We had the chance to take in Shania Twain‘s concert a couple of weeks ago in Miami. Since we weren’t offered tickets to do a review, we paid for our tickets and took notes so that we could still share our thoughts on the show.
Shania came out with an overly heavy dose of makeup, her new blonde hair, and red tinted sun glasses to a surprisingly less-than-impressive-sized crowd. The American Airlines Arena, home of the NBA’s Miami Heat, seats 19,600. Due to the stage setup, about a third of the arena was unusable and the entire upper deck was blocked off with curtains. While it all led to a more intimate-feeling atmosphere, it was negated by the fact that there were many empty seats noticeable throughout the lower bowl. My estimation is that the attendance was in the range of 6,000-8,000 fans (likely would’ve drawn much better had she played the BB&T Center in Sunrise).
While pop star Gavin DeGraw offered a pretty big name to have as an opener, it didn’t make sense that a country star would go that route, especially for her “farewell tour.” It just added another layer of oddness to the night’s show. As a guy that pretty much exclusively listens to country music, I only recognized two of the songs he played in an otherwise entertaining, yet restricted opening.
DeGraw and his band were only given a bit of space in the front of the stage to perform on while a massive curtain draped tightly behind them hiding the rest of the large stage. He did his best to branch out away from the stage, walking around the floor of the arena making a couple of pit stops up into the lower bowl to get closer to the fans.
After an intermission that lasted about 20 minutes, Shania came out to open the show with “Rock This Country” in the previously mentioned attire (also see photo above). For someone that in recent years has shied away from the public eye, the makeup, lights, and pyro felt more like an attempt to hide and/or distract rather than an attempt to entertain. To the average fan it was an entertaining spectacle to watch (most fan comments I’ve heard were positive), but to me, there was an awkwardness to the entire show as she seemingly fought bravely through whatever fears/issues she has been dealing with.
While overall it was a decent show where she played just about all of her hits, the best way I can describe it is that it was a Katy Perry + Cher = rock-twinged series of Shania hits kind of show. It had the production value of a Katy Perry show with the lights, pyro, props and bizarreness (minus the background dancers) and the wardrobe of a Cher concert (she made 3 costume changes including the final one that would make Cher blush), all with more of a rock sound than country (explains DeGraw as opener?), despite a few instances of multiple fiddle players being featured.
There were some highlights, including a break towards the end of the show when she brought a couple on stage so the man could propose to his girlfriend, followed by Shania serenading the couple with “You’re Still the One” while they slow danced on stage behind her. But even that had it’s moment of awkwardness, as the couple had a hard time hearing Shania as she asked the woman to confirm that she had said yes.
Normally we’d say that despite the less than glowing review we’ve offered up here, we’d still recommend attending a future show on this tour. However, the ticket prices (we paid $160 per ticket for a mid-lower bowl seat side-stage) would definitely lead me to hesitate if I had a chance to do it over again. Twain is calling this her farewell tour, but we hope (and think that she’s better suited for) that she will give it a few years and hit the road again in a toned-down theater show so fans can enjoy the music without all the distractions.
Here is the set list for Shania’s set, which lasted about an hour and 45 minutes:
- Rock This Country
- Honey I’m Home
- You Win My Love
- Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?
- I Ain’t No Quitter
- Love Gets Me Every Time
- Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)
- Any Man of Mine
- I’m Gonna Getcha Good!
- Come on Over
- Party For Two (w/ Gavin DeGraw)
- Today Is Your Day
- No One Needs To Know
- You’re Still The One
- From This Moment On
- That Don’t Impress Me Much
- (If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here!
- Man! I Feel Like A Woman!
Here’s a list of hits that she did NOT perform with their highest ranking on the country charts (songs that charted in the top 15):
- The Woman In Me (Needs the Man In You) – #14
- You’ve Got a Way – #13
- Forever and For Always – #4
- She’s Not Just a Pretty Face – #9