REVIEW: Adele Live in Melbourne, March 18

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Adele on stage in Melbourne, March 18. Image: Lionel Baker

Didn’t get tickets to see Adele? No need when reporter Lionel Baker can take you through her sell-out Melbourne concert from first note to last.

It was a balmy evening in Melbourne, and there was a buzz in the air as Etihad Stadium slowly filled to its maximum of about 75,000 people. The round stage structure dominated the heart of the Stadium, where a moving image of Adele’s closed eyes filled the screen, arousing anticipation.

Adele’s round stage at the Etihad Stadium. Image: Lionel Baker

Within moments the crowd went wild as security and workers emerged through a side entrance wheeling a black box with the woman of the night inside, being transported to the stage.

Not long after, the lights dimmed and everyone hushed with expectancy when a distinct voice cut through the palpable excitement, ‘Hello’. Adele’s voice echoed a second ‘Hello’ with a key change that resonated through the roofless stadium. Meanwhile, there were sounds of exhaling, and the image of Adele’s eyes on the cylindrical screen opened as if she was awakened.

Adele’s eyes open as she greets, “Hello.” Image: Lionel Baker

The screens rose to present Adele, standing bold and centre stage amidst the smoke – her extravagant sequin gown sparkling while she greeted Melbourne in song, “Hello, it’s me”.

It was clear that Adele was born for the stage, with an ability to captivate an audience of such a large scale. Endless applause and cheers as she gracefully paced the expanse of the stage and greeted her fans with a warm smile.

In between songs was when Adele opened-up and could let down her hair. She’s a true performer who never stops performing, continuing to entertain with funny anecdotes, witty comments and had everyone laughing at her carefree cackle while sipping tea from her mug which read, “Adele’s hot honey.”

Saphyre momentarily stealing the show, while Adele cheers her on. Image: Lionel Baker

She delivered a set list of 18 songs expertly and effortlessly, consisting of old and new favourites – flawless vocals throughout, and still managed to make a young girl named Saphyre’s dreams come true when she brought her up on stage to sing to the audience.  Her cover of Adele’s opening number, “Hello” was performed with confidence and flair, even joined by the band; she had the stadium going wild as Adele grooved along, in awe of her talent.

There was never a dull moment at the show; Adele hid a hand-written letter for an audience member behind their seat because she thought they had one of the worst seats in the stadium, hidden behind a structural beam. “I hope you didn’t get ripped off”. She also shouted out to the people who were watching the show overlooking the stadium from neighbouring apartment building as they waved, projected on to the screen. A few lucky fans also got their hands on a signed T-shirt which was shot out to the crowd by Adele’s T-shirt gun – spritzed in her perfume and stapled with $20 to buy a drink on her.

Adele during her finale performance of, “Set Fire to the Rain.” Image: Lionel Baker

Pre-recorded visuals on huge screens complimented her songs, and were especially meaningful when she sang “Hometown Glory”, where a montage of Melbourne’s iconic locations was included, overlaid by images of Adele.

If there was one message Adele wanted to get across it was to stay humble, never forget your roots and stay true to who you are – this was mirrored later with one of her encore performances of her hit song, “When we were young” which depicted a timeline of Adele’s life from young girl to world class pop sensation.

Not once did Adele try to be someone that she wasn’t – cracking joke, making fun of herself, and recalling funny moments which one would usually try to forget. She even practiced her impersonation of Beyoncé by doing the ‘dutty wine’ dance in front a blowing fan, “how does she do it?” She mused, as the stadium burst into laughter with her.

Adele pouring her heart and soul into her performance on stage. Image: Lionel Baker

Wondering as you head in to the stadium among a sea of people why one person matters so much to be held at such high esteem…

Adele is the epitome of a true artist, unpretentious. She doesn’t need to expose any skin when she has such a powerful voice to keep the audience entertained.

The way an artist can make you feel when they sing, the meaning of their songs, how they can make you laugh, cry and think about spreading love. There is no one that does it like Adele. She’s all class, her laughter infectious. When a woman can own a stage, and do more than 100 shows around the world and still manage to laugh and make you feel good about yourself, you understand that she’s every bit deserving of the respect and reception she receives – a talented woman, a magical night.

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