Adele is back in town, JAN MOIR writes from Hyde Park

Minutes before Adele appeared, the sun burst through the gray evening sky, bathing the Hyde Park stage in golden light. If it was an omen, it was a good one. Types.

“Hello,” she began to sing on the opening track of the same name. And then she nearly collapsed, overcome by… what? Emotion, nerves, stage fright?

No one knew for sure, but our girl recovered quickly. “Help me,” she begged, and 60,000 fans provided an emotional boost with a hearty sing-along.

With her honey blonde hair pinned up in a bun and dressed in a black halter dress with gold and pearl earrings, Adele looked like the epitome of diva elegance. But looks can be deceiving.

Minutes before Adele appeared, the sun burst through the gray evening sky, bathing the Hyde Park stage in golden light. If it was an omen, it was a good one. of species

Adele is back in town, JAN MOIR writes from Hyde Park

“Hello,” she began to sing on the opening track of the same name. And then she nearly collapsed, overcome by… what? Emotion, nerves, stage fright?

“I’m sh***in’ meself,” she announced before starting a note-perfect rendition of I Drink Wine, a slow-burning torch from her latest album. “I hope I learn to get over myself and stop trying to be someone else,” she sings. Afterwards, she added that it was “so strange to be in front of an audience again.”

That was it, for all of us.

Earlier this year, Adele canceled her run of Las Vegas shows the day before they were due to start, blaming Covid and delivery delays. “I’m heartbroken, but it’s just not done yet,” she said in a tearful post on social media.

Here she was at last, turning a gray summer night in the city into an emotional homecoming, into something unforgettable.  (Above, thousands of fans gather in Hyde Park)

Here she was at last, turning a gray summer night in the city into an emotional homecoming, into something unforgettable. (Above, thousands of fans gather in Hyde Park)

Since then, there have been two television specials, both a carefully controlled performance filmed for invited celebrities in Los Angeles and London.

These showcases aside, it’s been five long years since Adele last performed in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter. And two of those shows – at Wembley Stadium – were canceled due to voice problems.

But here she was at last, turning a gray summer night in the city into an emotional homecoming, into something unforgettable.

She sang highlights of the four albums that chronicled the journey of her life; each named after the age she was when they were admitted. First there were 19 in 2008, followed by 21 (2011), 25 (2015) and then last year’s breakup album, 30.

Adele (far left on stage) dwarfs the set and the big screen

Adele (far left on stage) dwarfs the set and the big screen

On stage she doesn’t disappoint, with her dagger manicure and flawless make-up, a woman always luscious with whiplashes and rich in voice, with a repertoire that ranges from the jovial and raspy to the tonsil-rattling power ballads like Skyfall.

She no longer sang that either, but this time only to refer rescuers to someone who had fallen ill in the crowd.

Why is she getting so nervous? There is hardly a moment when she is not in full control on stage.

To some she is the queen of mum rock, but to her millions of fans she sings about matters of the heart and to her millions of fans that's all that matters

To some she is the queen of mum rock, but to her millions of fans she sings about matters of the heart and to her millions of fans that’s all that matters

The songs kept coming, following Adele’s arc from teenage girlfriend to lover, wife and mother. It’s all there—the men she “wept over at high tide”; the good loves have turned bad; the working life in which she has tried to find ‘balance in the sacrifice’.

To some she is the queen of mum rock, but to her millions of fans she sings about matters of the heart and to her millions of fans that’s all that matters.

Hers is a realm of ballads built on heartbreak, pain and the aftermath, but I have to say, sometimes it’s a little too much. “All the moms in the crowd tonight,” she says with a camp cheer from Butlin.

Once simple Adele Adkins from Tottenham, she is now one of the best-selling female singers in pop history. So successful that, like Bono, Madonna and Elvis, she has become a mononym, known to everyone only by her first name.

So much has changed for her! Marriage, baby, divorce. Then a Hollywood Hills mansion shopping spree and a new gluten-free, gym-rich California lifestyle that clearly suits her. She must like it there, because she even has a tattoo of the LA skyline on her arm – but at heart Adele is a London girl who hasn’t changed and never will.

At the Brit Awards in February, she won Best Artist and Best Album to add to her groaning trophy cabinet. And in her acceptance speech, she had some advice for new artists. “Never lose sight of why you are who you are. The reason people like you is because you have something in you,” she said. “Never let that go. Ever.’ Well, it certainly worked for her.

Leave a Comment