You can take the country star out of Las Vegas, but you can’t take Las Vegas out of the country star. That was the impression I got, anyway, from Shania Twain’s concert Thursday night at Staples Center, part of a tour that follows the singer’s lengthy residency at Caesars Palace. Packed with costumes, lasers and pyrotechnics, the two-hour production was a splashy Sin City spectacle packed up for the road -- at least until the venue’s power went out near the end. I’ll have a full review of the show soon, but until then, here are five quick thoughts on the evening.
1. Twain is calling this outing the Rock This Country Tour after a tune from her smash 1997 album “Come on Over.” And she’s not kidding about the rock: Opening the show in a bedazzled Rolling Stones shirt (and later changing into a ripped-up AC/DC tee), Twain led a seven-piece band that happily cranked the guitars at every opportunity.
2. This is clearly a woman who loves red. From her microphone to her sunglasses to the lips-and-tongue logo on that sparkly Stones shirt, Twain used the color as a kind of visual embodiment of her trusty exclamation point. Other items in the favored hue: her eye shadow, some of her musicians’ gear and one of the several pairs of thigh-high boots she wore.
3. Twain has her own Popemobile, which she rode around the arena’s floor while singing “Any Man of Mine” and shooting video with a smartphone on the end of a selfie stick.
4. Just as the show entered the home stretch with a pumped-up run through “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” the sound onstage suddenly died -- the result, it turned out, of a subterranean explosion in a high-rise building on nearby Wilshire Boulevard. At first Twain seemed uncertain what to do, walking offstage and leaving her band to vamp in the half-amplified darkness. After a few minutes, she returned and did a funny bit with an audience member who’d identified himself as a rocket scientist (à la the guy in “That Don’t Impress Me Much”). Then, once the power was restored, she restarted the song.
5. Twain has said this tour will be her last, after which she’ll concentrate on recording. (Her most recent album, “Up!,” came out in 2002.) But unless I missed it amid all the visual stimuli, she made no mention of that idea Thursday, leaving the door open for the inevitable comeback trip.