Shania Twain may be the Queen of country music, but she showed the audience in Seattle last night that she really meant it when she called her tour Rock This Country. Shania is by some distance the biggest-selling female country artist of all time having sold over 75 million albums worldwide. This is Twain’s first tour for 11 years, and she hasn’t released an album since 2002. Shania told fans that this will be her final tour.
Twain recently told Rolling Stone that the tour would focus on the rock end of the country spectrum because her current music is very guitar heavy. As Shania took to the stage at the Key Arena in Seattle to open her tour, fans could be forgiven for thinking they were at a heavy rock gig. Twain looked every inch the rock chick as she showed off her newly blonde locks, a fringed leather jacket, and thigh-high boots.
Shania’s seven-piece band got in on the act too as they all sported black leather outfits. The staging of the show could have put Kiss or Aerosmith to shame. The use of a laser light show and pyrotechnics was pure rock and roll overkill. Twain’s band even rocked out with “guitar shredding” instrumentals when Shania left the stage for one of her many costumes changes.
The setlist when Shania was onstage was more traditionally country as Twain belted out hit after hit from across a career that has spanned more than 30 years. Shania showcased huge hits like “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” “Don’t be Stupid,” and “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” Shania had the crowd in rapture, and her fans will no doubt be looking forward to Shania’s forthcoming album release even more keenly.
Shania recently told USA Today that she had planned to have her new disc ready for release when she finished her two-year Las Vegas residency last December but things didn’t work out. Shania admitted that being on the road for almost four months won’t make getting the record out any easier.
“Vegas was a giant undertaking. That slowed the album process down.
“It won’t be any easier, and it will be frustrating for me. I’ve got enough songs for two albums at this point, because I’ve been at it for two years.
“We’ve already tackled, I’d say, half the album, as far as a first draft on production. It’s like building a house. The planning stages take the longest. Once the hammers and nail start going, it rolls along a lot faster.”
Shania was unable to commit to a firm date for the album’s release but says it will be shortly after her 50th birthday which falls on August 28.
Shania Twain’s tour runs through until October 11 and takes in over 70 shows across the U.S. and Canada.
[Photograph by Mat Hayward/Getty Images]