Last night (Tuesday 12th April) I was lucky enough to attend Adele's concert at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin. Now, when I say 'lucky', I mean that I paid €30 for my ticket back in November, while fans desperate for a last-minute ticket were paying up to and over €1000 for the chance to see the singer live on stage.
When I arrived at the Olympia, my first thought was that I had come to the wrong venue. Surely a BRIT-winning and Grammy-winning star who has ruled the British charts for months would not be performing in this 1300-seat hall squashed between a Chinese fast-food and a French restaurant? But once inside, I began to see the appeal of this venue and why such a place would be conducive to the intimate atmosphere generated by Adele's music. The Olympia is stunning and allowed Adele's voice to shine through and fill the room.
Michael Kuanuka was the support act and he did a nice job of establishing the melodic, contemplative mood which would pervade throughout the night. If you want to read about him, check out his Facebook page.
The lady of the hour took to the stage just after 9pm and she began her set with a performance of "Hometown Glory", a song which still produces chills for me after countless YouTube views and 2 years of it being the de-facto sentimental song in any one of many (far too many!) UK or US teen dramas. From here, she ploughed through a number of tracks from her latest LP "21" and then paused to express her deep affection for Dublin. Perhaps she heard of the €1000 fee some were willing to pay just to hear her sing for 80 minutes!
Adele performed several tracks from her debut album "19", which hold up well, but the emphasis was certainly on her latest studio offering which demonstrates a much more mature, sophisticated, controlled sound.
Aside from her sparkling vocals and natural stage presence, what I found most endearing about Adele was her witty personality and her eagerness to chat with the audience. Some fans had brought a billboard message on behalf of an even larger fan community and Adele was clearly touched by the gesture. Adele confessed that this was the first concert of her career where people had brought signs like this for her.
It was her openness about the stories behind some of her songs that surprised me too. It has been fairly well-documented by the media that "21" details the breakdown of her previous relationship, but she provided anecdotes and personal details without ever seeming opportunistic or attention-hungry. Adele simply wears her heart on her sleeve with her music, and does not back down from that when the instruments stop playing.Musically, I was most excited when she grabbed an acoustic guitar before launching into "Someone Like You", her first chart-topping single in the UK. This beautiful song is just at that point where over-play is becoming an issue, so to see Adele perform this song with the added twist of a guitar was a wonderful way to rejuvenate my passion for the track. There was a seamless transition between her guitar intro and the piano version, and Adele seriously BLEW THE ROOF OFF! She brought the concert a close with a raptuorous singalong of "Rolling in the Deep", the lead single from "21", and was visibly elated with the audience's response.
I can't really say anymore, so I will let this videos speak for me: