J.D. Lafrance
Shania Twain: Up! Live in Chicago DVD Review

Shania Twain: Up! Live in Chicago

May 4, 2003

Starring: Shania Twain, ,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

Filmed this summer in Chicago, Shania Twain brings her unique brand of country/pop rock to the masses.

Ah, yes. A wise man once said, and I quote, “She’s a lady. Woah, woah, woah, she’s a lady.” She’s gorgeous, she can sing, and to top it all she can put on a damn fine show. Yes, it’s the female Bryan Adams…it’s Shania Twain.

From singing in bars when she was a buck-toothed little country girl, to performing on live TV as a teenager and then having to bring up her brothers and sisters when their parents where killed in an accident, Shania Twain has certainly had to work for her success. Her first album was a flop but her second, The Woman In Me, was a huge hit and though her country sound has gradually sunk into the background a little to be replaced with more pop-friendly tunes, it’s this unique mix that seperates her from her contempories. Her third album, Come On Over, sealed her rising success but then she did something that would fill most music executives with horror: she took a three year break from music (something most pop acts today would never recover from. Cough – Appleton – cough).

When she returned in 2002 with Up! she found her fanbase was still there and, if anything, she was even more popular than when she left. This DVD showcases some of her new songs as well as some oldies.

Compared to the No Doubt Live show I watched recently, where twenty-something Californians rocked out to something a little more aggressive, Shania’s live concert is a slightly more friendly, family affair. Kids wave on their parent’s shoulders. Teenage girls sing into Shania’s mike. A bloke uses the opportunity to propose to his wife (dude, what if she said “No”? How humiliating would that be?) etc.

The show starts with a bang with Man! I Feel Like a Woman and Up! and manages to keep up the pace through Ka-Ching! and I’m Gonna Getcha Good! (she does like those exclamation marks in song titles, doesn’t she) until slowing things down about half-way through for From This Moment On. Audience interaction is kept to a sensible minimum during the 22 songs (just keep saying “I love Chicago,” the producer probably told her, and it works a treat every time). There’s not a bum note in the whole show, and the sound setup is outstanding. Overall, you wouldn’t regret finding this in your stocking this Christmas.

Special Features:

The lack of any real extras stops this DVD getting the full marks it deserves, and all we get is the choice of 2.0 or 5.1 sound and an example of other videos and DVDs from Shania’s back catalogue. Some back-stage footage or interviews wouldn’t have gone amiss, but this was originally broadcast on NBC, so what can you do? Take it or leave it. I’d take it.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 85%



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