Five years after ending her first Las Vegas residency, the wildly successful “Shania: Still the One” at Caesars Palace, Shania Twain returned to the city this weekend to kick off a brand-new engagement. This time, she’s at Planet Hollywood with a production titled “Shania Twain ‘Let’s Go!’ The Vegas Residency” — and, well, it did impress much. From onstage guests to a dedication to Prince, these are our five takeaways from Twain’s new 23-show Vegas run.
Shania wants you to dance, dance, dance.
Appropriately, just before singing “Up!” early in the two-hour show, Twain told the crowd to stand up and dance. “There will be a few quiet moments and you can give your feet a rest, but otherwise keep your butts off your seats,” she instructed the opening weekend audience. Considering the EDM interludes and LED-costumes on her dancers, Twain’s show vibrates with energy. While her previous Las Vegas residency at Caesars’ Colosseum had several lulls, this production seems allergic to such slow moments. It’s upbeat and akin to a Vegas nightclub. Said Twain, “We’re going to carry on with the party.”
Be warned: you may end up onstage.
Twain isn’t afraid of sharing the spotlight with her fans. While sitting atop a bar under a sign reading “Twain Town Saloon,” the singer invited several audience members onstage for “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” She dressed her guests in skirts and had them participate in what she called a “country can-can.” “These are great blackmail photos,” she quipped. An admitted champagne drinker, Twain said she’s comfy singing from a bar. “I was really tiny and short so my mom put me up on bars to sing and here I am all these years later sitting up on a bar,” she said. In another moment, Twain had more fans onstage for a faux romantic dinner while she sang “From This Moment On.”
She dedicates a song to Prince.
Prior to her performance of “Forever and for Always,” during which she’s joined onstage by her family’s dog Melody, Twain talked about how the song reminds her of a very famous late friend. “This is kind of what I’m calling my ‘purple song’ because a very dear friend recorded this song and I hadn’t heard it in a really long time,” she said, remarking how she hadn’t regularly performed the song live. “He was a fan of mine and I was very inspired to put it back in my show and to dedicate the color purple to Prince.”
Shania shows off her goofy side.
Twain is fully comfortable in her own skin, and that’s what makes her so relatable, even onstage. While trying to casually and coolly sit on a chair, she struggled to appear graceful under the weight of her outfit. “It’s not very glamorous the way I’m doing this right now,” she said. “The sequins make up for it, I’m sure.” In another moment, she joked about her bad math skills (she failed the subject twice, she says.) Now 54, Twain laughs easily at her flaws — just don’t let her do your taxes.
The set list is a jackpot of hits.
In the end, “Let’s Go!” is a show about the hits, and Twain delivers the goods. “That Don’t Impress Me Much” “You’re Still the One,” “Come On Over,” “Honey, I’m Home,” and a show-closing “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” are all in the set list, reminding fans just how vast Twain’s catalog is. She’s not afraid of her recent history though — “Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed” makes an appearance near the end of the night — and Twain teased that new music could work its way into the show after the new year.
Photo: Denise Truscello