Liza Rebecca Walsh as Shania Twain. Grimsby Golf Club. Friday 15 October 2021
Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Shania Twain Tribute with Liza Rebecca Walsh
Grimsby Golf Club
Friday 15 October 2021
Tonight, I attended a local tribute to Shania Twain, featuring the always glamorous Liza Rebecca Walsh as Shania. Since deciding to put together a Shania show, Liza has been thwarted at almost every turn by lockdowns and this show marks only her second show and her first since lockdown lifted. You would never have known though. Performing to a sell-out crowd, Liza weaved her magic spell on the assembled crowd.
Clad in Shania’s trademark leopard print outfit, she walked through the crowd to the opening of That Don’t Impress Me Much. The audience was enraptured as she confidently strutted to the small stage and masterfully played the room. The confines of the room meant that the show was reduced to a tiny stage, with the lighting very close sometimes obscuring the view but this is a minor quibble as Liza did her best to work the whole room, aided by her radio mic.
Though many in the room were Shania Twain fans, as evidenced by people singing along to album tracks rather than just the better-known singles, many were there for the event, and the entertainment was an added bonus. Liza exudes cool as she inhabits Shania’s performance. It was great to hear some less-known tracks such as I Ain’t No Quitter. I have a soft spot for the earlier Shania, rather than the later Vegas Shania. I may be in the minority but Shania's first couple of albums remain on my playlist, though I find the Vegas residencies to be a bit too cheesy for my taste.
The first set included some of my favourite tracks such as Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You), When, Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under? and You Win My Love. Liza manages to recreate Shania’s deep, rich vocal well and there is definitely something of the real Shania’s star quality in this performance too, as she charms the audience.
During the evening, audience members were encouraged to take part in the show as line dancers or in the case of retiring Golf Club Captain, Garry Hawkins, to join Shania on stage as “guitarist” replete in a straw Stetson supplied for him as part of the show. He was loving every minute of it and stole a kiss at the end. His wife clearly didn’t mind as she filmed his performance for posterity.
We were treated to several costume changes throughout the show, as you would expect from Shania herself and Liza’s attention to detail in recreating her stage wear is admirable. The outfits were practical and appropriate to each section, illustrating the glamour you would expect from the leather trousers and aforementioned leopard print through to recreations of outfits from the video for You Win My Love and the Up Close and Personal live DVD.
I know that Liza is always looking to increase the range of Shania looks for the audience, though quick changes in such a confined space were clearly challenging. In contrast to the use of backing tracks in the first set, the audience were treated to live accompaniment from Phil Ball, playing a really nice Gibson Everly guitar (readers may realise I often suffer guitar envy), and both he and Liza played an acoustic version of Any Man of Mine.
This set the tone as the show turned its attention to some more familiar country tunes that the audience would recognise. This proved a smart move for the present audience. Hits such as Jolene, Islands in the Stream, and Country Roads (Take Me Home) brought the audience flocking to the dance floor and the mood of the evening grew ever warmer. Two Everly Brothers songs from Phil allowed Liza to change into a Vegas-inspired outfit for Man! I Feel Like a Woman.
Returning with the signature tune gave a platform to bring out a few more of Shania’s hits, though the showstopping 9 to 5 from Dolly Parton completely won the audience over preparing the way for the conclusion of the show with You’re Still The One.
Liza clearly has the looks and the personality to carry a tribute of this nature, but it is her voice that really won me over. So often indistinguishable from Shania Twain. This show is going to go from strength to strength and I look forward to seeing it hit theatres and bigger stages in the future. Catch her while you can.
16 October 2021