If there isn't a cyclone called Adele, there should be because it ripped through Brisbane over the weekend. The highly influential Brit swept fans into a flurry at The Gabba, selling out the 60,000-person arena not once but twice. After about a decade of waiting, Australia has finally been able to lap up the storm, despite the heavy traffic and wet weather warnings.
At just 20-years-old, Adele rose to prominence after her debut album, 19, was received with critical acclaim back in 2008. Since then, the singer-songwriter has been releasing songs that excel her into the circles of powerhouse singers like Beyoncé, snagging her spot as perhaps the most popular soul singer today. Despite this triumph, she has managed to keep a relatively low profile and was even able to step out of the spotlight to raise her now 4-years-old son, Angelo. However, with the 2015 release of her latest studio album, 25, Adele has been thrust back into the public eye, flying her down under.
“Hello, it’s me” appropriately rang out around the arena and the eager enthusiasts roared back, commencing what would be the biggest concert Brisbane has ever seen. This artist needed no opening acts to pump the crowd – it could be possible that fervent fans had exhausted their voices before Adele had even appeared. As a projection of her signature winged eyes lifted above the stage, she emerged in a port coloured embellished gown that shone under her spotlight. Adele’s look was refreshingly classic, a theme that would guide the following two hours.
The stage itself was almost revolutionarily simplistic. She performed ‘in the round’ – a setup typically found in theatre – with a circular stage placed in the centre of the field, making the songstress accessible from every angle. Only a few artists could pull off such a gamble, facing away from a section of the audience at all times. Thanks to Adele’s prowess, she was able to make the experience as personable as possible, regardless of whether her face was visible or not. Perhaps it was her humanising banter (she apologised for her rambling, blaming it on the nerves) or her relatability, as she joked, “I’m sure you can tell I’m not cut out for your weather. Even my eyelid’s are sweating!” Regardless, she was a charm.
Her set ranged from early hits such as Someone Like You, Rolling In The Deep and Hometown Glory, all the way to her most recent single, Water Under The Bridge – a ‘best of’ discography. It was her Oscar-winning James Bond track, Skyfall, that blew the audience away as an all-male choir circled the stage for the epic orchestral piece. The stadium was then transformed into a sea of sparkles as phone lights swayed in the air for her cover of Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love, which certainly did just that.
She shot shirts from cannons, left a secret note on a fan’s chair and sprinkled the stadium in confetti printed with handwritten messages; created a Kiss Cam and even themed her projections to Brisbane. To say she cared about her fan’s experience would be an understatement. Adele made every patron feel like her One and Only, leaving everyone feeling as though they’d been her childhood friends.
If an artist can sell out two arenas on their first tour of Australia, they must be doing something right. Adele’s success is a testament to her timeless image and a reflection on what society yearns. Adele has set the benchmark for 2017s concert season, so here’s to hoping the year favours classy over trashy.