I have always loved Adele. I tend to judge my favourite artists on how much I enjoy singing their songs, and Adele car singalongs with any of her albums playing have always been my favourite. From 19 to 21, I loved it all. Then, when I heard she was bringing out a new album I was so happy. She’d been away from the limelight to raise her first child for so long that it seemed like she would never come back. But she did, and she did it in style.
Admitting that she’d written an album that wasn’t good enough, causing her to throw it out and start again, was inspiring. If even the most talented people in the world can’t get it right first time, why should we expect ourselves to? Instead, her hard work, perseverance, and renewed faith in herself saw 25 sit proudly alongside her other albums.
When I first heard Hello on the radio, I cried. When I got my hands on her album, I couldn’t turn it off for weeks. When the tickets for her tour came out, I panicked. My London friends thought the ticket prices were too expensive, with the cheapest seats costing nearly £70. Undeterred, a group of my friends from the Disney International Program got together and we managed to grab tickets for the show in Glasgow. Yes, it would mean a five-hour train ride up to Edinburgh (including a delayed train on the way back which ended up being a nine-hour journey. Loving life). And yes, our seats were on the very back row of the arena. And when I say back, I mean the roof was the only thing behind us, which was rather novel, but nothing could take away from the fact that I was going to see Adele. Read on to find out about the experience.
We got to the SSE Hydro arena in plenty of time, buying drinks that weren’t too overpriced and a t-shirt which, at £25, seemed cheap compared to a tote bag saying ‘Hello’ for £20, and programmes also costing £20. What a rip off. But lots of people were buying merch because we all wanted a way to remember the performance.
Obviously we had the worst seats in the house, but it still didn’t feel infinitely far away from the stage.
While everyone was arriving, Adele’s closed eyes with perfect winged eyeliner were closed on the screen at the front of the stage. They stayed shut until the lights went down. When the music came on, her eyes blinked with every repetition of ‘Hello’, and eventually Adele slowly popped up from the small stage at the back of the auditorium. She sounded just like the CD.
Highlights included revealing a large band behind the projection screen, a sassy acoustic version of ‘Send my Love to Your New Lover’, and Adele herself. She was funny, witty, self-deprecating, and friendly. A fan was invited up on stage for a selfie because he had drawn a portrait of her and wrote a cute message about how Adele’s music had brightened his time at University. Then while she was telling stories on the smallest stage, she crouched her way slowly around the stage (looking slightly ridiculous in the process) so that everyone could take selfies with her. She told us stories about her day out to Glasgow Fort shopping centre, refusing to do the music video for Skyfall because she was very pregnant, and when she used to go to the local park to hang out with her friends. She was herself through the whole show, even stopping a song before the first chorus because she was worried she was flat.
There was an air of anticipation when she sang Someone Like You, most likely because everyone in the room remembers her haunting performance of the song at The Brits in 2011. It was just as good as it sounded on TV back then.
Even though Adele was live for well over two hours, the night was over all-too soon. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone in the arena wanted to be Adele, or to be her best friend. Her personality is so warm, kind, and encapsulates what it is to be British. Most of all, she is herself. She may be a star that fades into the background while she isn’t releasing a new album, but when she is in the forefront of pop, she shines the brightest.
If you could see anyone perform live, who would it be?