Opinion: Shania Twain - that didn't impress me much

OPINION: Shania Twain's Auckland concert could be compared to the New Year's Eve celebrations you've been planning for months, you know, when you get to the actual event after such heightened expectations, only to be left disappointed.

Let's be honest. The once-great Shania could have fallen asleep on stage last night if she wanted and her hysterical cowboy-boot-laced fans would have still worshiped her.

But last night's attempt at reliving the glory-days was lip-sync laden, with a star who I thought was about to burst out crying when speaking to the crowd about how "pleased she was to be back in New Zealand".

Twain, 53, arrived on stage to one of a million roars she would soon receive from her adoring fans.

They had the leopard print, they had the boots, and they even had the reasonably priced Kim Crawford chardonnay at the ready. The night started with a song from her new album Now, which has so far had decent success, debuting atop of charts world-wide.

I have to say some of the new songs are catchy, but not everyone's cup of tea. My girlfriend was left frustrated (not like that) by it, however, demanding to only hear the bangers of old. I also felt confused she didn't start the night off with one of her best songs to get the crowd going, but hey, what do I know?

Within minutes my suspicions of lip-syncing seemed confirmed, the music's backing tracks were unusually loud, and the big-screen cameras were careful not to get too up-close and personal as to give her game away.

Despite that the show's production was very good. Twain had a number of glamorous costume changes, her band and backup dancers were excellent, and the stage lighting and LED platforms were equally as impressive.

What DID help last night's performance were, of course, her hits, and she has so many.

Twain interspersed the likes of Up!, Honey I'm Home, and You're still the one, with her new music, so her fans got a taste of the old and the new. But two hours of anyone is difficult when the whole time you want to hear the vocals, and see the energy of old.

I don't want to be too harsh to Twain, I've loved her music for years, and she's struggled through the last decade whilst dealing with heartbreak, all the problems that come from that, as well as losing her voice which led to a 15 year hiatus.

It's a testament to her success her adoring fans still manage to fill out arenas across the world, including her concert at Spark Arena.

It's hard for Twain to compete these days with so many vocally-talented artists gracing Auckland, even within the last year we've seen Sam Smith, Adele, and Ed Sheeran. But when you command an asking price for a ticket well into the hundreds of dollars, you need to be pretty bloody amazing, but Shania just wasn't.

In fairness (and its Christmas, I want to be nice!)  the Queen of Country has a charm many artists simply don't have, and that came through when she took time to invite a couple of fans on stage. But after a long time out of the game, the Shania of old isn't back just yet, so don't be too disappointed with missing this one.

Mitch is a TV reporter for Newshub based in Auckland.