Credit Union 1 Ampitheatre
Tinley Park, IL
Review and Photos by Nina Tadic
Shania Twain proves she is a reigning queen of country yet again with her Queen of Me Tour in Tinley Park.
Over the past three decades, Shania has been turning out single after single, and they have all become instant hits – in 2023, it is no shock that she can pull out a crowd in the thousands to sing along to every single song on her setlist, whether they’re from 1995 or this year.
Not new to this rodeo, Twain has always been a performer focused on her fans’ experiences – and that translates perfectly with every detail of the Queen of Me Tour. Country kings, queens, and in-betweens of all ages entered Tinley Park’s Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre this past Saturday in all types of cow-print, disco-balls, bandanas, you name it, in droves, all knowing they would be in for quite a night.
The Shania experience began right inside the gates of the Queen of Me Tour, where fans could opt to order Shania-themed drinks complete with hot pink cowboy hats and disco-balls on their straws – just one small taste of the sparkle that they are greeted with by Ms. Twain herself.
But once she takes the stage… boy, does she do it with a bang. With the house-lights down, and a line of shimmering white lights flickering onstage, the crowd as a whole has their eyes locked on the stage, phones out to record the tour opening, folks hooting and hollering and cheering before seeing any sign of Shania. And then… she’s not on the stage at all, but in the crowd! Being pushed down the walkway dividing the lower and upper levels of the amphitheatre, standing in a cart disguised as a case of music or lighting gear, big sunglasses and trenchcoat on, Shania belts out every line of “Waking Up Dreaming” while she grabs for fans as they reach out for her. High fives, hand squeezes, arm grabs – she loves each and every person in the audience the same way they love her, and she shows it from that very first song.
And then she hits the dimly-lit stage, a wild technicolor rocket-ship blasting off behind her as “Up!” begins, and she spins around to face the crowd atop of a raised platform in the most dazzling outfit. A blue-silver dress/bodysuit with one flowing sleeve and a flowing neckline both made to blow in the wind, patched denim leg warmers up to her knees, glitzy, studded heels and glamorous, shimmering necklaces to match – she is nothing short of a living country woman disco-ball onstage – and it works. All eyes are on her, and every one is full of adoration.
Another facet of the disco ball that is Shania’s performance is her choreography. With a team of dancers and musicians behind her, and she herself spinning, dancing, twirling, and shaking her way across the stage, the energy across the amphitheater from row one to the back of the lawn was contagious. Everyone was just giddy with it. This crowd was a sea of light-up cowboy hats yeehawing and dancing like there would be no tomorrow, and that energy was very clearly coming straight from the woman in the spotlight.
It’s also worth noting that Shania loved bringing her fans onstage to “Twaintown Saloon” to be a part of the fun! At one point in the night, she stopped to thank a woman in the crowd who noted that she had not been to another concert since Elvis in the ‘70s, and later brought up someone wearing her Up! Live in Chicago yellow shirt for a hug and a selfie. When the fan told her she “made his life,” she let him know he did the same for her. She then made sure the entire crowd knew how much their love and support meant to her over the years. She thanked two girls “around age six” for singing and dancing along to “Waking Up Dreaming” at the beginning of the night, and even invited a fan (Melanie) up onstage after seeing a message from her boyfriend (Chad) who let Shania know that Melanie would “probably pass out” if she had the chance to meet Shania. Melanie did not pass out, but she sure had a wonderful time on stage and was nothing but smiles all around as she had a short but sentimental conversation with Shania about the impact of her music.
It became very clear around this point in the night that as much as Shania was there to encourage and entertain her fans, she was also being so strongly encouraged and comforted by them, as well.
If her appreciation was not clear before she played sixteen hits in a row, it definitely was when she came out for her encore – “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” back to back in the original “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” music video dress. A treat for both fans and herself, she let everyone know that she was extremely excited to pull the dress out of a museum after twenty years and give it some love. Needless to say, fans gave it plenty of love, all twenty-some thousand of them jumping, dancing, and shouting every word of the songs until the very last note.
Shania Twain is in it for love, and her fans are not going to be out of here any time soon. For a musician of her caliber, it’s hard to believe she could continue to move on up, but the Queen of Me Tour is proof that she has and will continue to do so. For as long as Shania wants to hit the stage, her fans will want to fill those seats.