One of the hazards of a powerhouse vocalist touring the US and singing her heart out night after night is the potential for illness that would hamper their ability to sing. Unfortunately for Adele's fans in Minneapolis on May 26, 2011, laryngitis took its toll, forcing her to postpone that show until June 22. Fans in Denver were understandably nervous about whether Adele would be able to sing for them two days later, but those fears were quickly laid to rest on May 28. Check out this review of the Adele concert at the Ogden Theater in Denver, Colorado on May 28, 2011.
Who Is Isaac Russell?
Opening act Isaac Russell is a 20 year old singer-songwriter from California who is a label mate to Adele on Columbia Records in the US. While his material was solid and he put a lot of emotion into his performance, it became clear within one song that Isaac is not used to playing a stage the size of the Ogden. Set up at the edge of the stage with just his guitar, Russell was awkward and unpolished, but his earnestness showed through, winning some of the crowd over with his genuine enthusiasm for appearing as Adele's opening act. Standout song "Elizabeth" would have had much more impact if Isaac Russell had not stopped the song after 30 seconds to explain that the song was about his mother who had passed away and asked the audience to keep their conversations down to a minimum. While his music has rightly garnered praise, Isaac Russell will need more time on the road to hone his performance abilities if he wants to break through to a wider audience.
Didn't I Give It All?
From the moment Adele stepped out on the stage, it was clear that she was planning on giving a full performance, starting with the stirring "Hometown Glory" that showed no sign of weakness. Second song "I'll Be Waiting" from Adele's sophomore CD 21 was just as strong vocally live as it was recorded in the studio, and Adele never looked back. In fact, the only time that Adele showed even a bit of weakness was during "Take It All," where for about a minute in the middle of the song she looked genuinely pained. However, there were no vocal missteps throughout the show, earning Adele multiple standing ovations throughout the show.
One great thing about the show was that every song performed appeared on one of her two CDs. The only cover songs were "To Make You Feel My Love," which appeared on 19, and "Lovesong" from 21. Not many artists can do a full show like that so early in their career, but people in the audience knew every single song, helping fill in key parts of hits like "Rolling in the Deep" and "Chasing Pavements."
I've Cried My Heart Out
It isn't only the vocals that Adele gives 100% of in concert. Throughout the show, Adele cracked jokes, reminisced, talked about inspiration for songs and came across as a genuine person who didn't really care what anyone thought about her. In fact, Adele embarrassed herself a bit by saying that she had just sent a potent email to an ex telling him what she thought of him, followed by verbalizing her concern about advertising this fact to a live audience. She was rewarded with the attention of the audience throughout the show, many who reportedly paid over ten times the asking rate for tickets that sold out months prior to the show on May 28, 2011.
At the heart of the show was the emotions encapsulated in each song, and Adele did not leave any behind. From the testimony of "To Make You Feel My Love" to the rebellion of "Rolling in the Deep," Adele brought every lyric to life in a way that kept every set of eyes in the small theater trained on her throughout the 75-minute set. The one-two punch of "Turning Tables" and "Set Fire to the Rain" electrified the room, only surpassed by the encore of "Someone Like You" and "Rolling in the Deep." If anyone has made a career off of rejection and recovery more than Adele, they might decide to retire after watching Adele interpret it live.
What's the Verdict?
Unfortunately for Adele's fans in Salt Lake City, Vancouver, Seattle and Portland the following week, Adele did have to cancel those shows like she did in Minneapolis. All shows were slated to be rescheduled, but no doubt the fans in those five cities were disappointed that Adele was not able to perform. The rest of America will reportedly get to see a larger production come Fall 2011, which she confirmed in comments in between songs in Denver on May 28. However, after having seen Adele live in Denver, the wait will definitely be worth it. Adele brings 100% to every song and every show, and an extra couple of months to wait for a fully-healthy Adele to perform at that level should be considered a reasonable trade-off.