Adele performed at Paradiso tonight, a gig that seemed long overdue since she very successfully released her album 19 in Holland back in January. Upon arrival we were afraid we accidentally stumbled into a Katie Melua concert from the look of the crowd: predominantly 40+ women, target Sky Radio demographic, gently swaying side to side during the rather tedious opening act Steye. Yikes!! Has poor Adele been overplugged on our national airwaves?

However, any fears the crowd might be a passive bunch were inmmediately taken away when Adele took to the stage: rarely have I heard an artist get such a warm welcome as she did in Paradiso tonight. She seemed a bit taken aback by it all and giddy too, which was endearing. She was very chatty with the audience, which made for a good atmosphere in the room. She joked how she thought this would just be another gig but then was shocked to see the size of Paradiso (“Oh my god I’ve never seen so many people in one room!”), and then realising it was one of the biggest gigs.

She openened the set with Right As Rain and played almost the entire 19 album in the course of the 1 hour concert (bar one of my favourites: My Same). She already won the audience over with her funny candid stories (for instance about wearing her favourite lucky knickers and big sweater, making her very hot and sweaty), but it was obvious that Adele’s talent as a singer would easily win anyone over regardless. With seemingly hardly any effort at all she sang beautifully, putting real soul into her songs. She was supported by a very decent band, including a 4 piece string section.

One or two songs that had become a bit flat to me from over-rotation of the album really got a new shine to them in the live performance (First Love springs to mind, not a peep to be heard from the audience). She also performed a few covers: The Coral’s Dreaming Of You and Bob Dylan’s Make You feel My Love which is also on the album, but the standout one was Etta James’ Fool That I Am, sung straight from the gut. Is this girl really only just 20 years of age?

On the downside she played Best For Last without the band, and I really missed the funky bass. Also, perhaps because of nerves, she ended a few songs with a giggle on the last note which was a bit of a shame. She was in such good form throughout the concert though, that these are minor issues. After the first two songs for instance, her bass got taken away by a roadie. She ran after him to get it back and said “This bass is the worst ever! I don’t want it, does anyone here want it?”. One eager fan in the front was the lucky one and she even went to get a pen to sign it for him. Later on, reflecting on all her chatting: “Forgive me, I’m talking loads of shit because I’m a bit tipsy!”.

Adele closed the show after merely an hour (“That’s it when you’ve only got one album!”) with Chasing Pavements, which had pretty much everyone in the crowd singing along. She was all smiles when she heard it and even held out the microphone for the obligatory “you sing it!”, which somehow never gets tired when you’re one of the singers-along. After the encore an unusual thing happened: rather than rushing for the door the majority of people stayed where they were and there was at least 5 minutes of shouting, clapping, hooting and hollering for a second encore. Even when it was apparent it wasn’t going to happen any more! I think it’s safe to say Adele made an impression in Amsterdam tonight.

See Adele sing Etta James’ Fool That I Am live at Martyrs’ in Chicago in March this year:

[thanks to alexandergrooves]