**Warning – spoilers**
Last night I went to see Adele perform at Wembley Stadium. It was the final leg of her 124 date tour (we were at performance 120) that has seen her go through Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand, and with an audience of 98,000 people she had broken the record for a concert of that size at the venue. My sister (who had bought the tickets as a wedding present) had also booked us into a hotel on the Wembley Complex for two nights, so it became a three day mini break and I was ridiculously excited.
It turned out to be a brilliant decision – our hotel was so close that we could hear the sound checks going on the day before and on the evening of the concert we had taken our time to get ready for about 6.00pm as it was a two-minute walk away. As we were stood outside the hotel there were hundreds of people who were already walking up to the stadium and had obviously had to battle on the train and tubes. In light of the events at Manchester Arena there were enhanced security checks with metal detectors, body and bag searches, (the woman who was patting us down was quite short so my rather tall sister had to slouch down so this woman could pat down her shoulders) so it took us about 45 minutes to get in. I have to admit, while I tried to remain calm I was a little anxious, which was a shame, and my sister and I even went as far as to organise where we would meet should something happen and we were to become separated. Silly I know, but it helped to make me feel a little safer.
The performance area was in the centre, with 4 large screens forming a circle above the stage with an image of Adele’s eyes that were closed and our seats were fantastic with a brillaint view. Before she began, there was a video about the Grenfell Tower tragedy (which she attended on the night of the fire and has continued to be involved ever since) with a text number to donate £5 to in order to help the victims who have lost everything. (For those of you that want to help, you can text UNITE to 70005 to make a donation). She finished the appeal by saying “Wish me luck, I’m sh*tting myself!” in her broad London accent, reminding me of how down-to-earth she actually is.
After waiting for a little while, we saw a large box being wheeled to the front and my sister pointed it out, explaining that Adele is normally taken to the stage in this way, so I expected that she would appear in the centre, but all of a sudden the eyes opened on the screen, the crowd went ballistic and she appeared… right in front of us. She explained later that she couldn’t face getting in the box and so sent it up as a decoy, preferring to do her opening song ‘Hello’ as she walked down to main walkway in front of the fans in the golden circle area.
What an absolutely incredible night. She performed all of my favourite songs, with the screens changing between showing videos specifically created for the event for individual songs (before one of them in particular she jokingly warned us that she looked f*cking amazing) to then streaming live footage of Adele on stage. She shot signed T Shirts into the crowd, had written a special note and a picture and left it underneath one of the seats high up in the stadium, made appeals for Grenfell throughout the night and talked about what her plans were after the tour had finished. She talked about watching the Spice Girls and George Michael at Wembley and did a little tribute to George Michael on the screens. What made the evening even more momentous for me was that she was obviously quite emotional at the enormity of the concert, and she said that she’s not sure whether she would ever tour again, making me realise that I was possibly attending one of the last ever tour performances that she ever gives. There was fireworks, enormous amounts of confetti blasted into the air and the live band, backing singers and choir (a male choir that she brought on for Skyfall) were amazing. AND SHE DIDN’T DROP A SINGLE NOTE ALL NIGHT – I could have been listening to one of her songs on iTunes and the only difference would have been the screaming of the crowd. She was warm, witty and open with the audience without a single hint of arrogance, and it would have been easy to sit there and listen to her sing and talk all night.
She finished the performance with ‘Someone Like You,’ a song that she explained that she wrote in 20 minutes but thought that this would be the one she would be remembered for, discussing how the performance of it at the Brit Awards changed her life overnight. A London black cab reversed up the walkway towards the end and she got in, waving bye to the fans, and that was when my sister and I left.
We got back to the hotel within about ten minutes, and then we watched as 90,000 people rushed to get the train and tube home. There were tens of thousands of people literally stood in line waiting in front of us and from the reports I saw on Twitter the next day that was where they stayed for several hours.
And yet, if I asked them, I’m sure that most would say that it was totally worth it. It was truly the best stadium concert I have ever been to. A fabulously memorable evening and a brilliant few days.
Want to see some videos of the concert? You can find them on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks