Country maven Shania Twain is ending her Las Vegas residency very soon. During the show, she noted that there were only ten dates left. In the next breath, she said that she was ready to hit the road – so if you missed her show, Still the One at Caesars Palace, you might be seeing her in your town in the future.
The show was/is chock-a-block full of her hits. It definitely sounds like a Shania show. This point was accented by a montage of clips and stills from her many videos that played out on the curtained backdrop of the stage, while Shania belted out a hit in the midst of gyrating dancers.
The band was very well rehearsed, to the point where I thought that they all might simply be actors and Shania was singing to a backup track. This illusion was put to rest because of the violinists – they were real and they were playing. I noted that the violinists were holding their bows in a manner that denoted classical training, and one of the electric violins developed a problem and was switched out mid-song.
Shania’s voice, always her forte, is still good. There were no vocal slip-ups except for two instances – and both were not the result of any vocal impediment. The first happened after the opening number, when she commented that the audience looked great, and then immediately, bizarrely asked the audience, “Do I look good?” She acknowledged the weirdness of this remark instantly. The other happened on one of her several forays into the audience, when an over-eager fan sang along with Shania. Her enthusiasm and vocal strength were, unfortunately, not matched with vocal quality.
Near the end of the show, with the stage decorated in a faux Northern Ontario woods setting, complete with a fire pit, Shania began pulling members of the audience out. One guy proposed to his girlfriend on stage, and another explained how her music helped her through divorce. A lot of drama was brought to the stage. The Shania Twain retrospective was turning into The Oprah Show.
To be honest, I am quite ambivalent about Shania, and although I have heard most of the songs on the radio at some point in the last decade or so, they really have not made an impression on me. One that I remember from the show was the song, “Don’t Impress Me Much.” This song, or at least its refrain and title, sum up the show for me.
Yes, fans will love it, but I was not impressed. The lighting and stage were not spectacular. It would work well for a road show, as she hinted, but I always expected a Las Vegas show to dazzle. You can catch Shania at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas until December 13th.