ADELE Live Review
As the lights turned off, a crowded applause filled the Paulau Sant Jordi on the hills of Montjuic in Barcelona. The excited arena awaited with great expectations the greeting of what was about to become an unforgettable night. Suddenly, the word “Hello” reverberated in everyone's head, announcing the entrance of the songstress, an echo reminiscent of the first time it made the world of music stop eight months earlier (when her comeback was first proclaimed).
There she rose, from a platform located on a secondary stage in the middle of the stadium, saluting everyone as the attendees tried to bury her powerful voice unsuccessfully. Then came the moment we had all been expecting, and she started to belt out the chorus, smoothly combining the cracks in her thick chest register with the soothing touches of an airy head voice. A naturally emotional singer whose true strength lies in the projection of reality through her pipes, rather than perfection. As the song aproached the bridge she simply walked onto the main stage. No props, no fireworks, no smoke machines... just music. Not even the musicians where shown during the first few tracks.
Inmediately afterwards she jumped onto the next song. With little time to rest she proved that she would not be leaving anybody's favourite out of the setlist. Hometown Glory payed tribute to Barcelona accompaigned by a simple video; One and Only was a pleasant surprise and Rumour Has It gave everyone a rare chance to dance and clap, something that as Adele herself admitted, would not be happening often that night. What did happen was a series of conversations with the quirky singer, who seemed to be talking one-on-one with every audience member while having a drink at a local pub in Tottenham.
A couple new tracks passed barely noticed before the spy moment. That's right: the James Bond theme had never sounded so alive. A little orchestra, three brilliant back-up singers and a few red lights contributed to create the ambience of Skyfall, followed by a stripped-down section. All along, Adele kept displaying her God-given talent, belting out every single song, proving her lungs and vocal chords don't get easily tired. The audience received her sound by weaving a beautiful sky full of stars with the lanterns on their phones.
She didn't miss some fan favourites like Make You Feel My Love, right before granting us with the first surprise of the night: Sweetest Devotion. I must admit that the highly anticipated 25 brought me some slight disappointment in its reduccionist version of the same formula that had crafted her sophomore jewel, 21. However, her performance of Hello and Sweetest Devotion (the latter being one of the most vocal-demanding songs of the night and sweetly reminiscent of Sweet Home Alabama) proved that her new effort is simply better appreciated when it truly comes to life.
Just when I was starting to worry that Chasing Pavements might have been discarded from the set, she invited the audience to sing along her 19 single. Fans had their chance to get emotional with Someone Like You. Yet, I still wonder why she didn't just write Someone Better Than You. Afterall, isn't that why she left? Then she twerked a bit and that she tried to trick us in believing that she was getting wet under the rain. Funny, stunning and talented; what a beautiful person to spend the night with. But then... she left the stage.
Don't worry! She did come back. After the Grammy's, she didn't let All I Ask play a trick on her again. I believe she even joked about it, and didn't dissapoint. And then came the final and probably best surprise of the night. What might have seemed an indistinctive soul ballad back in November, when 25 came out, suddenly became alive. What an underrated piece of art! Yes, it is the melodic When We Were Young I am talking about. If it hasn't impressed your ears yet, give it a few more listens or go see Adele live. The album version doesn't match the power of the live performance.
Finally, Rolling In The Deep kicked off. Dancing to the drum kick, singing along and an incomparable energy served as the perfect goodbye. Such an emotional concert. Yet not in the simplifying way that it makes you shed a few tears, but takes you to a place within yourself where you can explore the music with every sense, and even picture your life through one of the highest-standard soundtrack. Best €70 spent.