wed 11/12/2019

Adele, 02 | reviews, news & interviews

Adele, 02

Adele, 02

Legendary Londoner back home for hot tea and hugs

Adele is resting her eyelids as the audience spills in, packing the 02, a huge video projection showing off those luscious eyelashes and dark eyeliner that have become synonymous with Adele style. Her eyes open as we hear the echoes of "Hello" before she appears on a small square stage in the middle of the auditorium, resplendent in a long, black, glittery gown. It's a spine-tingling, faultless rendition of the first hit from her most recent album.

This live show combines the three albums, 19, 21 and 25 - Adele's greatest songs, sung to great effect in her hometown of London. Walking to the front, main stage through the crowds, she greets fans as if they were old friends, before belting out "Hometown Glory" to a filmscape of London before the screen comes up and her band is revealed for "One And Only". "I know it ain't easy giving up your heart," she belts, with all the sass of a true diva - the waving hand and wagging finger in full flow. What an opening.

But this isn't a simple set of one track followed by another. There's a bit of a tea break (well, hot water and honey in her Mother's Day mug) while Adele chats to the audience, as if we're sat on a sofa eating Digestives. "Oh 'ello, 'ello!" She peers at the audience, "Oh my god, stop it! Oh, fank you. I've got so much to tell you, but I don't know what to start with..."

Adele basks in the words and melodies as mobile phones twinkle like stars around the auditoriumTripping into her more upbeat numbers (the others are self-admittedly more miserable) Adele gets everyone up and dancing to "Rumour Has It", with a pounding drum beat that carries it through to an almost a cappella last line "he's the one I'm leaving you for" before diving straight on into "Water Under The Bridge". Well, not before she takes the piss out of someone for being on their phone rather than watching her, and meets a few more fans from all over the world.

To be fair, there aren't many pop stars either, who could get away with the kind of banter that has the audience roaring between songs - Adele chats about "pumping and dumping" at the Oscars after a glass or two of champagne, feeling a bit emotional when she wrote a song while on her period, burping or popping her spots - all amid polished, magnificent performances of "Skyfall", "Million Years Ago" and "Don't You Remember". It's this endearing, personal side to her that makes the crowd adore her as much as they very clearly do.

As well-known chords begin, the crowd ripples with a fizz of anticipation for "Make You Feel My Love". Adele basks in the words and melodies as mobile phones twinkle like stars around the auditorium, giving the audience such a feel-good vibe that one couple got engaged right there and then. And subsequently brought onstage for a cuddle.

Returning to the small stage in the centre and surrounded by a gauze cylinder, the audience croons along to "Chasing Pavements" - a song that Adele claims no-one used to sing along to as it was too new when that first album came out. Oh how times have changed. Then comes "Someone Like You", the song that changed Adele's life, which she now dedicates to her smitten fans before rain starts to fall around her in a stunning stage display for a sensational delivery of "Set Fire To The Rain" before disappearing into the stage with a cheeky "goodnight".

Thank goodness for the encore, without which there would have been a fairly major riot, consisting of "All I Ask", "When We Were Young" and "Rolling In The Deep".

There aren't many pop artists that sound better live than they do pre-recorded and fine-tuned, but Adele is one of those rare beasts. Ignoring the fact that she is a pitch-perfect power house, it's the feelings she conveys, the connection she holds with her audience, the extra vocal trills, trips and raspy bits, that makes the live experience so incredible. She is a true legend in the making. 

she is a pitch-perfect power house

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters