Adele is undoubtedly the most relatable popstar in current existence. Not only does she write and sing relatable break-up songs like no other, she’s open about everything - from her undying love for Alison Krauss (so much so, that she even has a Google Alert for her), to her incredible Este Haim-esque facials during performing, and to her extreme fear of insects (that kept appearing on-stage throughout the show).
The show, saw Adele take to the stage around 7.50pm, walking around the entire proximity of her circular stage within the centre of Mount Smart Stadium - waving and smiling, welcoming nearly 50,000 attendees to her first ever appearance in New Zealand with ‘Hello’ - the song that she officially made her return with last year.
Next up was ‘Hometown Glory’, a song that pays homage to Adele’s much-loved hometown of London, but the performance was given a Kiwi touch - with footage of Auckland shown on the enormous 360-degree screen, and scenes of One Tree Hill and the CBD giving New Zealanders a sense of patriotism for their own town.
When she stopped to properly pause after a rendition of ‘One And Only’, it was at that moment everyone remembered they’d not only come to the show for a stellar vocal performance, but also for Adele’s entertaining and hilarious banter. "Ello! Ain't you lively Auckland?" were her first official words to the crowd, with the 28-year-old Brit already warming up to the audience by explaining she prefers the weather here rather than Australia - "Your weather is much more my cup of tea.”
"I'm Adele in case you didn't know,” seemed a somewhat obvious statement for some, however she went on to explain the number of people who are often forced into attending her shows by their significant others that have no idea who she is, before breaking into her iconic cackle - one of many of the night to come.
But her banter felt genuine, and she shared the reason she chats so much in her show, saying, "In order to feel like I'm getting to know you a little bit by telling you about myself." Adele’s long-term make-up artist Michael Ashton hails from Hamilton, New Zealand, so before launching into the next song, she politely asked the stadium to sing him Happy Birthday, to which we all happily obliged.
Songs like ‘Rumour Has It’ were given a new (and more sassy) feel when played live, with Adele changing the lyrics to: "Just 'cuz I said it don't mean that I meant it (I did!)” - and these Adele-isms occured all throughout the show, with tidbits of humour added to contradict the original lyrics, or share further details about them. The staging was brilliantly designed too - so even when Adele was performing with her back to you, it still felt like you were a part of the show.
But an unexpected highlight of the show included not just Adele, but her sharing the stage with a number of insects. Firstly, a hornet appeared in front of her face, causing her to scream and freak out. And then following that occurrence, two black beetles were also visible on the stage - even getting screentime via the cameras ("Do you have anything to say?" she asked them), and one ending up on Adele’s own boot at one point. But all’s well that ends well, as she invited a young fan to came up on stage to help her get rid of them - and all the while had the entire stadium in stitches over the comedy show that was unfolding.
With an explanation of the music video to follow, Adele launched into ‘Skyfall’ - telling the audience that the verses were written in a really low key because she was pregnant at the time of recording the song. And the love she has for her four-year-old son is evident - none moreso than in ‘Sweetest Devotion’, a song written about meeting him for the first time. The theme of children continued into her banter, when she explained what the Lost Children Stand was at one end of the venue, telling any children to head there if they were lost - but then also telling them maybe just to get lost on purpose because of the free sweets at the stand. Equal parts hilarity, equal parts powerhouse vocals, Adele knew how to win the crowd over - and win them over she did indeed.
"Today there was a terror attack in London, and I want them to see these lights," said a heartfelt Adele, dedicating her cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’ to all those in her hometown, with everyone in the audience using their phone lights to make the entire venue shine. As the show was heading to its end, she mentioned the fact that this tour (ending on Sunday in the final Auckland show) is only the second ever full tour that’s she managed to complete, saying, "I'm incredibly proud I committed to something and followed through with it,” an inspirational message, before she launched into her final song before the encore, ‘Set Fire To The Rain’.
Adele spoke of her love of watching basketball games when she was young, and T-Shirt Guns and Kiss Cams being such highlights for her - something which has now been integrated into the live show, with Adele shooting four t-shirts into different corners of the stadium to lucky fans, before an adorable Kiss Cam rounded out the show.
A three-song encore of ‘When We Were Young’, 'Rolling In The Deep’ and ‘Someone Like You’ was a firm, final, and lasting reminder of Adele’s endearing capabilities as a songwriter, performer, and entertainer - and as the last piece of confetti fell from the sky, Adele was gone. Two hours and eighteen songs of greatness, intermingled with comedy that would rival a stand-up comedian - let’s hope it doesn’t take her quite so long to return next time!
[ Photo Credit: Phil Walter / Getty Images ]
One and Only
I’ll Be Waiting
Rumour Has It
Water Under The Bridge
I Miss You
Don’t You Remember
Make You Feel My Love (Bob Dylan cover)
Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
Take It All
Set Fire To The Rain
When We Were Young
Rolling In The Deep
Someone Like You