GROUPS of young women, former kids of the 90s, and their mums eagerly streamed into the Hunter Valley decked out in leopard print and cowboy boots on Saturday night. There was no mistaking which international star was in town as the Shania Twain takeover began. The theme of the night – let’s go girls.
Shania Twain was a knock-out from the moment she stormed in through the crowd to the beats of We will rock you. Like a boxer ready for a championship match, she marched through the screaming fans, brushing hands with her devotees, flanked by security guards.
She opened with Life’s about to get good, a forecast for how the night was going to turn out, and followed it up with hit song Come on over. For those who wanted to relive a pivotal moment of the 90s when country music and pop combined, there were plenty of numbers to choose from. Don’t be stupid, From this moment on, I’m Gonna Getcha Good all made the set list and of course, after a quick costume change into a leopard print number, there was That don’t impress me much.
She also sprinkled fresh music throughout the night from the new album titled Now.
The show was an impressive production. There were more costume changes than a Katy Perry concert (for those who don’t speak in pop culture references that means a lot of changes) and to say Shania sparkled would be an understatement. While there were no ‘men’s shirts, short skirts’ to speak of, the costumes, the amazing set and even the choreography all referenced past iconic moments from Shania’s vast array of video clips.
She wasn’t trying to fight time, as she said “what’s the point of fighting gravity anyway”. The 53-year-old was happy to see the fans in their 20s who were just kids when some of her biggest hits came out.
She didn’t let up when it came to her impressive shoe collection however, with towering stilettos, red velvet boots and silver platforms all part of an array of footwear which would have made Imelda Marcos jealous.
By far the standout performance of the night was the rendition of Still the One. Shania appeared in the middle of the crowd sitting on a raised rotating platform. As a sea of phone lights - the new-age lighter – encased the singer, couples embraced for a slow dance, and the crowd sang along, Shania had managed to create an intimate moment in a crowded vineyard.
Hope Estate wasn’t without the usual issues of congested roads and traffic mayhem. It seems even superstars can’t avoid the long queue on country roads. Shania told the crowd she too was stuck in traffic trying to get to her own concert. Her team decided to drive up the parking lane only to be stopped by police. After an explanation that she was going to miss her own show, and a selfie with the police officer, she had a much quicker drive into the venue.
Of course no concert is complete without a public proposal and John from Scotland bravely got down on one knee to pop the question to Rachael from Sydney. She said yes and the marriage was blessed with a hug from Shania.
The entire show came to a climax with the one song the crowd had been begging for all night – Man! I feel like a woman – and just like that is was all over. A few seconds to bask in the glow of what was, and then crew were right on stage packing up for the next gig. Shania doesn’t do encores.
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