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Shania Twain revives her glory days sound for big Sprint Center crowd

Shania Twain performed Fridayat the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
Shania Twain performed Fridayat the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Special to the Star

Shania Twain brought plenty of fire, flash and glitzy fashion to her first tour in more than a decade.

For more than 100 minutes Friday night, the former reigning crossover queen of country music unleashed a torrent of top 10 hits upon a crowd of more than 14,000 at the Sprint Center, many of them women who were young girls when Twain burst into the music world more than 20 years ago. Time has been kind to her and her music.

Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” was blaring through the P.A. system as Twain emerged from underneath the stage and joined her seven-piece band. It was an appropriate overture. A lot of her songs are arena-rock anthems built on cast-iron guitar riffs and heavy drum beats and set to bubbly melodies. There was widespread singing-along all night.

She opened with “Rock This Country,” one of the few songs on the set list that wasn’t among her 16 top 10 U.S country hits. She followed that with one that is: “Honey, I’m Home,” a jaunty country-pop anthem from her blockbuster “Come on Over” album, which has sold 20 million copies in the United States alone.

Twain will turn 50 later this year, but she dressed this evening like a woman half her age, in a sequined minidress and high-heeled boots that reached her mid-thighs. She changed outfits several times during instrumental interludes. One time she returned wearing a long black dress and cape, conjuring images of Stevie Nicks.

The show was filled with visuals, many of them broadcast on the two enormous video screens that flanked the stage. Fireworks and flashpots were detonated a few times, and lights and lasers flashed throughout the show. Twain was in constant motion and went into the crowd once, scooting around the perimeter of the floor in a Plexiglass vehicle, high-fiving fans along the way. She went above the crowd, too, during the song “Up,” hoisted on a saddle attached to a cherry-picker.

Friday’s show was Twain’s fourth in Kansas City and her first since a show at Kemper Arena in November 2003. (The two others were at Sandstone Amphitheater in the late 1990s.) She still presents herself as an independent woman who loves her man but will tolerate none of his guff or foolishness, as in songs like “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You),” “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and the pop-metal anthem “(If You’re Not in It for Love) I’m Outta Here,” all of which prompted loud responses from a crowd that was on its feet and enthralled throughout.

She strummed an acoustic guitar along with her band during an unplugged interlude that provided some of the show’s better moments, “No One Needs to Know” and “Today Is Your Day.” Other highlights: the irrepressibly catchy love ballad “You’re Still the One,” which the crowd took over, and “Party for Two,” her duet with Gavin DeGraw, the show’s opener.

The show ended with another music interlude and wardrobe change, which preceded the finale: a rousing version of “Man, I Feel Like a Woman.” Even some men in the crowd were singing along to that one, amid a flurry of lasers and pyrotechnics.

Twain, who performed a two-year residency in Las Vegas from 2012 to 2014, has said her first tour since 2004 would be her last. Her joyous show Friday night felt more like a homecoming or a revival than a farewell.

To reach Timothy Finn, call 816-234-4781 or send email to tfinn@kcstar.com. Follow the Back to Rockville blog on Twitter @kcstarrockville.

SET LIST

Rock This Country; Honey, I’m Home; You Win My Love; Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?; I Ain’t No Quitter; Love Gets Me Every Time; Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You); Any Man of Mine; I’m Gonna Getcha Good; Come On Over; Party for Two; Up; Today Is Your Day; No One Needs to Know; You’re Still the One; From This Moment On; That Don’t Impress Me Much; (If You’re Not in It for Love) I’m Outta Here; Man, I Feel Like a Woman.

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