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Shania Twain at BST Hyde Park in London

#CocoLive: Shania Twain, BST Hyde Park, London

It was all about the girls at BST Hyde Park gig on Sunday, with an almost all-female lineup.  BST’s schedule of summer gigs is now over halfway over with star turns from Kings of Leon, Andrea Bocelli, Robbie Williams and more.

Despite a deluge of rain and ominous clouds appearing throughout the afternoon, as if by a miracle.the sun came out just as the first main act Natalie Imbruglia took to the stage, looking absolutely stunning in a burgundy oversized puff-sleeve mini dress and black cowboy boots, the Australian singer reminisced about her last performance at Hyde Park and thanked the crowd and the sunshine for their appearance. She kicked off with an energetic rendition of ‘Wishing I Was There’ and ‘Smoke’ which alongside the angsty ‘Big Mistake’,  appear on her seminal 1997 album ‘Left of the Middle’. 

Of course, her cover of ‘Torn’ went down a storm with the crowd dancing along to her most-loved hit. She also teased the crowd with a new track ‘Have It’ which is a taster of what to expect with her forthcoming new album which will come out next year.

With her raw and hypnotic vocals, the very talented Elle King took to the stage. The Ex’s and Oh’s hitmaker was in fine form and seemed to really enjoy performing to the London crowd. Her set included the brilliant ‘Lucky’, ‘America’s Sweetheart’ and the fantastic aforementioned ‘Ex’s and Oh’s. There’s no doubt that after her Hyde Park performance that she will have added to her legion of fans.

Always a joy to see perform, the exuberant Anne Marie paid homage to the Queen of Country herself Shania Twain and dressed for the occasion, resplendent in leopard print. Charming the crowds throughout with her banter and down-to-earth personality, she performed tracks such as ‘Birthday’, Ciao Adios’, ‘Psycho’ and a lovely rendition of ‘Crybaby’. Her appearance in London comes fresh off the back of her stint at Glastonbury and just four months after giving birth to her first child. Her decision to include a cover of Haddaway’s ‘What Is Love? was nothing short of genius and she served up a winning cover of this classic track.

The last act to take to the Great Oak stage in Hyde Park before the headline act was Irish legends The Corrs. They were absolutely magnificent and could have easily been the headline act. The crowd were enthralled by them and it was so nice seeing so many people singing along to their career-spanning hits (largely were from the nineties)

There was a real feeling of nostalgia, but Andrea, Caroline, Jim and Sharon all showed why they are such brilliant musicians  playing the violin, guitar, drums, the bodhran and even the tin whistle.as well as what an impressive back catalogue that they have. It was not their first rodeo at Hyde Park with Andrea commenting that ‘the last time we were here was in 2016 and you guys have given us an incredible welcome back after [nearly] ten years. ‘They kicked off their 15 track set with the evocative ‘Only When I Sleep’ from their 1997 album ‘Talk On Corners’ – the album that cemented their reputation as international superstars.

‘Summer Sunshine’ from 2004’s ‘Borrowed Heaven’ went down a proverbial storm with a smiling yet serene Andrea commenting that ‘this song is appropriate [right now], let’s play it quick before it’s not!’  as did the rueful ‘What Can I Do’ and the sultry ‘Radio’.

The Corrs rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s hit ‘Dreams’ is a perennial favourite and their version of this classic song is absolute perfection. The sold out crowd were elated to hear this as well as the joyful  ‘So Young’ and ‘Breathless’.

When it comes to standout moments, I think the connection between The Corrs and the crowd was special throughout, but no more so than when they performed their dreamy hit ‘Runaway’ from 1995’s ‘Forgiven, Not Forgotten’.  The group seemed very moved by the crowd’s reaction and their immaculate set will put them in good standing ahead of their recently announced ‘Talk On Corners’ which hits arenas later this year both in the UK and Ireland.

And so on to the main event, Shania Twain and her age-defying looks, alongside her almost all-female band, she had the crowd in the palm of her hands from the very first note. Kicking off with the ever-jaunty ‘Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)’, Shania put the giddy into the evening air as she sonically navigated through the Shania Twain playbook. Looking absolutely stunning in her silver moon boots and a snazzy red Viviene Westwood matching red mini skirt and jacket, Shania was serving up a party – and we were all invited! 

Like The Corrs before her, Shania is no stranger to the BST Hyde Park stage commenting that: “All the legends play this stage, and I have played this stage before… 2003! I can’t thank you guys enough.”

It was a set that was wall-to-wall hits which included ‘You Win My Love’,  the inspirational ‘ ‘Wake Up Dreaming’ ‘‘Forever and Always’ and the jubilant ‘Getcha Good’ where she gave us all plenty of attitude. Shania took things down a notch with an acoustic rendition of one of her biggest hits ‘Still The One’, which saw couples, family members, friends and even strangers come together to sing their heart out to one of the most romantic songs of the nineties.

The track appeared on Shania’s 1997 seminal album ‘Come on Over’ which was one of the biggest selling albums of the nineties. Speaking to her fans before she sang the titular track, she said: ‘There have been a lot of people who have been with me since the release of this song. Come on, Harry Styles listened to it, and his mum listened to it… It’s a compliment that the music spans generations.’

And she’s absolutely right, there were fans of all ages listening to and loving her thrill-a-minute set which also included several tracks from this album such as ‘From This Moment On’ and the powerhouse ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ which had the crowd singing along. 

Paying homage to the thousands of cowboy hats adorning the heads of her fans, Shania also performed sparkling renditions of the contagious ‘Giddy Up’, ‘Any Man Of Mine’  and ‘Boots’ with her trademark country attitude citing that ‘The country vibe is so much a part of how folk music has developed around the world… Country music has kinda come back around in fashion, right?… I don’t care if they’re cowboy boots, wellington boots… we’re going to do some s***-kicking right now!’.

Of course, she absolutely did and it was great to hear songs from her most recent album (which ‘Giddy Up’ appears on) ‘Queen of Me’. Despite having a cold, the Queen of country was in sparkling form and apart from having to stop once or twice to blow her nose (laughing as she remembered to turn away from the camera and the thousands of eyes on her!) Shania was a consummate professional and delivered epic renditions of her most-loved hits throughout her unforgettable set.

BST HYDE PARK 2024 – July 7 2024 Shania Twain performs on stage at BST Hyde Park (Photo by Dave Hogan/Hogan Media Shutterstock)

She concluded her jam-packed set with ‘Party For Two’, a blistering rendition of ‘Rock This Country’, and, of course, a show-stopping, heart popping ending with ‘Man, I Feel Like A Woman’.

It was joyful and emotional in equal measure, especially as at one point in her career, Shania feared that she may never sing again after having open-throat surgery. Her appearance clearly meant the world to her declaring that she would ‘remember this forever, I promise you!’.

She won’t forget and after that powerhouse of a performance, neither will we!  This was an euphoric, enchanting and emotive set that rocked Hyde Park and showcased what an incredible singer and performer she truly is.

Photo Credit: Dave Hogan