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Shania Rocks Wembley

I'll get to the point fast, Shania is the biggest thing in my life , and has been for a good four years now. Living in the UK, I have been somewhat disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm shown for UK fans by Shanias PR. We dont get the videos you lucky guys in the states get and we certainly dont get CMT or things like that. No, to see Shania one must watch VH1 or MTV all day everyday and rey to god that they got your request :)

So, when Shania announced the UK was to be included in her world tour back in 1998, I was incredibly happy! As soon as I could, I booked my ticket, but still I was some way from the front. The Wembley concert, as I am told by Way Ahead Ticket Brokers, sold out very fast following the success of That Dont Impress Me Much and this, I beieve gave Shania a great breath of fresh air.

I left for London at 8 in the morning and the whole journey was filled with Come On Over and Woman In Me blairing out in the car. When I arrived in London I simply waitied in my car until the crouds started to appear. By 6pm, the lines were forming, I had managed to get myself very close to the front and. Whilst we waited for the doors to open, I talked to a number of fans around me, all said the same thing - "We simply dont see enough of Shania on TV over here!" Some fans were lucky enough to have US VCRs and copies of Shanias video, others were not - but none of that mattered when the doors opened, soon I would be seing the woman of my dreams for four years!

The crouds packed into Wembley, rushed along by the rude staff there. I spent some £50 ($75) on Shania merchandise before locating my seat 2 blocks back in the center of the floor. The stage was huge, surrounded by massive video screens and packed full of roadies.

By 8pm, Leahy were on stage, and what a show they were! I have never seen a set of more talented musicians, and they kept the croud alive for at least 45 minutes. Then there was silence, then at 9pm, the speakers boomed! The famous "Man I Feel Like A Woman" intro was heard, followed by "Are You Ready London?". Most of the croud were out of the arena in the bar and so a rather poor "Yeah!" was heard! However when the little intro was heard again and the words, "I said are you ready London!?" were shouted, the croud was full and the roar was the loudest I have ever heard! Then in a hail of fireworks and explosions, Shania appeared with her band, tight leather pants, a sexy tight pullover and looking as fabulous as I expected. 

Without further adieu, I jumped into the air and slapped my hands together - those around me were happy with just standing there, I certainly was not! This was to be my greatest night ever and I wanted to get into the music! I jumped and shouted at the top of my voice throughout the night, nearly passing out during "Im Outta here". 

Shania had told us she was very nervous on coming to the UK, uncertain of what to expect from a nation that has turned a blind eye on country - however we had not turned from the Queen of Country, and Shania was filled with extra confidence when shouts came from the croud "We love you Shania!", "God bless you Shania", and my very own, "What took you so long to get here!?"

Shania played through every song on the Come On Over album (except for "If You Wanna Touch Her..", "I wont leave you lonely" and "Whatever you do..") and each song kept the croud gripped and excited. It was spectacular. The show was particularly rewarding for me, as during the slower songs (Youre Still The One, From This Moment On, God Bless The Child and Youve Got A Way) when the croud were seated, I stood on my chair, took off my T-shirt and waving it in the air shouted "Eileen!!" I caught her attention and she pointed and waved - it was just amazing! 

Shania played through many numbers from Woman In Me - fearing the croud would not know her songs. She couldnt have been more wrong. The shear noise of the croud singing along to "Any Man Of Mine" and "Who's Bed have your boots been under?" slapped a huge smile on Shania's face! She will soon conquer England as she has conquered the rest of the world - its just a matter of time!

During the show Shania invited a couple of German girls on the stage, cracked some great jokes about their tatoos and kissed them before handing them a picture - I was so envious of them, but thats what you get when your on the front row :) She then brought Leahy back on stage and sang "Dont Be Stupid" followed by (my personnel favourite) "Im Outta Here" - special guests on the stage included the local Boys Brigade (Im Outta Here) and a local school choir (God Bless The Child) 

The show seemed to go on for ever, although it only lasted 2 and a half hours - they were the greatest of my life! The croud went toally wild during "That Dont Impress Me Much". Having finished the song Shania disapeared in an explosion and reappeared on a lifted stage - being carried around the croud! I was a long way back, but that did not conern me. An elderly couple beside me shouted - "For Gods Sake go for it!" and I lept over my seat, past the security and to the center railing just as Shania approached. My T-shirt was off and me height served as a great advantage - Shania knelt down and shook my hand! It was fantastic. As she went past I knew Id never be content until I had topped this day (and I cant wait for her next tour) Shania went back on stage and finished with a superb - "Rock This Country".

She once again thanked the croud and the country for their support, and totally exhausted after a terific show, she vanished into the background. The lights were turned on and the leaving music played. It was all over, all over until 2001 when I will be dishing out wads of cash and getting myself a damn back stage pass :-)

As I left the arena, I looked around - everyone was smiling, everyone was sweating, everyone was panting - there was simply not enough oxygen in there, but we didnt care! Shania had been here, I had touched Shania, as had thousands of others that day! As a final note, I would just like to say, if ever you come to the point where you are debating whether or not you should go see Shania live - pull yourself together! There is no questioning the fact that Shania is the greatest diva out there, so she may not be able to reach the notes that Whitney H can - but Whitney cant write music! Shania has an AMAZING voice, an AMAZING figure and there is something about the way she is that evokes my greatest pleasures...go see Shania, Shania rules!

Peter Lovell

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