Adele began her two-night Seattle gig at KeyArena on Monday evening with a goddesslike entry, then "Hello” and “Hometown Glory.”
Adele, in a black, sequined floor-length gown, rose up into KeyArena from a dais at the north end of the hall like a goddess claiming her kingdom on Monday night (July 25).
“Hello,” she sang, the first tune from her megahit 2015 album, “25,” then belted out that now-familiar descending hook about how sorry she was “for break-ing your heart.”
Adele knows how to wind up a crowd to almost unbearable levels of emotional tension, but her secret is that she also knows how to release them with a sigh — “It was just like a mo-vie,” she sang, on “When We Were Young.” “It was just like a song.”
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Such calibrated emotion is the hallmark of historic divas like Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf and Amalia Rodrigues, and Adele is now in their league. Indeed, when her husky alto dipped low on “Million Years Ago” during a delicious acoustic set, she recalled the deep, sad soul of Dietrich herself.
With a 20-piece backup band, Adele offered a generous sampling from all three of her albums, emphasizing “25.”
The yearning “Someone Like You,” from “21,” was a highlight, as was her dramatic theme from the James Bond film, “Skyfall” and her signature song, “Rolling in the Deep.” She sang Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” with such conviction you thought she might have someone in mind.
The show was remarkably casual, with Adele walking between the two stages, inviting fans up for selfies (including an impressive Adele impersonator) and starting two songs over again after false starts. Chatting at length between tunes, she said she had enjoyed her days off in Seattle. She looked quite fresh, even wholesome, avoiding her customarily colorful language, saying she was embarrassed about all her swearing at the Glastonbury Festival last month.
The crowd skewed female and adult, though there were plenty of mothers with daughters.
The two-stage setting was grand without being ostentatious. The show climaxed with “Set Fire to the Rain,” with an actual downpour around Adele on the smaller dais where she started the show.
At the end, she popped up on the main stage and said goodbye, a goddess of song who will no doubt come to visit this realm many times in the future.