REVIEW: Shania Twain’s Las Vegas Residency Packs in Both the Flashy and Intimate

by Blake Ells
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Shania Twain returned to Las Vegas over the weekend for her “Let’s Go!” residency at the Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood. The performances on Friday and Saturday were among the final dates that she has scheduled for the run. The return comes when Shania Twain is at a career peak only topped by where she was in 1999. She’s won over an entirely new audience since she left the spotlight. Fans traveled from far and wide to hear the hits. As she has since the residency began, Shania Twain delivered.

She kicked the night off with “Rock This Country!” at 8:17 p.m. local time. I was seated by a group that traveled to the performance from the United Kingdom for the show. I’ve never seen an audience as diverse at a country concert; all kinds of people, of all ages, from all over the world.

The show manages to simultaneously be both big and flashy and also quiet and intimate, despite being in a theater that holds 7,000. It’s a perfect space for the range that Shania Twain displays during the set. It’s the same room that will host Miranda Lambert’s extended residency later this fall. ‘Velvet Rodeo’ kicks off on September 23.

While the set opens with “Rock This Country!,” a bold, late track from her massive crossover record, 1997’s Come on Over, she somehow makes the big room feel intimate with a brief acoustic set in the middle. The curtains are pulled. Stools are brought to the forefront. And a smaller set is highlighted by a performance of one of her most massive hits, “Still the One.” Shania strums along.

Shania Twain Celebrates Her 57th Birthday in Las Vegas

But she only keeps it quiet for a brief 2-3 song set. She’s back to “rocking this country” quickly. She brings it back with a country scorcher from The Woman in Me, “You Win My Love.” She places it alongside “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” the Come on Over track; coupled together, it’s a revealing reminder of just how she successfully crossed over into pop.

Then she weaves back into The Woman in Me. She masterfully bounces back into tracks like “Any Man of Mine” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” It’s flawless execution. It shines a spotlight on the exact moment that Shania Twain broke down walls in an entire genre. And it leaves a new, younger audience with a peek at how it happened. This is a country icon that was much more twang than the “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” singer that later generations lionized. She was a rural Canadian girl that had a long road to Nashville. It’s documented in a new Netflix documentary titled Not Just a Girl. She includes the titular song in her current show.

Before this particular performance closed, Shania Twain’s guitarist led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday.” She turned 57 at midnight. She closed it down with her biggest pop crossover, and the show’s namesake, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” This was Las Vegas, after all. Interestingly enough, she never boldly declared “Let’s go, girls!” during that performance. It seemed like a deliberate joke she hoped you’d share.

She’s back tonight. And she has dates through September 10. Check them out at her site.

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