Superstar and our collective bestie, Adele, starts her North American leg of the Adele Live 2016 tour in St. Paul, MN. The world tour, which kicked off in Belfast, Northern Ireland in February, has been receiving rave reviews for each of the sold-out performances as well as her set at the famed Glastonbury Festival. Invoking almost a religious connection with her fans, Adele’s tour promises a stripped-down, nothing-but-the-essentials set, free from the high-tech fanfare, costume changes, and stages full of dancers that audiences have come to expect from contemporaries like Taylor Swift and Beyonce. Most importantly, the no-frills stage production allows the singer’s much-admired personality to shine through, giving her time to connect with fans (or chastise them, as she did to one woman using a tripod to film her set in Verona, Italy).
Despite many – if not most – of her tunes erring toward melancholic, a set list that is likely to drive a listener to tears is peppered with the singer’s connection to her audience. Reportedly opening with her hit “Hello” and culminating at more than one date with an earth-shaking rendition of “Set Fire to the Rain, ” Adele’s honest, open, often humble personality (a.k.a. why she’s most likely the singer you’d want to have a drink with), only adds to her stunning talent. As I’ve written before, it is her maturity, coupled with a delightfully self-aware and self-deprecating sense of humor, that has already catapulted the young songstress into the stratosphere, placing her with names like Streisand and Bassey.
The above live recording of “Set Fire to the Rain” was made a few years ago, and listening to it again, I would like us all to agree that Adele should be the only person to sing everything ever. I’m not even embarrassed at my blatant sycophantic pandering, she’s amazing. While her tour is sold out on the primary market, there are still plenty of tickets available on the secondary market to see the singer as she makes her way through North America through November. Based on what we’ve heard, her shows are worth every penny.
Public service announcement: for all her humor and gentility, don’t get on Adele’s bad side, even temporarily. (And enjoy “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” live: