Shania Twain kicked off her “Rock This Country Tour,” announced as her last, at KeyArena on Friday, June 5. Twain had voice problems but came off like a veteran pitcher, nibbling at the edges but still strutting the hard stuff.
Shania Twain kicked off her first tour in 11 years at KeyArena on Friday, June 5, with flames and fireworks and a flight around the arena suspended by a crane, but the concert would have been riveting without any of that.
The show felt like a family reunion and victory lap for the 49-year-old Canadian superstar, who had announced the “Rock This Country” tour would be her last. In 2008, Twain began losing her singing voice before taking up a 105-show residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Friday, Twain was like a crafty veteran pitcher who mostly nibbled at the edges of big notes but could still blow a fastball by you when she needed to.
Knowing this was the final time Twain would play in Seattle, the sold-out house stood in reverence most of the night, reveling in a satisfying array of hits, belting out the lyrics and showering Twain with affection.
Twain, rocking a mane of newly blond hair, took the stage in thigh-high leather boots, a red, sequined mini-dress and a black leather jacket, but the confidence of her outfit belied how nervous she was feeling. She got off to a somewhat warbly start on “Rock This Country,” and noted several times that this was the tour’s first show.
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It didn’t matter to her fans — many of them men and women in their early 30s who grew up in the late 1990s during the height of Twain’s fame — and by the time Twain reached the breezy “You Win My Love,” she was looser and the crowd was dancing in the aisles.
Before launching into 2002’s “Up!” the title track off Twain’s third diamond-certified (10-million-selling) album in a row, she introduced Seattle native Josh Gooch, 24, who plays lead guitar for her. The shaggy-haired Gooch got a big ovation and later proved his mettle with a series of satisfying solos.
She followed with a five-song stretch of pure fan service that included a heartfelt version of “You’re Still the One” and a nice vocal highlight on “From This Moment.”
“That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “(If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here” closed things out. She came back for an encore on “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” sending KeyArena into euphoric hysteria one last time.