“I am not allowed to drink anymore,” Adele told the packed AccorHotels Arena in Paris on the second night of her two-night sold-out concert in support of her multi-platinum third album, 25.
She is of course referring to an interview she did last year with Graham Norton where she revealed that in the past she had drunk-tweet and caused some embarrassment.
“But tonight, I am going to have a glass of wine to celebrate. Plus it is my day off tomorrow. So, Paris, can you help me have a good show so I can drink after the show?”
Consider it done, Adele!
From the minute she stepped on the stage, belting the crowd favourite and YouTube record-buster Hello, the 27-year-old singer had the fans eating from the palm of her hand. And it is not just because of her amazing vocal chops but her trademark sharp wit as well.
“Most of my songs are sad, as you know. There are some songs that sound happy, but they are actually not. But this is your only chance to dance in my concert. No, I am serious, this is the only chance you’ll get to get up on your feet,” Adele deadpans before launching into Rumour Has It.
She is right though. As much as I love Adele, I do find listening to her songs in succession to be quite daunting and sad.
Luckily, that’s not the case in this concert, where she performed 17 songs from three albums, 19, 21 and 25. Perhaps her banter with the audience kept the mood relaxed.
While you are moved to the melancholy of songs like Hello and When We Were Young; the sadness in numbers such as Someone Like You and Chasing Pavement; and kiss-off tracks like Rumour Has It and Rolling In The Deep, you are also immediately captivated by how Adele sounded almost flawless, as though you are listening to her CD (she did stumble in one track and immediately asked for a restart, joking, “Well, at least you know I sing live!”).
While most artistes change up the arrangements during live shows, Adele kept hers somewhat similar to the original numbers.
Adele is, after all, not like most artistes. In a crippling music industry where fans aren’t interested to buy albums anymore, Adele’s latest album 25, released in November last year, did what many thought was impossible in the current state of music business: she sold 3.38 million copies in the first week of release in the United States – a record she still holds today.
So, when she announced her first tour in years, tickets were snapped up as soon as they were released.
Adele single-handedly proved you do not need to wear skimpy outfits, sing overly-sexual songs, or release tantalising music videos to sell music.
And she brought the same concept to her show. The stage was bare, there were no change of clothes and no pyrotechnics or gimmick, save for the performance of the final number Set Fire To The Rain where Adele sang on a second stage cocooned by falling water.
For a show that was minimalist from start to end, that gimmick caught fans by surprised.
But what didn’t surprise the crowd was her interaction with fans throughout the night. Though it was a large arena, the British singer still managed to make it an intimate evening by telling stories about her life in general. She’s also fond of self-deprecating humour.
“It’s so hot in here. I am sweating so much,” she said in between songs. Then, she caught a glimpse of herself on the big screen and exclaimed, “Oh God, the sweat on my upper lips is just too intense. Look!” she went closer to the camera for the crowd to have a better look before dabbing it with a towel.
And then there was the time when she had the lights turned on in the arena so she could look for the fan who cried when she sang the opening number, Hello.
“Where are you? I need to find you!” After the fan identified himself, she invited him onto stage for a selfie, but was shocked to find out he flew all the way from Brazil to catch her show (Adele is only performing in Europe and North America for this tour).
“No way!” she said excitedly.
Given that she has won Emmys, Grammys and Oscars, Adele sometimes can’t believe her success or the lives of people she has touched.
“Where I come from, people don’t win Oscars,” she said before singing the James Bond theme, Skyfall, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2013.
It is this exact humility, and sense of humour, and of course those soaring vocals that has made Adele one of the most beloved singers today.
“These (two nights in Paris), by far, has been the two best shows of the tour,” Adele said to the delight of the crowd.
Judging from the deafening applause and screams from her devoted fans, Adele must have celebrated with wine later that evening for another successful show under her belt. Tchin-tchin!