I went to TD Garden on Thursday to see Adele perform on her “25” tour, and she was so much more than I expected. Of course, I knew she has an incredible voice, but let me tell you — if she is anything like she was on stage, she is one of the most real people out there. As a self-proclaimed chatterbox, Adele took a lot of time between songs to really talk to her audience. Not only did she address her fans directly, but also she paused to squat and take selfies with those closest to the stage, even though she admitted just how bad it made her thighs burn.
Adele on how she loves Beyoncé and going to see her live in a couple of weeks pic.twitter.com/7o4bDwv5CP
— Music News & Facts (@musicnews_facts) September 10, 2016
Oh, and did I mention she has an absolutely wicked sense of humor? She warned her audience that if they were looking for a fun time, they were in the wrong place because her songs, essentially all about her sad stories and ex-boyfriends, are pretty miserable. She complained about her upper-lip sweat and shared just how much makeup she was wearing (regardless, she looked stunning). She talked about how she loves to drink but quit smoking, how nervous she was the first time she sang in front of a large arena and just how grateful she is for her fans (whom she’ll never take for granted.) At the end of the day, we were there for her music, so here is a definitive ranking of the top five songs from her show.
- “Chasing Pavements”
This song is a cult classic for those of us who can remember Adele from back when she was 19. It was my first experience with her powerful, captivating voice way back when, and to hear her still singing this song just warms my heart. As for staging during this song, she was in a cube of translucent screens that projected her face up close throughout the song, providing TD Garden with a 360-degree view of her expressions as she makes the magic happen.
— Adele Brasil (@adelebrcom) September 15, 2016
- “Make You Feel My Love”
Although this is a cover, what I love so much about this song is the backstory. Adele talked about how her manager, a huge Bob Dylan fan, once approached her and asked if she would sing this song. She said when she looked up the lyrics, she immediately fell in love with it. Plus, she was happy not to sing a song about herself for a change, and that energy showed during her concert. My favorite personal touch was right before the song when Adele asked the audience to hold up their phones because it made everything look so pretty. That detail really made the performance that much more memorable.
- “One And Only”
This was the third song in her setlist and when I think the show really began. The lights flashed on and the band on stage was revealed, full of rhythmic percussion, smooth string instruments and talented backup singers. It was during this number that the audience really fell in love with Adele. In the first couple of lines, she actually forgot the lyrics and asked the band to start over, all while maintaining a good spirit. She later joked about how that was the fastest she has ever forgotten the words to her own song, but I respect her so much for it. Not only did she own up to a mistake (that I hardly even caught), but she started over because she didn’t want to give her fans a performance shy of perfection.
- “Million Years Ago”
I was not familiar with this song before the concert, but it wound up being one of my favorites of the night. Black screens covered the majority of the band onstage and the audience was left looking at a small diamond-shaped stage on which Adele sang an incredible acoustic version of this song. She sat on a stool between two guitarists, who were also seated, and explained how the setting reminded her of when she used to play on smaller stages before all the fame. She shared stories of her friends and how she still wishes her mom could do everything for her, providing an appropriate introduction to this song about nostalgia for her youth. She really highlighted how she doesn’t forget her roots, which I think humanized her celebrity status.
- “Rolling in the Deep”
At first, it seemed as though “Set Fire to the Rain” was the finale of the night, but Adele was far from done. She appeared back on stage for “When We Were Young,” and then, for the closing encore of the night, “Rolling in the Deep.” This happens to be one of my favorite songs of hers, but what I loved about her performance was the fact that she got the whole audience to sing “You’re gonna wish you / Never had met me / Tears are gonna fall / Rolling in the deep” over and over again, as she sang the chorus to us. She kept her audience fully engaged throughout the entire show and just when we thought it couldn’t get any more exciting, confetti was fired from the ceiling, creating quite the finale.