Saturday, August 6, 2016

Never Adele Moment

After eight years of being obsessed with Adele, countless "Someone Like You" sessions in the shower and vacant villa, fear for her vocal chords, years spent pining for new albums, and always being in the wrong country at the wrong time for her previous performances (which were oft canceled anyway), on July 30th the dream came true: I saw Adele live!

Brittany, Lauren, Maryana, and I made a weekend out of it, getting a hotel and chilling poolside while we emotionally prepared ourselves for the night ahead.

San Pedro Market, our favorite spot for dinner and drinks near SAP Center, was hoppin' that evening, with crowds of people charged for Adele.

Incredibly, walking towards the venue, we ran into Darrin, our LA-based friend from Vaca High, on the street corner.  This is the second time Brittany has run into him in a random city this year (the other was at Giant's spring training in Scottsdale)!  So fun to catch up in the winding lines leading to Mecca.

Now for the really incredible part: our tickets.  I had gotten insanely lucky with the fan club presale, and somehow had secured "Floor, Section A, Row 4".  It seemed too good to be true that we would actually be in the fourth row, but as we walked through the arena, the ushers kept, well, ushering us towards the front.  We felt like such VIPs as we approached our phenomenal seats, surrounded by people with actual VIP and backstage passes. 

Hello from the 4th row!

Once the lights went out and the first few bars started, the whole arena was buzzing.  She started at the stage in the middle of the arena (with "Hello", obviously), and when she made her debut on the main stage I was in shock.  She was actually human-sized.  Not but fifteen feet from me.  I could see her clearly with my own two eyes and didn't need to watch the screens.  Adele!  Hello, it's you!  It's really you!

It wasn't just our proximity to her, but also Adele's warm, chummy nature that made us feel like we were gathered together in her living room, to enjoy music and each other's company for an evening.  She interacted a great deal with the audience, bringing one couple on stage, exchanging British inside jokes with a man in our section, complimenting a young girl's dance moves, and taking selfies with half the crowd.

She's a firecracker, talking faster than my ears could process (she joked that the concert was so long because of her tangents, and it was true), swearing up a storm (while promising she wouldn't), and cackling like an amazing hybrid of Mrs. Doubtfire and Winifred Sanderson in Hocus Pocus while she strutted across the stage with her mug of hot honey in hand.

And relatable!  It was hilarious to hear her talk of her exploits at Target, Ikea, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond ("Some people get off the plane in California and head straight to In & Out Burger; I head to Target-it has everything!"), as well as a list of the movies she's been watching on the road.

She's completely self-deprecating, chattering about how out of breath she was just walking the stage ("I don't know how Beyonce does it"), and the depressing nature of her songs ("I have two seemingly upbeat songs, but actually they're quite sad, because, well, I wrote them"). 

There are basically two Adeles: the poised, precocious performer, and the cheeky Brit that just wants to have a good time with you.  We loved them both!

 Really getting into it

And of course, the music.  It took me the first half of the show just to process that she was real!  One woman, standing on a stage in front of 17,500 people, captivating us with simply her voice.  She shimmered in an all-sequined gown as she belted the songs that have made her one of the biggest artists of our time.

Favorite songs of the night:
  1. "Sweetest Devotion": (25): This song hadn't originally made a huge impact on me, but after she told us it was about the love she felt the first time she held her newborn son in her arms, the song brought tears to my eyes
  2. "Make You Feel My Love" (19): If I had to pick only one favorite song of all-time (near-impossible), I have often said it would by this Bob Dylan cover by Adele, and her description of why she personally loves it gave words to my same feelings toward this lyrically beautiful, moving piece
  3. "One and Only" (21): Maryana and I had the best time sassily rocking out to one of our all-time favorites!

The finale was "Rolling in the Deep", and the confetti explosion at the end only added to the magic of the moment.  

She managed to make confetti extra-special, as every single piece of paper had a lyric or note originally handwritten by her printed on it.  So cool! 

If only I could have 4th row tickets for every show.  The intimacy of this experience made Adele my favorite show of 2016 and I really can't imagine anyone upstaging her!

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