Posted by Shania Twain on Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Grand Rapids, Michigan (July 18, 2018) – When Shania Twain brought her NOW World Tour to the Van Andel Arena, in Grand Rapids, MI, tonight, it was a culmination of 16 years of life-changing events for the Canadian-born singer. A comeback story of sorts; yet proof that hard work and dedication reigns supreme in the world we live.
In 2002, Twain inexplicably announced her retirement from performing. Later she explained that dysphonia and Lyme disease had robbed her of her voice and she no longer could effectively sing. A crushing blow for anyone, but for an artist whose 1997 release, Come on Over, sold 40 million units globally now being told you “can’t sing” anymore, became a life-changing crossroad.
Most performers, if not all, would have given up and faded off into the sunset leaving their legacy in their wake, not Shania Twain. She worked at restoring her voice then took up a two-year residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. The stint in Vegas, along with emotional changes in her personal life inspired new material and her first release in 15 years, 2017’s Now.
When the lights dimmed, a single spotlight illuminated drummer Elijah Wood, who was pounding on a tom to Queen‘s “We Will Rock You”. As Twain worked her way from the back of the arena and took the stage, a deafening roar ensued that overshadowed the opening lyrics of “Life’s About To Get Good” from the release, Now. Looking fresh and dressed in a sequined, black floor length gown with long slits running up the sides, Twain looked ravishing! After a few welcoming words to her fans, the party was on!
A well-placed run of fan-favorites, mixed with a smattering of new songs from NOW, kept the crowd engaged throughout the evening. “Come On Over” featured an acoustic guitar, along with the familiar accordion track that easily segued right into a rocking version of “Up!”
To slow things down a bit throughout the evening, Twain would take a break (actually give her hard-working dancers a breather) and talk to the crowd, explaining her personal connection with a few of the NOW songs. “Poor Me” is a very personal song that she claimed was “very therapeutic”, took on a unique, personal touch that was highlighted with gritty guitars and Twain’s raw emotions that fully entranced the capacity crowd.
Twain appeared to be in her comfort zone, performing older songs from her storied library of hits as the night waned. Songs such as “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)”, ”Any Man of Mine” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” found her dancing along with her team of dancers while seeming to feed off the energy from the raucous crowd. After a quick set change that had a visual house literally appearing on the huge video cubes, the simple, but fan-favorite, “Honey, I’m Home” was up. Enhanced with her team of dancers and with Twain herself working the stage end to end, it finally dashed any doubts that this world-class entertainer is still on par with the best in the business!
As all concerts go, there is a certain moment where the fans become mesmerized by what is taking place before them. “Party for Two”, a sparkling duet performed with special guest Bastian Baker was that moment. The sultry, provocative song left each fan wishing that they were the ones on stage living in the moment, not just as the fan, but the actual artist. As the song came to a conclusion it felt as if the entire arena exhaled simultaneously, fully exhausted by the events on the stage.
A quick stage break was a well-deserved reward after “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “(If You’re Not In It for Love) I’m Outta Here!” closed out the 19-song main set. When Twain and the band finally returned to the stage for the encore, the energy and emotion being generated by the appreciative crowd were being felt by all in attendance.
Over-the-top is a term that is often tossed about with no definitive answer to its meaning. If you happened to be in Van Andel Arena this night, you now may have a sense of the true meaning. When “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “Rock This Country!” closed out the night the exhausted crowd left with a new appreciation for Shania Twain.
The saying, “getting to the top of the mountain is easy, staying on top is the hard part”, should have a picture of Twain engraved right next to it. How can you explain that at the peak of her popularity she walks away and 16 years later has one of the most popular tours of the year? It’s a testament to a driven individual, who still has the passion to perform and a deep admiration for her fans.
From the intricate video displays and the moving platforms to the breathtaking costumes and her well-oiled band – the NOW World Tour may be her last, but also may be her most memorable to date! Do yourself a favor, buy a ticket and enjoy what may be the best tour of 2018. A little Las Vegas, with a lot of hometown sweetheart thrown in. Shania Twain, catch her “NOW”!