For one night North Dakota shared more than an international border with Shania Twain.
The Canadian superstar embarking on her Rock This Country farewell tour stopped in Fargo on Monday night for a visit that proved more of a rock ‘n’ roll show than a country concert. After an eight-year hiatus, a two-year Las Vegas residency and a live album released in March, Twain is hanging up her leopard print cape.
The 50-year-old singer hit all her hits in a two-hour show that spanned two decades of music. Lights, cameras and action blew up the stage, transforming her twangy country-pop tunes into onstage electricity.
The bleachers shook. The crowd roared. And Shania Twain answered the call.
Costume changes, acoustic slowdowns, backdrop videos and laser lights.
And blonde hair. Shania Twain has blonde hair now, ya know.
Despite the outward change, the formerly brown-haired country queen showed her audience nothing much has changed in her years off the road.
A messy divorce, losing and finding her voice and moving to the Bahamas couldn’t keep her away.
Her fans were there in the thousands, mainly 20-something women wearing any boots they could find, dragging eye-rolling boyfriends.
But hey, at least the guys had beer. And Gavin DeGraw. That guy opened the whole event, throwing himself into the throngs without missing a single beat.
Twain pinballed among her hits, stopping every now and then to change costume into a new tropical bird.
Knee-high red boots. A black leather jacket with fringed sleeves. A glittery Rolling Stones tee. So many flashy colors.
Gone were the sequined catsuit, the ballgowns and the leopard print robes, all from her Vegas show. But this wasn’t Vegas. That’s one show you can’t take on the road.
Twain wasn’t out to prove anything Monday night onstage. No, her voice and range aren’t the same. Yes, she stumbled a few times vocally. And no, she doesn’t have any new music out (yet).
She’s terrific at what she does, which is performing her hits of the 1990s and early 2000s, including the pulse-pounding “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”, saved for last (well done, milady).
And for a farewell tour, this is as good as it gets; that is, until she needs to shake the money tree again and signs onto the casino circuit.
The Rock This Country Tour hits over 70 cities in North America and wraps up Oct. 27 in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Twain is a shining example of what a class act in the music industry can do.
You can sell millions of albums, perform for half the planet, drop off that same planet for a decade, take Vegas by storm and tour a continent — all without losing your fans or fame.
Though she’s been hinting at a new album for over three years, no new music made the set list Monday, but Twain gave her audience just what they wanted.
A live concert filled with hits sung by the woman they love.