Adele, bringing her wildly popular “Adele Live 2016” tour to town, simply couldn’t have been more adorable on its opening, sold-out California stop at SAP Center in San Jose on Saturday.
Not only did the English superstar sing chart-busting hits from her three albums (“19,” “21” and “25”), she chatted up a storm, laughed a lot (she has a great cackle), and mostly kept her vow not to swear too much. (At Glastonbury, an English festival she called better than Coachella, she said she cursed 33 times.)
Unlike so many huge, contemporary pop acts, the 28-year-old really connected with the locals throughout the show’s two hours.
A video near the start of the appealingly minimally produced concert flashed scenes of San Jose. She called up two guys (from Sacramento) to meet her onstage. She named-checked Palo Alto (as well as San Francisco) and spent the length of a song greeting folks and posing for selfies (comparing her butt to Kim Kardashian’s) from a small stage center in the center of the arena.
It was where she started with the dramatic “Hello.” When she turned and faced the other side of the audience as she sang “hello from the other side,” it was obvious – and thrilling.
Backed by a no-nonsense band with strings and horns and wearing a long, sparkling gown with three-quarter length sleeves (she didn’t change outfits), she sounded great on all the numbers, from “Hometown Glory” to the bluesy “One and Only” to “Rumour Has It” (a sort of happy song to dance to, she said, to “get out of the way” before “we can cry”).
She told stories behind the songs: She first turned down a request to write the theme for the James Bond movie “Skyfall,” but ultimately was grateful to do it, liking that it’s about something other than “poor old me” and that she won an Oscar – which she called “heavy.”
The acoustic section included a tribute to her obsession, Alison Krauss, not with a Krauss tune, but with “Don’t You Remember,” and her definitive rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love,” which was accompanied by the twinkling lights of cell phones. (Put your torches on, she asked the crowd).
The percussion-studded “Send My Love (To Your New Lover”), she said, is for those who have “anyone in their life that you simply wish was not.”
On “Sweetest Devotion,” she said she wished everyone could have the kind of big love she has for her son described in the tune, and she thanked Americans for supporting her on her U.S. breakout, the gorgeous “Chasing Pavements,” and on the super-sad, sing-along “Someone Like You,” which she said changed her life.
She refreshingly admitted “I miss my old life, but I love the one I have,” then closed with “Set Fire to the Rain,” “When We Were Young” and “Rolling in the Deep.”
It was just another day for a working-class girl who’s become the voice of her generation.