Shania Twain’s latest show, named for her new album, is called the "Now" tour. It could just as easily have been called the "Now and Then" tour. Culling from nearly 30 years of hits Thursday night, the Canadian pop-country star highlighted her new album while also giving fans a retrospective of her entire career.
SEE A-LIST PHOTOS: Shania Twain proves she’s still the one for Austin country fans
The audience ate every bit of it up. But the person having the most fun at the Frank Erwin Center was probably Twain herself.
She took the stage by waking down through the stands and onto the floor, greeting fans along the way. And speaking of the stage, it played host to one of the most intricately designed sets I’ve ever seen, with platform box stages rising and falling according to the tempo of each song, highlighted by a unique light show for every song. Twain was singing from the top of the rafters on the final chorus of "Up!"
Related: UT Press’ ‘Woman walk the Line’ highlights women in country music, including Shania Twain
Other fun highlights: At one point in the show, she allowed fans to escort her back to the stage, where she paused the show to hug them and take selfies with them. Elsewhere, she disappeared through a hole in the stage for her five costume changes. She flew through the rafters while sitting on a chair made of a guitar case. She employed her four male backup dancers to perform a "Magic Mike"-inspired dance routine while she watched.
(Side note: Those backup dancers/singers, along with two other female dancers/singers, a female drummer and a female violinist/accordionist/pianist and two male guitarists, make up one of the most talented and diverse bands you’ll ever see.)
But, much like the "Now" album, the night was not all highs. Twain herself spoke about some of the lows in her life, namely her messy split from husband and producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, which she alluded to in "Poor Me" and "I’m Alright."
More: Shania Twain apologizes for saying she would have voted for Donald Trump
Introducing the former of those songs, she told the audience, "What goes up must come down...most of the songs on my new album are from some of the lowest points in my life, and I wrote them for anyone who’s going through a rough time to know that you’re not alone." She punctuated that with a laugh, and the next song after "Poor Me" was "(Don’t Be Stupid) You Know I Love You." Twain came to Austin to tell her story, but she also wanted to have a good time.
Many in the audience seemed to enjoy the new songs, but reserved their standing and dancing for the hits. The only misstep of the night was "Soldier." The song soundtracked the trailer for the war PTSD drama "Thank You For Your Service," which played in the background as Twain performed. Compared to other songs in her set, it seemed off. But that number was where she flew through the rafters while seated on a huge guitar case, so it looked interesting.
By the time the encore rolled around and Twain sang "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" she proved why she’s country music’s greatest pageantry performer since Dolly Parton. Every fan was on their feet. Everyone was singing along.
And Twain looked like she was having the time of her life, whether reflecting on "Now" or looking back at "then."
Thursday night, Shania Twain showed that the best thing about being Shania Twain was the prerogative to have a little fun.
"Life’s About to Get Good"*
"Come On Over"
"Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)"
"That Don’t Impress Me Much"
"Let’s Kiss and Make Up"*
"Any Man of Mine"
"Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?"
"Honey, I’m Home"
"You’re Still the One"
Music video snippet montage: "The Woman In Me," "You Win My Love," "Don’t!", "Forever and For Always"
"From This Moment On"
"I’m Gonna Getcha Good!"
"Party For Two" (with Bastian Baker)
"Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed"*
"(If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here!"
"Man! I Feel Like a Woman!"
"Rock This Country!"
*Denotes songs from the "Now" album