Adele at Madison square garden
As I write this I’m still in shock that I saw Adele at Madison Square Garden. As a concert veteran, I’ve been to countless shows with every type of artist and at every kind of venue. I’ve seen unknown artists, emerging talent, mega stars and cultural icons.
I’m incredibly lucky.
My music taste is eclectic, wide-ranging and a bit all over the place. Some of you may love one artist I feature and then others may hate the next. That’s fine, and I welcome differing opinions. It’s part of what’s exciting about getting to know you. We may not be the same but we can still make a connection.
Today, however, I suspect that there won’t be too many dissenting opinions on Adele. Her music transcends generations, genders, and cultures. My sixty+ year old Grandma loves Adele, my forty+ year old Mom loves Adele, my twelve-year-old male cousin loves Adele and so do I.
No one denies her talent, but I wouldn’t have said that she was pure unicorn magic until I saw her live last Thursday.
Now bare with me for a second. Remember when I mentioned how Kesha brings me right back to college? It might seem strange to mention her here but the thing is Adele does the exact same thing just for a different reason.
We’d turn Kesha up when it was time to go out for the night but one of my best friends from college, my roomie, and my man of honor would play Adele’s ’21’ album in his truck in the mornings as he’d drive us from our off-campus house onto campus.
I remember all of those cold Ithaca mornings piling into his car as we, along with my other dear friend, maid of honor, and roomie, would sing “Set Fire to the Rain” like our lives depended on it. Adele’s numbered albums, for the ages she was when she wrote them, mirrored our lives and our ages.
I’ll never forget those moments. They just seemed like a forgettable morning drive but little did I know that six years later they would be cherished memories. My friends and I would watch Adele at Madison Square Garden, reminisce and sing along to those as same songs a little older, a little wiser but still together.
Comedy & Brangelina
From the few interviews I had seen of Adele, I knew she had a sense of humor. If I had any doubts, her hilarious carpool karaoke dispelled that. Now take the Adele from that edited video skit and then times it by a hundred. That’s how delightfully funny and awesome she was in real life!
At the start of the show, she remarked that she was “quite miserable” and that we were in for “2 hours of misery” so if we wanted to dance now would be our last chance. Haha. I know I’m starting to gush like a fangirl but really if I was ever going to get all starry-eyed over someone now is the time!
In case you haven’t heard about her Brangelina (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) comments let me give you a quick rundown. On Adele’s Tuesday night performance, night two of her sold-out six-night stint at The Garden, she made a comment about how their divorce marked the “end of an era.”
I’m paraphrasing but she pretty much said that she was going to dedicate her show to them. Fast forward to Thursday and a ton of news outlets had reported that she was distraught over their breakup.
Adele thought that was ridiculous and said she was joking and “I wish them well but I don’t give a f*** about them”. She thought that there were bigger things to worry about in the world than her attempt at comedy.
Now, I loved this on multiple levels. I know a lot of you don’t live in America so I’m not sure how familiar you are with our current political climate but, in short, it’s a mess. It’s great to see that she acknowledges that the media focuses on the wrong things most of the time and that the other half of the time they print inaccurate clickbait stories.
The Stage & Production
Some of you who follow my Instagram Stories already got a peek at the stage setup for that night. It was classic, box frame lighting, and they used the projection screens to their utmost potential. When you enter the venue you see a blown up image of Adele’s classic winged eye. At the start of the show as she raises from a mini stage to sing “Hello” and the eye opens.
During the show, the screen on the main stage raised and lowered depending on whether the focus was on the screen behind the band or the sheer one in front of them.
The best use of the screens, in my opinion, was when she sang a few songs on the mini stage. Four screens on either side of her lowered with her live image projected onto each one. It gave a similar effect to what they used in the “Send My Love” video below.
A Sampling of Adele at Madison Square Garden, night 3 of 6 sold out shows.
Eat Pray Love
I saw Adele at Madison Square Garden with two of my college friends. One is the guy I mentioned in my earlier story. He made the connection between this reference and the night.
The next day we were discussing how we felt like we were on a music high and he claimed that it was like an eat, play, love experience. He cried, he laughed and he loved.
I couldn’t agree more. Before the show even began Adele had us all in a tizzy when she came out in her sequined dress to hang out with the people seated in the floor seats. She took pictures, gave hugs and chatted. Then she proceeded to blow our mind with her voice and when she wasn’t singing she was making us die of laughter.
She told us how she couldn’t wait for her trip to Mexico so she could drink. Adele shared that she was going to get hair extensions in time for the Beyoncé show and that she was going to take down a mosquito band company that left her with a chemical scar. There were times where she broke out into an American accent and who could forget her endearing laugh?
When I go to a show I think about the best possible outcome. I hope that the crowd is relatively pleasant and that the singer or band sounds like their album. I’ve referenced a few acts in my live music features that I’ve been over the moon with because they did just that. They gave me what I wanted and sounded like my Spotify stream come to life.
Adele gave me what I didn’t even know I wanted.
Somehow, I’m still trying to figure out how she sounded even better than her record. How?! I don’t know if it was something in the air, if the sonic gods were feeling particularly good that night or if she just has a golden voice unlike any other but I was more than impressed!
As I’m writing this feature I’m a bit afraid about how glowing it is. I don’t want to come off like I’m so infatuated with her music that I can’t give a solid review.
The thing is, I don’t think anyone can say anything bad about her voice. You may not like how much she curses, which is a lot, you may not like that her music is everywhere, which it is, but you can’t knock her voice.
With music, it’s all about how an artist makes you feel. What does their voice emote? How does it impact your life and are you better for it?
After seeing Adele at Madison Square Garden I honestly feel a little lighter, a little freer and little more open to life. It might sound silly that a two-hour concert can do all that but when music is a part of you, the way that it’s a part of me, two hours is really all you need.
What do you think of Adele at Madison Square Garden? Have you seen her perform?
Get excited and check back soon for the Global Citizen Festival 2016 recap up next!