year career, I’m sure we can find it in our hearts to forgive.
If there’s anyone else who appreciates Twain’s journey as much as her devoted fans, it’s the country sensation herself. And who can blame her? Perhaps the pinnacle of the night consisted of a complex music video montage that was projected onto the kabuki curtain, which Twain reminisced in amongst the audience. “I want to invite you guys to join me to re-visit some of those moments,” she stated before proceeding into a visually-pleasing performance of “From This Moment On,” complete with various colored laser projections that were casted to every corner of the arena.
Twain’s future is uncertain, but if there’s one thing that is clear, it’s that she’s exuding a level of positive energy and happiness that we haven’t witnessed in several years. Twain’s Now Tour will continue on through Dec. 22, set to conclude in Dunedin, New Zealand. Tickets and VIP packages can be purchased via shaniatwain.com/tour.
Twain’s latest release, Now, is available now.