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Live Review: Shania Twain – 7th July 2024 – BST Hyde Park, London, UK

7 min read
Day 6 of @BSTHydePark and it was the best yet. @CorrsOfficial and @ShaniaTwain delivered the best of the BST shows to date with sets full of 90' nostalgia...

Shania Twain | Photo by Dave Hogan

It was Day 6 of this years incredible BST Hyde Park series yesterday and it was one that this reviewer was particularly excited for. As a huge fan of The Corrs and Shania Twain, I was positively giddy as I skipped along the pathway leading up to the Hyde Park entrance in anticipation to see both world-renowned acts take to the stage for their allotted time slots.

Arriving just in time to catch more recent success, Anne-Marie, the venue was already looking at near full capacity as Country music fans flooded the park with cowboy hats and cowgirl boots worn by a large majority of punters that were already singing back Twain hits in their own individual groups. As a handful of casually dressed, hooded dancers emerged onstage, it was Anne-Marie’s time to shine with a string of her hits that included opening number Alarm, the catchy 2002, where she playfully interacted with her dance troupe and bounced atop a pile of multi-coloured mattresses, a performance of her collaborative hit with Clean Bandit, Rockabye and signature hit, Psycho.

As she performed in a very warm looking but appropriate for the day leopard print ensemble, bursts of flames erupted, and a house-themed backdrop of images was cast upon the Hyde Park screens.

From the opening note, the singer delivered some of the most incredible live vocals we have ever heard – each song carrying an effortless punch thanks to her confident stage swagger and personable stage presence; the musician often interacting with the audience and pulling out the dance moves with her backing dancers as if she has been doing this for decades.

As the crowds slightly dispersed for a toilet break or to grab some food or a pint or two between acts, we seized the opportunity to make our way closer to the stage for next in the line-up – The Corrs. There was no way we were going anywhere or losing our place for this band.

The Corrs have gradually been making another comeback over the last few months with a much talked about tour of Australia, New Zealand and Asia so we were smiling from ear to ear when news was announced that the sibling quartet was to perform on yesterday’s line-up. We have been fans of the band since day one and have seen them perform several times over the last 30 years and once again they did not disappoint yesterday as they delivered one of the most well-received performances of any BST Hyde Park act that we have seen over the last few years.

The band are currently focusing on the 25th anniversary of their ground-breaking sophomore album, Talk on Corners and have several UK and Ireland dates penciled in for November, so it was fitting that the bands BST set featured many of the songs taken from that record.

The Corrs | Photo by Dave Hogan

Opening with the thumping (and my personal Corrs favourite) Only When I Sleep, each band member shone as they mastered their trademark instruments during their stellar greatest hits set. Andrea, dressed in a little black dress with large ruffled red flowers lining the top offered exceptional vocals, especially during some of the bands most famous ballad and mid-tempo set inclusions including Forgiven, Not Forgotten, Talk on Corners album track, Queen of Hollywood and a stunning offering of Radio, adding her quirky tin whistle to many of the hits in the set.

Sharon looked gorgeous in a full length, shimmering black-belted silver dress as she seasoned each number with her trademark violin, adding a rich, Irish solo to songs like Give Me a Reason and stealing the spotlight on traditional numbers Haste to the Wedding, Toss the Feathers and the gorgeous Erin Shore. Sharon, dressed in a red leather jacket, watched over the band from the back of the stage, applying her impeccable drumming skills to the bands performance while brother Jim offered the acoustic backbone to the set with his impressive guitarwork.

As the band played the crowd relished in belting back the quirky What Can I Do and Talk on Corners hit, So Young with passionate gusto while they almost entirely took over power ballad Runaway, leaving Andrea looking very emotional and unable to sing much of the hit because of being taken back by crowds reception to the bands return to the forefront of pop where they rightfully deserve to be.

The Corrs | Photo by Dave Hogan

With an incredible performance of Breathless and instrumental Toss the Feathers, Andrea thanked the crowd again and promoted the bands November tour, giving way for the announcement at the same time online of a London date being added for November 20th at the O2 arena. The band were the highlight of the entire BST series for us and we will definitely be online at 10am on Wednesday for the O2 presale to see the band again as they bring their Talk On Corners arena tour to the capital.

At this point in the day the crowd started to swell and room to move become tighter and tighter. This was by no means any time to venture out of the golden circle area for a toilet break or a drink. Following The Corrs incredible slot, the audience were in such a happy spirit; singing and even doing their very own version of an Irish jig in their groups as they downed their next can of gin and tonic in the summer sunshine that was finally gracing London.

As the enormous Hyde Park screens started to light up and the background music fading, the crowd erupted with applause as Shania and her band leapt out onto the stage and dove straight into Come On Over hit, Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You). Dressed in a matching jacket and shorts compo with knee high silver glittered boots, the headlining superstar of County crossover looked radiant and full of life as she danced around the stage with her energetic band during career notables that spanned each of her ground-breaking records.

Shania Twain | Photo by Dave Hogan

The crowd served as a reassuring vocal backbone to You Win My Love and Waking Up Dreaming before her country-crossover hits from Up! were brought out to the eager crowd.  “I have played this stage once before, it’s been a while… here I am again and I just can’t thank you enough” she told the crowd before a powerful performance of the album’s title track and the following I’m Gonna Getcha Good!, drawing attention back to 2003 when she brought her Up! tour to the UK. As someone that was at that show 21 years ago, this brought back a lot of personal nostalgia and reminded me just how much of an effect Twain has had on the industry, to be filling such massive spaces like Hyde Park and Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage over two decades later and after over three decades since the start of her career.

Early country albums had their time to shine with the inclusion of honkey-tonk hits Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?, (If You’re Not in It for Love) I’m Outta Here! and Any Man of Mine encouraging pockets of fans in front of us to join forces and perform their very own versions of a line-dance-off, while a memorable rendition of Party for Two saw band member Lindsay Ell deliver a masterful version of the track as both singers belted out the catchy number.

Admitting to feeling slightly under the weather with a cold and needing to take regular sips of water and the occasional wipe of the nose, you would never have thought she was in less than top form as she turned out the full throttle, foot thumping classics Honey, I’m Home, That Don’t Impress Me Much and Rock This Country! with the same amount of energy as the first time we heard the superstar deliver these songs back in 2003.

Shania Twain | Photo by Dave Hogan

With the crowd being treated to so many up-tempo numbers to dance along to, Twain was strategic in placing some of her most famous ballads in between as perhaps a way for her and her fans to catch their breath. A crowd supported sing through an acoustic performance of You’re Still The One had arms in the air and swaying along to the gorgeous hit while a sun rise was cast upon the giant screens for a beautifully harmonized rendition of From This Moment On.

Always so personable with her audience, Twain was generous in offering as many anecdotes as possible in between the hits; always explaining how grateful she was to fans who have been by her side since the very early days of her career. And those fans were out in full force last night in their cowgirl and cowboy attire, screaming back ‘I love you’s’ to the undisputed Queen of Country.

As darkness took over Hyde Park and the night drew to a close, Twain ended her phenomenal performance – one that was cited by many as being far better than her earlier Glastonbury headlining slot at the end of June – with the song everyone was waiting for. As soon as the opening bars of Man! I Feel Like a Woman! were introduced, fans went crazy and just like a karaoke singalong, the number was given the gold standard treatment by both Twain and the Hyde Park crowd as the famous hit was offered up with a colorful array of stadium lights alighting Hyde Park and the singer waving to each section of the crowd before exiting the stage.

Between The Corrs and Shania Twain, last nights BST Hyde Park show was quite simply the best of the series. Not just this year, but since the series started. Hands down!

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