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BACK TO MINE: ADELE LIVE REVIEW


Adele

ANZ Stadium, March 10

There are bands and (mostly male) artists who have built careers out of being a representative "Everyman": one of us, just a bit better paid and housed.

There's a couple of generations of Australian frontmen who would never have dared being anything else.

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, from fruity language and a deep love of the fags pre-motherhood, to an attachment to the kind of stuck-on eyelashes you would need a crane lift operator to help her blink, has never had to fake her everywoman credentials.

Even if she did use her surname professionally she would be known to all as just Adele, the one you would share a bottle of chardy with as you two belted out Set Fire To The Rain at the RSL karaoke.

The one who would write a note, include a photo, and leave it behind a seat in the topmost nosebleed seat. Or halt the start of the show's fireworks-laden climax because she was worried about a patron who had taken a bad turn.

And a stadium full of (mostly, but certainly not exclusively, female) everywomen know it, respond to it, and do a Mexican wave to it.

There's something about that voice or its owner that can have her demolish a small hill with her power in One And Only or gallop over the remnants of that hill in Rumour Has It and yet not make us feel inadequate.

Weaker voiced, not as funny and not as well dressed as her, yes, but not inadequate. How does she do that?

Is it because the songs have never tried for fancy, clever or "new"? That's part of it, for certainly the most recent songs, such as the quasi-Rihanna Send My Love (To Your New Lover) have been expertly crafted but rather familiar, unlike the edge of youthfuldreaming that is still heard in the Dusty-esque Chasing Pavements.

Whether that's a good or bad thing is the question you answered when running to or running away from this show.

Is it because after a long, rambling and funny tale of discovering country music and Alison Krauss she told us that the next song, Don't You Remember, had a key change near the end "and sometimes I burp"? Yeah, that's part of it too.

Or is it because whether covering, - with surprising delicacy still in this, her stadium pomp that seemed unimaginable on that first album - Bob Dylan's To Feel My Love, or pumping up the Mariah Carey big boom in Sweetest Devotion, Adele still sounds like a human not a The Voice-inspired pop machine?

Yeah it's that too. That especially.

When a quite massive show - of construction, technology and staging - that really should have been done from a conventional face-everyone-all-the-time stage, still feels human-scale, and you could almost say living room-scale, something is being done right somewhere.

And whatever other quibbles there may be, such as When We Were Young being preposterous, Take It All is a mighty song.

Every man or woman would agree.

#Adele

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