Not flattering at all, so maybe you guys can send him a piece of your minds:
Twain has it all -- except sincerity
FLINT JOURNAL REVIEW
THE FLINT JOURNAL FIRST EDITION
Sunday, October 26, 2003
By Doug Pullen
JOURNAL ENTERTAINMENT WRITER
AUBURN HILLS - Shania Twain's got it all. A loving husband, songwriting partner and producer. A young son. Staggering record sales. Sexy videos. Critic-proof records. The savviest marketing this side of Madonna. Adoring fans, about 40,000 of whom were expected to pack The Palace of Auburn Hills this weekend for a pair of performances by the Windsor-born superstar.
You couldn't ask for more.
Well, you could've Friday night, at the first of Twain's two shows there this weekend.
You could've asked for a few more well-placed hits, fewer songs from last year's overstuffed "Up!" CD, fewer gimmicks and a little more sincerity during the 24-song, 2-hour and 15-minute show's sluggish midsection.
Maybe she could cut down on all those exclamation marks in her songs titles while she's at it!
The 38-year-old country-pop star has said she opted to stage her latest, in-the-round concert extravaganza well after the 2002 release of "Up!" so audiences would have plenty of time to get to know its 19 songs.
Having sold roughly 8 million copies of the CD around the world, chances are pretty good that her fans have gotten to know its typically slick, stylish, radio-friendly mix of romantic and upbeat songs, released simultaneously in pop and country versions, pretty well.
That doesn't mean they want to hear half of them in concert.
Crowd response was predictably enthusiastic when Twain, decked out in a Detroit Red Wings jersey bearing captain Steve Yzerman's No. 19 for much of the show (Twain, who switched to an oversized Pistons jersey for the encore, has been wearing home team jerseys at each stop on her "Up! World Tour"), dipped into her extensive catalog of monster radio (and video) hits.
All three hit singles from "Up!" - "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!," the energetic title track and the ballad "Forever and For Always" - were well-received.
But the crowd - which ranged from grade-schoolers to grandmas - curbed its enthusiasm for many of the nonhits from the new CD. Sometimes, Twain and her equally photogenic band seemed as listless as the audience on new songs like "I'm Not in the Mood (To Say No)!" and "C'est La Vie."
Many in the 20,000-strong crowd sat in their chairs and applauded enthusiastically only a few songs into the show, rising occasionally when she dropped in a hit, ventured from her perch atop the two-tiered, oval-shaped stage to saunter around the stage's outer ring or venture into the crowd to sign autographs and share the microphone.
Heck, even the two squirming little kids in front of me seemed to lose interest (their hyper mom was another story; their dad looked on with detached bemusement).
Twain, whose limited but pleasant voice sounded strained and flat on some of the ballads, makes a point of interacting with the crowd. Her band members descended the stairs from the main concourse to the stage in the middle of the arena floor to start the show (newcomer James Otto opened).
With an impostor silhouetted on-stage, Twain made her own entrance through the floor crowd, who would've mobbed her had they realized she was there.
She performed one song, "The Woman In Me (Needs The Man In You)," with her guitarist from some blocked-off seats in Section 104 (a beefy security guard had to motion an awed little girl out of the camera angle).
She read aloud some of the numerous signs dotting the crowd, agreed to pose for pictures with a couple of birthday girls (and one's aunt, who insisted on standing next to the country goddess), and brought up the ecstatic guy who won a raffle that raised money for Oakland County's Second Harvest food bank.
Noble gestures all, but Twain didn't seem very natural or comfortable doing any of it.
Between the erratic architecture of the song order, the programmed interruptions, the lack of spontaneity and the apparent audio augmentation of the band (harmony vocals and some of the strings, particularly on "Thank You Baby!," sounded prerecorded), Friday's show lacked the cohesive energy that is so vital to Twain's live shows.
Twain has the looks, the voice and the songs. She just doesn't have the ability - or maybe it's the confidence - to make a true connection with her fans. That, not gimmicks, is what make a concert experience truly great and memorable.
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