Friday, March 20, 2015

SHANIA TWAIN: "Still The One - Live From Vegas" [DVD]

Rating: DVD
Label: Eagle/Universal 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

"I Was Not Born To Be Confident" - Shania Twain. The late bloomer and former eighties melodic hardrocker? One thing's for sure. This massive extravaganza show in Vegas at the Colosseum at Caesars palace [105 concerts and selling over 337,000 tickets] sure beats recording demos with Paul Sabu? (Kidd Glove, Only Child) No offensive Sabu (the son of the 'Elephant Boy' actor),  but it's not like you gave her some of your better songs to record. Nah. hooking up with producer and songwriter Robert "Mutt" Lange (Def Leppard, AC/DC, The Cars, etc, etc) in June 1993, the winning concept. They became close within weeks, culminating in their wedding on December 28, 1993 and the rest as they say is music history.

The Def Leppard met Country styled albums made her one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, having sold over 75 million albums worldwide. Here's the over-the-top Vegas show on DVD, 26 (24) song set with her biggest hits, country favourites, crossover songs, costumes and more costumes, a 13-piece live band, dancers, more dancers, horses, flying bikes, and tons of glitter and glam. Visually, it's Vegas baby and spectacular if you're into all that bling-bling. Honestly - That Don't Impress Me Much. It's just too Disney at times and especially the dance numbers. What does impress however is Twain's vocal talent and just being the great entertainer. I would rather just have the plain and straight forward live outdoor Shania concert on DVD.

DVD Bonus material. The backstage pass: home movie documentary, over 200 hours recorded by her husband Fred? downsized to just over an hour. Are you telling me there's 199 more hours of this somewhere? Oy Vey! It's everything from the first meeting of Jan 2012 with stage producers, creative directors, costume designer to walking in the mountains of Switzerland. She's complaining about 'being fat and gotta hit the gym' in the beginning and saying that she 'don't want any dancers, but there's probably going to be dancers'. The Vegas show without dancers? Don't think so. You'll find out about her vocal problems and the special device to correct her jaw positioning that has been interfering with her ability to sing. There's the really weird person with vocal gym exercises and the whole set up of working with backup singers, stage manager, effects, and basically the technical side of setting up the Vegas show.

Her sister 'did I hit the wrong note' Carrie, big part of the sound and the backstage material (whatever...) as she's the backup singer with little or none excising experience. They last sang together at the age 8 and 10. Very down to earth and the unexpected fun sidekick. Watch her do the dance moves and sing while trying to use the shaker at the same time. Shania won the Smitty Award (whatever that is??) for most innovative use of scent marketing? They had this breeze effect at the show and the audience could 'smell it all' so to speak. Ehem. According to Shania, "You can smell the horses, you can smell the fire, you can feel the heat, the breeze, it's all happening to you and the snow is falling". Poor Carrie had to try and smell all those weird things while smiling to the camera. The bottom line: The dance and show numbers are a bit too 'Vegas' for my personal taste. But you can't deny the sheer quality of Shania... still the one.

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