Adele Captivates at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles


credit: Timothy Norris | LA Weekly

For months now, I’ve been dreaming about the Adele concert. I watched so many live performances online, listened to her album so many times that I was preparing myself to be mildly disappointed when I went to the Greek Theatre last night for her show. Not because she’s untalented or a bad performer, but because I had been building up this concert in my mind for MONTHS. There was no way it would live up to what ever my imagination had decided it would be. I was, of course, wrong. It was BETTER.

I arrived a bit late, but luckily found my seats by the start of opening act Wanda Jackson’s first song. She’s a spunky woman and I found myself bopping along to her songs, even though I didn’t know the words. During her rendition of “You Know I’m No Good”, dedicated to Amy Winehouse,  the moon hung low and red. At first I thought it was a lighting rig peering through the tall trees surrounding the Greek Theatre, but by Wanda’s final song, the moon lifted itself high into the dark Los Angeles sky.

Adele came on stage a bit later than scheduled and  the crowd was a bit restless, but when she sang the first line from “Hometown Glory” before appearing on stage, everyone fell silent in awe. Let me just say, the acoustics at the Greek Theatre are amazing. It’s a great outdoor venue and perfect for Adele’s breathtaking voice. Unlike her iTunes Festival performance (where she had just gotten the O.K. from her doctor to sing again), she was strong throughout her entire set. She has an unwavering command of her voice and it’s damn magical.

I saw a couple of whiny reviews about Adele’s Berkeley performance the night before, saying that she wasn’t a performer and that she didn’t engage with the audience, blah blah blah. None of the reviewers disputed her talent, but they seemed disappointed in her concert. Adele didn’t need fireworks or elaborate dance routines to engage the audience.  She stood there, completely vulnerable, and belted her heart out.  You ever received one of those phone calls at 1am from your best friend and she’s crying, hurting so badly that you want to hug her?  With each song, with each personal story, you wanted to console her like you would your best friend. There was something very lowkey and down to earth about her concert, which I really appreciated. The focus of the show was her story and, of course, her talent. Some performers zip through their sets without giving much insight into their music, but Adele chatted with the audience about her inspiration like we were all old friends. She was charming, even when cussing, and always very endearing. I enjoyed her banter as much as her music, which says a lot.

The set list reflected pretty close to her iTunes Festival performance, but I was sad that she didn’t do her cover of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt.

Also, there were two girls in back of me who decided that they couldn’t be bothered shutting up for an hour and a half and proceeded to talk throughout Adele’s entire set. This was not whispering in the ear kind of talking, this was I’m-going-talk-over-Adele-so-everyone-can-hear kind of talking. When Adele would belt out a line, instead of falling silent in amazement like the majority of people there, they talked LOUDER. What the hell is the point of going to a concert if you’re just going to talk the whole time? It’s not only rude to the audience members nearby, but to the performer.  I was about to strangle them with my skinny tie.

Anyway, here’s my video of “Don’t You Remember” from last night’s show:

Set list
“Hometown Glory”
“I’ll Be Waiting”
“Don’t You Remember”
“Turning Tables”
“Set Fire to the Rain”
“If It Hadn’t Been For Love”
“My Same”
“Take It All”
“Rumor Has It”
“Right as Rain”
“One and Only”
“Chasing Pavement”
“Make You Feel My Love”

“Someone Like You”
“Rolling in the Deep”