Adele Conquers Madison Square Garden: Concert Review

Nicole Braun, Staff Writer

What is it like to see an international superstar in one of the most prominent concert venues in the world? To put it simply, spectacular.

On Tuesday, September 20, I was blessed with the opportunity to see Adele in the world renowned Madison Square Garden. The only way to describe the experience was breathtaking. When I looked around at the thousands of people in the audience, people from all walks of life gathered together sharing their love for a magnificent artist, her talent and her music. Fans conversed about which song was their favorite and why, discussed which of her three albums, 19, 21 or 25, was the best, and even talked about why they loved her.

As the lights went down, everyone’s excitement skyrocketed. Once the crowd was quiet (or as quiet as 20,000 people can be), Adele slowly rose out of a small stage from the middle of the floor. After a few moments that were filled with anticipation and electricity, Adele looked around at her audience and greeted us with “Hello”. The crowd exploded into cheers and applause.

After she sang, “Hello” she went right into “Hometown Glory”, showing scenes from New York City and her own hometown of Tottenham, London on the screen in the background, and next came a soulful rendition of “One and Only.” Then she took a break and talked to her faithful admirers. She greeted the audience and asked them if they were enjoying themselves, making her fans feel as if they were in a small room personally talking to her, rather than in a sold out concert among thousands of people. She further connected with the audience when she crouched down on the stage joking that that was her squats for the day, she posed for pictures, and even took one of their phones and took a selfie of her own. She said that while she was planning her tour, she grappled with the idea of how to make her extremely large venues feel “intimate”. The solution to her problem was to tell the hilarious, heartbreaking, and heartwarming backstories of some of her hits. She even makes jokes about her own songs that are filled with “misery” and self-absorption. She then told us that the next song she was going to perform was really the only chance we would have at dancing through the duration of her concert and was the only song “with a beat” (which was not true)! She immediately launched into an amazing version of “Rumor Has It”.

Adele is well-known for her love ballads and songs that tell the tales of heartbreak and are filled with such raw emotion and passion that they have become her calling card. But her soulful, rich-in-meaning songs are what make her so relatable to everyone who listens to her music. Her music contains such penetrating emotion and empathy that it makes her so identifiable with the public and is why she attracts fans from every generation.

Before the finale, she sang her fourth most popular song, “Set Fire to the Rain.”  She had literal rain (well, water) pouring down around her during the performance. Adele closed the night with arguably her best song, “Rolling in the Deep” and the audience boisterously sang the well-known lyrics along with her. As Adele belted out the last chorus of the song, confetti was released and everyone was showered with little pieces of paper that had song lyrics and personal messages from her such as, “All my love, Adele”.

Adele’s concert was just like her: Spectacular, real, glamorous, and simply breathtaking. “I want you to leave my concert with a different and very real experience of my songs.” I would say mission accomplished, Adele.