Superlatives never suffice to describe a voice like Adele’s. More importantly, they haven’t got to her head either and, hopefully, they never will as long as she has the right people around her. She debuted in 2008 with the album “19”, won two Grammy Awards a year later and became a record-breaking artist recognized both in UK as well as the US. Her latest album “21”, released in January 2011, was number one for 11 consecutive weeks in UK, surpassing Madonna’s nine weeks in 1990 with “The Immaculate Collection”.
She has no reservations in talking about her romantic failings and although her songs may give at first the impression that she is an extremely sad person, that’s not the case. On the contrary! Her jokes are delicious and her laugh infectious. She loves engaging with her audience, seeing their faces and hearing them sing along.
On Saturday night at O2 Apollo in Manchester, the 23-year-old British soul singer confirmed once again her class. Singing about her own life without feeling sorry for herself and giving hope to those with a broken heart are the things she does best.
Adele’s special guests were the country duo The Civil Wars and singer, songwriter and guitarist Amos Lee who performed their own acoustic sets. Excellent musicians who warmed the crowd up with a mix of folk, bluegrass, alternative country and pop! It’s definitely worth to mention The Civil Wars’ ingenious cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”.
After about an hour, Adele started her show with “Hometown Glory”. In between songs she entertained the folks with self-deprecating jokes and kept things light the whole time. Among the songs she performed, the classical ballad “Don’t You Remember” followed and then “Turning Tables”. She showed the light-hearted side of her personality in the lively “Rumor Has It” and it didn’t take her long to “Set Fire to the Rain” as well as move on to Steel Drivers cover “If It Hadn’t Been for Love”. Adele included in her set list a soothing cover version of Bonnie Raitt’s “Make You Love Me” and dedicated Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” to the loving memory of Amy Winehouse.
Saving the best for last, she ended her flawless performance turning the grief from “Someone Like You” into a wonderful sing-along, while “Rolling in the Deep” was all about thunderous hand claps and booming drums.
The fact that she writes her own songs, the retro air which defines a generation (Duffy, Amy Winehouse), and her unique sound give Adele authenticity in an industry that turns shallower day by day.
Â© Anca Dumitru 2011