Friday 3 – Saturday 4 March 2017
** All photos belong to me, unless otherwise stated, and cannot be used without prior permission and credit.**
The big event for February has come and gone, and as I’ve been mentioning it since November 2016, it’s only right that I write about Adele’s first Australian stadium concert. You knew it was coming. It’s a lengthy one, so settle in with a cuppa. Probably best to have a toilet break as well before you get too settled. 😉
So, how was it? That’s the question that I’ve been asked the most since the concert. A close second has been this one: Enjoyed yourself at Adele, did you? Let me answer in reverse. Yes, of course I enjoyed myself at Adele. How was it? How WAS it? It. Was. Phenomenal. That’s the short answer to the first question. In fact, for a slightly longer answer I’d go with this: Adele’s first Australian stadium show is the best concert I’ve been to. Ever. The even longer answer begins with the next paragraph.
I did mention to a few people that there was the potential for me to get a bit teary during a few of her numbers. ‘Hello’ is currently my all-time favourite Adele song, so the tears were likely to come in the opening number. Then I figured hearing sixty-five thousand people (yes, that’s 65 000 people all there to see Adele) sing the choruses of ‘Rolling In The Deep’ and ‘Someone Like You’ would tear me up again. Honestly, I was ready to be all fangirl teary at the drop of a hat, but it’s okay, folks. I held it together and remained tear free. I didn’t think it was a good look to be standing so close to where Adele walked, where she could see each and every one of us, and be sobbing like a tween because she sang my favourites. The part, however, where I was on the verge of welling up came right at the end of her show, when her pianist, Eric, played an extended outro of ‘Someone Like You’, and she walked off the stage and through the crowd, and she was welling up. Telecast on the massive custom made in China 360° screen was Adele walking back to her dressing room through the crowd, and she was tearing up. I suspect there was a level of emotional relief in those tears, but also a level of gratitude (which she expressed at the beginning of the concert, right after ‘Hello’) at the fact sixty-five thousand people had come to see her perform. It wasn’t something she was expecting, that sort of number.
Before I get on to the performance, I want to cover the banter that occurs at an Adele concert. If you’re not aware, she does drop the occasional F-bomb, and it wouldn’t be an Adele concert if she didn’t. Then there are the stories behind some of the songs – I like hearing those. She’s also known for telling an anecdote or two: explaining how she almost legged it out of the stadium before the show; or why there were no fireworks during ‘Set Fire To The Rain’ and suggesting she’d take a poll at the end of the show to see whether we thought fireworks were a good idea despite her son getting a bit of sh!t in his eye from the fireworks in rehearsal; how her propensity to say no to every request saw her almost lose the opportunity to record a Bond theme; trying not to freak out about a couple of cockroaches landing on the stage, not to mention the f*!king fly that ended up in her honey, which led to an assistant bring her a new cup of hot honey in a coffee mug made by a little American girl; and the very simple thing she did that cracked me up every time, and something I’d been looking forward to since the tour was announced – her laugh. I know, it’s weird, but Adele’s laugh is guaranteed to make me laugh. I love it. It’s a good, hearty, down-to-earth, genuine laugh. It’s real.
On to the music. Oh, dear Lord, I was in Heaven. The opening ‘Hello’ rang out across Domain Stadium, her eyes opened on the ginormous screen and it ascended, two more ‘hello’s rang out, and they were quickly followed by the opening notes of ‘Hello’. Well, what else would you start a concert with, if not ‘Hello’? I’d have wagered that she’d have done an Australian version of the song – G’day, it’s me . . . I’m in West Australia dreaming – but I’d have lost that bet. She stuck to the original lyrics of ‘Hello’, which was precisely the way I wanted to hear it, and it was brilliant. More than brilliant. Sublime. But then, that could be said about every song she sang.
Adele chose not to have a support act, so we were treated to two hours worth of old and new Adele music. We expected the show to begin at 7:30pm sharp, but it wasn’t until 8pm that the opening lyrics of ‘Hello’ pumped through the sound system. Now ordinarily, if a concert I’m attending starts later than the scheduled time, I might assume that the artist I was there to see was being a bit of a diva or a prat. As it turns out, Adele had been informed of the long lines, and by ‘long lines’ I mean ones that went around the block, and the potential that there were still audience members coming in via public transport, so she chose to hold off starting the show until 8 so that everyone was in and seated and didn’t miss a thing. She could have started the show, after all, it was her tour, her concert, her performance, her band, but no. Adele instead chose the right option for the paying audience – wait for all audience members to arrive, and everyone’s happy. I certainly was.
Her set list for the Perth show covered all three albums – 19, 21, and 25. She performed eighteen songs, and again, despite her claims of being pitchy when she’s emotional, I swear that every song was note perfect. And even better, there wasn’t auto-tune or lip syncing anywhere to be found. Adele belted out the big notes, and teased out the gentler ones, and particularly being so close to her, the audience felt every single one. I think there were only a couple of songs that audience singing fell flat on. ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ and ‘Chasing Pavements’ were the two most notably lacking audience singing, and ‘Hometown Glory’ to some extent. Of course, the diehards in the audience (yes, I’m one of them) belted out every note of every song, as did everyone in the VIP Golden Circle where my gorgeous cousin and I were standing. Our mamas, who were seated in the premium seats also belted out every note of every song they happened to know. In my mama’s case, I believe those seated around her got to experience her version of her favourite Adele song, ‘Set Fire To The Rain’. Go mama! I taught her well. 😉
I’m not going to give away any spoilers because there were some pretty cool things that happened in the concert, and it’s not fair to anyone who has tickets to one of Adele’s upcoming concerts, including the four at Wembley Stadium in June and July. And for those I’ve not mentioned it to, yes, I’ll be heading over to London for one of those Wembley Stadium concerts. Well, it’s only fair, isn’t it? Adele came all the way over to Australia to see me . . . us . . . her fans . . . so out of courtesy and respect, it’s only fair for me to travel half way around the world to see Adele in her hometown. It’s a tough undertaking, but I’m sure I’ll be able to cope with it. And yes, I’ll be in the Golden Circle there too . . . and there’ll be ninety thousand (that’s 90 000) other Adele fans in Wembley Stadium along with me . . . and her band . . . and tech crew . . . personal assistant . . . manager . . . probably her mama . . . possibly her son and her partner . . . maybe some of her good friends . . . security . . . merch vendors . . . and Adele, of course.
I could go on and on about the concert, and at some point, no doubt I will. However, at the moment, I’m content to revel in the afterglow of what was a phenomenal performance by an outstanding performer, and eagerly await my June date with Adele and ninety thousand other fans. The best part of The Finale concerts, aside from being at one of them, from where I’m staying in London, I’ll be able to clearly hear the other three shows as well. Scored.