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Music Review

Twain delivers for 11,118 at arena

By Jennifer Christman

This article was published June 14, 2018 at 3:02 a.m.

Shania Twain in concert

Shania Twain in concert on June 12, 2018, at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock.

Sexy in a sparkly skintight body suit, superstar Shania Twain had opening act Bastian Baker join her Tuesday night in performing her playful duet "Party for Two."

But what the Canadian queen of country-pop really did at North Little Rock's Verizon Arena was put on a party for 11,118.

Touring in support of her 2017 album Now, Twain offered two hours of proof that she -- to borrow the partial name of the sensitive ballad she sang while strumming the guitar and riding a swing over the crowd -- is "Still the One."

She's still country. She broke out the red cowboy boots for several numbers. And she brought the honky-tonk "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under" and fiddle-happy numbers like the stompy "Any Man of Mine" and catchy, Celtic-light "Don't Be Stupid" as her versatile troupe of dancers performed Irish footwork.

She's still pop. The crowd ate up the upbeat "Up!" and other danceable grooves like "That Don't Impress Me Much" and "I'm Gonna Getcha Good."

She's still showy. Fabulous and flirty at 52, Twain rocked countless sequined, slinky and slitted costumes. Moving platforms and plenty of other moving parts -- graphics, lasers, streamers, fog, confetti -- made for an elaborate stage show.

She's still friendly. She not only made her opening entrance -- surprise! -- from an arena staircase where she shook hands with fans, she later invited a trio of girls (who escorted her back to the stage after a different journey into the crowd) onstage for hugs and selfies.

She's still bold. Twain not only belts out her groundbreaking women empowerment anthems like "Man, I Feel Like a Woman," "Honey, I'm Home" and "I'm Outta Here," she backs them up by featuring female musicians, including her drummer and a multi-instrumentalist who played everything from accordion to the trumpet.

She's still resilient. Sounding strong of voice -- especially after losing it for years to Lyme disease -- Twain introduced several new songs written in the aftermath of her scandalous divorce and second marriage (she wed the ex-husband of the best friend who stole her husband).

Besides the hopeful opener "Life's About to Get Good," none of the new songs were particularly memorable. The dreary "Poor Me," did elicit pity -- self-pity at having to endure it. But it's nothing compared with what Twain has endured, so she gets a pass.

She's still Twain, even if we enjoy the music she made then more than what she's making Now.

Metro on 06/14/2018

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