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Monday, November 2, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 50




Gettin' Jiggy





About the Cougar
 

The little Twain that could

Country/pop superstar performs admirably for packed house

By Jake McKim
Entertainment Editor

Before Shania Twain set off on her current Come on Over tour, many critics laughed her off and believed that she would never be able to hold her own on stage.

But, as she proved Saturday night, her stage show isn't all Pop-Tart fluff and cheesy lyrics.

Performing before a jam-packed crowd at the newly renovated Compaq Center, Twain gracefully moved about the stage, delivering the pop crossover tunes that have made her a multiplatinum, award-winning artist.

Dressed in skin-tight black pants and a revealing green midriff to start the show, Twain undoubtedly pleased her male fans as well as her female adorers with her stage presence.

Backed by a solid band that fit nicely with her unoverwhelming vocals, Twain moved skillfully through her two-hour, energy-laced set, belting out popular hits such as "Honey, I'm Home" and "You're Still the One." Attempting to show that she's not a cold-hearted diva, Twain introduced emotion to the show, at one point pleading to members of the crowd to donate to the Houston Food Bank.
 


Shania Twain poses for the audience during her concert, Saturday night at the Compaq Center.

 

Mason Rankin/The Daily Cougar

Continuing with that theme, she brought the Wheatley High School choir on-stage to back her up on "God Bless the Child," sending waves of sentiment throughout the enthralled crowd.

Glaring weaknesses of the show included Twainis spending far too much time conversing with the audience, engaging in pumpkin-carving contests and accepting gifts from fans, causing the more antsy audience members to begin shouting "Just sing!" and "Get on with the show!" after almost half an hour of time-filling gimmicks.

But once she did finally get on with the singin', Twain did her fans right and seemed comfortable doing it.

Vocally, Twain made full use of her unmistakable sound, obviously attempting to silence her critics, although at times sounding fatigued and falling into a pattern of straight-toned offerings.

Gliding through cuts such as "From this Moment on" and "Rock this Country," Twain walked a tightrope of being too lame, but never quite fell off.

After two costume changes (which included Twain dawning her trademark leather pants), moving ballads and toe-tapping jams, Shania (originally named Eileen) concluded her noteworthy set with "Any Man of Mine," no doubt leaving her fans wanting more.

Before Twain hit the stage, the Canadian-based Celtic music sensation Leahy set the mood of the night with its furious Riverdance-like dancing and intoxicating acoustic sound.

Clad in virtually all-black clothing (it was Halloween, after all), the nine-member group brought the crowd out of its seats and made the 30-minute set seem way too brief. Leahy engrossed Compaq Center with its unique music that strays from the commercial pop sound that often corrupts the radio. Already big in Canada, look for Leahy to make a name for itself in America in the not-too-distant future. 
 

Reach McKim at
dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu.
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