Shania Twain made her eagerly anticipated return to music this year and she’s about to release her first album in 15 years. The Country superstar contracted Lyme Disease, which put her career in jeopardy when her voice was affected and she was forced to take an extended break. While she may not have released any albums since 2002’s Up!, Twain has kept on performing and in 2012 she embarked on a hugely successful Las Vegas residency. After more than a decade away from our shores, Twain made her first live appearance as part of BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park yesterday.
I didn’t really know what to expect from Twain’s performance as she had been billed as a ‘special guest’ for the day rather than a headline performer. Would she sing a couple of songs and leave? Well that question was soon answered when Twain took to the stage in the midst of heavy rain to perform 7 tracks from her catalogue. She opened her set with That Don’t Impress Me Much, working the crowd into a frenzy as she unleashed live vocals (just for any of those in doubt in light of the accusations regarding Twain’s performance on the Strictly Come Dancing launch show on Saturday night).
Twain was wearing a sparkly jacket and she looked every inch the global superstar as she treated fans to hits old and new. The attention was definitely on her voice and Twain clearly knew that as she sung a part of You’re Still the One unaccompanied, allowing her voice to ring clearly for the 60,000 crowd in Hyde Park. She sounded fantastic and she looked really happy to be back on stage here in the UK.
After performing her catchy hit I’m Gonna Getcha Good, which was the lead single from Up!, Twain launched into the first of two songs from her forthcoming album Now. Her current single Life’s About to Get Good got the crowd singing and dancing, temporarily forgetting about the heavy downpour. Twain followed that with Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed, the opening track from Now and that song went down well with the crowd too with many seeming to know the words.
Following her acapella rendition of it in between songs earlier in the set, Twain performed the full version of You’re Still the One. That’s the song that crossed her over into the UK charts and it sounded stunning. The crowd sang along loudly and Twain beamed on the stage as she felt the love.
For her final two numbers Twain dug out two real classics – (If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here and Man! I Feel Like a Woman. The uptempo tracks were the perfect way for Twain to bring her set to a close and I was among the many audience members singing my heart out and dancing my socks off.
It was such a joy to see Twain back on stage in the UK after all these years. Much has been made about her retiring from performing, something she has said isn’t true, and I hope that her performance yesterday is the first of many on this side of the pond. With C2C: Country to Country taking place in March next year, it would be the perfect opportunity for Twain to return for a longer set. Her performance at BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park was definitely one of the day’s highlights and she was absolutely fantastic.
Set list: 1. That Don’t Impress Me Much 2. I’m Gonna Getcha Good 3. Life’s About to Get Good 4. Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed 5. You’re Still the One 6. (If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here 7. Man! I Feel Like a Woman Performance Date: 10th September 2017