Shania Twain is unlikely to win over many new converts with her current album “Now” or its corresponding tour, which had its Washington date at Capital One Arena Sunday night, but she doesn’t particularly need to.
Enjoying a career resurgence after a painfully long 15 years between studio albums, Twain looks and sounds great and knows how to find just the right balance between high-tech arena concert spectacle and seemingly genuine warmth. She can serve up diva attitude as sassy as all the Madonnas and Mariahs out there, but somehow manages to do so without seeming like she has a bitchy bone in her entire body. It also sounded like all the vocals were live, a nice touch you can never take for granted from pop divas.
Sunday night’s show had all the elaborate special effects, costume changes and explosions we’ve come to expect from pop concerts (it felt more pop than country, but then so does country radio overall). Though her 2015 “Rock This Country Tour” was billed as a farewell, it felt great to hear her singing new songs (seven of the “Now” tracks made the set list) amidst her bounty of hits. She’s got probably the greatest batting average in the history of popular music — all her signature songs pretty much came from just three albums: “The Woman in Me” (1995), “Come On Over” (1997) and “Up!” (2002).
Everything one would expect to hear was there — staples like “Don’t Be Stupid,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “You’re Still the One,” “From This Moment On” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” which was — of course — the encore. The new material was woven in as seamlessly as possible with the hits. It all flowed; I was surprised when I did the tally after the show and realized almost half of the “Now” record made the cut. I hate it when you go hear one of your favorite singers with a new record out and they only do two-three cuts of their new material. Twain and co. paced it all adeptly.
My quibbles would be exceedingly minor. A video montage medley was sloppily edited. The cuts were jarring and left you feeling you probably could have done a smoother job on your phone. Band intros were skipped, an odd omission when you consider how genuine and sweet Twain seems. And the merch was wildly overpriced and underwhelming — some cute items were available but no program/photo book, the one thing I was mildly interested in.
I’ll save my biggest gripe for the Metro rail system — it was closed by the time the concert ended stranding thousands downtown. I’m not sure what the usual policy is, but I’ve known it to stay open an extra hour to accommodate Sunday night concerts. No such luck for Shania’s crowd.
Bastien Baker — 8:02 p.m.
Six-song opening set ends at 8:34
Shania’s set 9:02 p.m.
Overture — “We Will Rock You”
1. Life’s About to Get Good
2. Come On Over
4. Poor Me
5. Don’t Be Stupid
6. That Don’t Impress Me Much
7. Let’s Kiss and Make Up
8. Any Man of Mine
9. Who’s Bed Have Your Boots Been Under
10. Honey I’m Home
11. I’m Alright
13. You’re Still the One
* fan interaction
14. More Fun
* Video montage: The Woman in Me/You Win My Love/Don’t/Forever and for Always
15. From This Moment On
16. Gonna Getcha Good
17. Party for Two (duet with Bastian)
18. Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed (duet with Bastian)
19. (If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here!
20. Man! I Feel Like a Woman!
21. Rock This Country
Ends 11:04 p.m.