On July 20th, the one and only Adele performed at Rogers Arena in Vancouver—the first of two sold-out concerts in the Canadian metropolis, as well as the fifty-eighth show along her sold-out 2016 world tour, which now has the global phenomenon traveling throughout North America.
The 28-year-old singing superstar entertained and enchanted the room for a full two hours, powering through a setlist consisting of a mix of the most popular tracks from her age-inspired albums 19, 21, and 25. Adele had the audience’s attention from the first “Hello,” when she magically appeared on the secondary B-stage to start the show with her greatest hit from 25. On the main stage, the pride of Tottenham threw it back with a glorious performance of “Hometown Glory,” as images of her hometown (and of Vancouver, in honor of the local crowd) appeared on the mega screen. Her spectacular backing band and vocalists kicked into high gear during “One and Only,” lifting the arena’s energy up into the stratosphere. Adele took a break from her repertoire of sad songs to deliver two upbeat numbers, “Rumor Has It” and “Water Under the Bridge,” before transitioning back into her dramatic domain with her Oscar-award winning James Bond theme, “Skyfall.” Tear-filled nostalgia followed with a mini acoustic set of “Million Years Ago,” Adele’s ode to her childhood friends, and “Don’t You Remember,” a bluegrass-leaning ballad inspired by one of her musical heroes, Alison Krauss. She then dove into her latest single off of 25, the catchy “Send My Love (To Your New Lover).”
Adele’s acclaimed cover of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” was one of the many highlights of the night, as her breathtaking vocal performance was illuminated by the cell phone lights of the crowd. She sweetly and sincerely dedicated the next song, “Sweetest Devotion” (which was written for her son) to the one big love in every person’s life. Returning back to the B-stage, the songstress sang the first song that launched her career in music, “Chasing Pavements,” the wistful weeper “Someone Like You,” and the scorching and soaring “Set Fire To The Rain,” complete with special effects to simulate rainfall around her. Amidst thunderous applause and cheers, Adele came back for an encore on the main stage with the sentimental “When We Were Young,” accompanied by a slideshow of her personal photographs in the backdrop and the ultimate closer, “Rolling in the Deep,” igniting a giant sing-along and cumulating in a confetti shower.
Dressed in a custom-designed black sequined (and sparkly) Burberry dress, Adele exhibits quintessential English qualities, from the soothing cup of tea she was sipping on to her charming and lovely personality. Her self-deprecating humor, signature cackle laugh, fast-paced speech, and profanity-laced mouth (though toned down quite significantly for the family-friendly audience) is what endears her to fans. For someone whose private life is extremely private, she is very personal and down-to-earth on stage, proven when she recounted the story of her and her son’s adventures the previous night when they watched The BFG at the movie theater and visited the cat cafe, Catfe across the street.
Although Adele’s voice and presence can certainly fill a stadium, there is the risk of losing that intimate value of a show when making the move to arena-sized venues. Triumphantly, she made a valiant effort to acknowledge and involve her audience as much as possible, bantering with the audience members and asking where they’re from, waving and cooing at children, and even pulling enthusiastic fans up on stage for hugs and selfies (or as she calls them, ‘Adele-fies’). In this way, Adele makes each show every bit as unique and memorable as the talent she is.
Adele will be performing in cities across North America throughout the summer and fall. For tour dates, visit adele.com/live.