Monday, August 15, 2011

Adele, Up Close and Personal

by Kerby Lynch
Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Anticipation was in the air as we awaited Adele's long return to the Bay Area last night at Berkeley's Greek theater. That's no understatement. We'd already withstood venue changes, tour cancellations, a late start, an (admittedly powerful) opening act, and a drawn-out, dramatic entrance. And fortunately, Adele was worth the wait. She showed up and showed out.

Known for her now-ubiquitous single, "Rolling in the Deep," the British soul singer launched her set with a lyric from "Hometown Glory," a hit off her 2008 album, 19. I've been walking in the same way as I did, she sang, sending the crowd into a roar of excitement. The curtains went up, the bass and snare thrummed. Her set veered from classic soul to new wave, with some songs bolstered by ad-libbed confessionals: "I wish he was here to see all of this," she admitted, before going into a heartfelt romantic song about her ex. "Oh well, fuck him." The crowd laughed.

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Little moments like that made the reigning pop queen seem, well, personable, and helped prepare us for more extravagant displays of emotion — like her near-weepy performance of "Someone Like You."
Oft compared to the late Amy Winehouse (to whom she paid a beautiful tribute), the young soul singer clearly lacked her predecessor's tartness. She did, however, wear a vibrant hair color and black dress that flaunted her curves. She described her nails as "ghetto," and said she'd rather be a "Miranda" than a "Carrie" any day.
Adele was far from a classic diva, staying grounded with the number of dirty jokes and stories. She'd obviously matured a lot between 19 and her current album, 21, and she's also cultivated a more ardent fanbase — at this concert, people threw stuffed animals and cell phones on the stage.
Thanks, Adele. Come again soon.

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