Shania Twain is a name that needs no introduction. Shania has sold more albums than any other female Country artist in history. Due to a medical issue, she was forced to step away from her musical career back in 2004. Shania took advantage of her time off to raise her son and enjoy their time together while regaining the vocal strength needed to ultimately make her return. Shania did just that as she came back in 2011 for a concert residency in Vegas that ran for about three years. She didn’t release another album until 2017, which came two years after Shania announced her farewell tour back in 2015. Thankfully for us, she changed her mind and we were able to catch her in Louisville.
I want to say that I have been to several shows at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville. The arena is by far and away the premier arena in Kentucky. Sorry Wildcat fans, but Rupp Arena can remodel all they want, they can’t compete with the amenities of the KFC Yum! Center. Argue till you’re blue in the face, oh wait, never mind. Having said that, Rupp Arena is usually the host of way more Country artists than Louisville. So I was a bit surprised, but I certainly wasn’t disappointed that the show took place in Louisville. I’m a country boy at heart, but I love Louisville and the Yum Center is a Kentucky treasure.
As the show began, an anxiousness rushed over me. I don’t really get nervous anymore, so I wasn’t sure what was going on. As Shania hit those first notes of “Life Is About To Get Good”, I realized just how much I had missed her voice. The anxiousness was my ears and brain meeting up with a friend after a long absence. It just felt right and it was a great moment for me personally.
As for the show itself, the stage production was huge. Moving video screens, shifting light sections, large curtains as screens, massive stairs, lasers and a whole lot more eye candy. The nostalgia made for a fun show that was filled with many of her biggest hits and a few new songs mixed in. Personally, I enjoy the older stuff more than the new stuff, but that’s simply because I am not the biggest fan of pop music.
Shania surrounded herself with lots of dancers, several of which pulled double duty as backup singers. Her band was really good and were also used as “props” at times. At one point the band were all adorned with suits lined with rope lights, which made them appear as if we were on the set of the Disney classic, “Tron”. At that moment, it was quite obvious that the residency in Vegas had added some elements to this tour.
As for Shania, she has admitted in several interviews that she isn’t the same singer she was due to her illness. She has permanent damage to the nerves around her vocal chords, which is called dysphonia. That doesn’t mean that she is any less of an entertainer or artist. Shania has always been an entertainer and she made sure that folks had a good time. She was very personable at times, even bringing two young fans up on stage with her as she returned from the smaller stage at the back of the arena.
There were many highlights, but there were three moments that I absolutely have to share with you. The first, I briefly mentioned before. Shania was seated on a guitar case that was rigged to the ceiling and she floated across the arena while playing her song, “Soldier”. Video screens played scenes from the movie, “Thank You For Your Service” as Shania floated to the back of the arena. While two dancers portraying a soldier and his wife danced on the smaller stage. It was a very patriotic moment and a creative way to make as many patrons as possible feel special and have a moment where they felt a connection to the “Queen Of Country Pop”.
While still hovering above the small stage, Shania also sang a few hits. “You’re Still The One” was an incredible moment that Shania invited fans to take out their phones and turn on their phone lights. As you can see from my phone photo below, it was quite beautiful.
The other moment I want to highlight, was when Shania took to the stage by herself. She stepped in front of a large curtain that was used as a screen, where blossoming flowers, the cosmos and much more were projected. She sang “From This Moment” and for me, her voice and performance were the strongest of the night. The were a plethora of laser lights that filled the arena and gave the performance an ambience that a song of such importance deserved.
Overall, Shania gave you everything she had and that is truly a win for Country music and it’s fans.
Here is a link to the full setlist from the Shania Twain show Louisville, KY.