One of the hottest singers on the planet put on a concert for the ages at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, as her soaring vocals and down to earth charm electrified the 95,000 plus that hung on her every word. The massive stage features a close up of her trademark lashes, before she appears. As she does, the video screens in the round move upwards and the black and white images transform to reveal her eyes wide open and then blinking.
Adele kicks off with “Hello …” that big, big voice of hers, those guttural sexy tones winning us over from the opening note. Making good use of visuals throughout, with a series of video clips supplementing her dynamic vocals, she gives it her all, clearly confident in her ability and comfortable in her own skin. Right now she is in a good place and it shows in her performance. She is the genuine article and keeps it “real” from go to whoa.
The two-tiered circular stage sees her walk down a set of stairs from the tighter upper tier to a large outer rim on a number of occasions. Adele interacts with her adoring audience repeatedly and talks a lot during a two-hour set that features 18 numbers, including her big hits. The lights in the stadium are turned up and down depending upon her byplay and the mood she is looking to create. She swears like a trooper and admits to enjoying using expletives, saying it calms her down, but out of her mouth there is nothing offensive about it.
Adele seems genuinely appreciative that we have turned out to hear her in such staggering numbers … on her first trip Down Under. She uses a large super soaker-like toy gun to shoot four signed t-shirts into all sides of the venue and towards the end we are treated to kiss cam, with the camera trained on random concert goers. Earlier, hundreds of black and white balloons are released into the crowd and at another point confetti dwarfs and encircles the stage.
Her Bond smash and Oscar winner “Skyfall” goes down a treat and “Set Fire to the Rain” hits it out of the park, while “Rolling in the Deep” is another big set piece. She finishes with the soulful “Someone Like You”, which she wrote as a 21-year-old … and it changed the trajectory of her career. No encores for Adele. Song sung, concert done, she leaves by walking alongside we patrons. It says she is just like us – well “yes” and “no”. For the star struck, it was, indeed, a special experience in the company of a talent that is in such rarefied air, justifiably resulting in global acclamation.
To say some tracks gave me goose bumps is no exaggeration. Adele is playing at Adelaide Oval on 13th March and at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne’s Docklands on 18th and 19th March.
* I attended Adele’s second and final Sydney concert as a guest of British Airways.
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- Human Nature: Little More Love (touring) – music review
- Spencer Sings the Hits (Jon Spencer) – music review
- Missy Higgins on tour – music news
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television