On December 6, 2021, I received an email in my inbox saying that I had been selected to purchase tickets for Adele's Las Vegas Residency, "Weekends with Adele." It was a long process which included submitting a profile to prove I was a "Verified Fan" and not a robot, winning a lottery to gain access to the Ticketmaster room in which I would have the opportunity to purchase a ticket IF THEY DIDN'T SELL OUT IMMEDIATELY.
Seeing Adele perform was on my 40 Before 40 Bucket List which I wrote on my 30th birthday, four years after Adele's previous album was released and she had no new music on the horizon. This was also before Adele damaged her vocal cords and announced she will take a break from singing. And in 2017, she said she will never tour again and had to cancel two of her shows due to a vocal cord injury. All of this to say, that if I wanted to hear Adele's voice live, it was now or probably never. I was determined to get tickets to this show because I do not live my life with regrets.
The original plan was for two of my girlfriends and I to go together. But when the time came for me to enter the Ticketmaster room and purchase the tickets, they were both at work and it was difficult to coordinate the logistics and all of the tickets got snatched up within minutes. I was disappointed and heartbroken that I might not have the opportunity to go to this concert. But I had the option of staying in the Ticketmaster room for an hour. After ten minutes, some tickets started popping back up for sale (probably from expired carts). Every time a ticket popped up, I clicked on it to try to purchase it, but it would be sold already. As the minutes ticked by, so did my hope. I had nothing to lose so I stayed in the room and kept trying my luck. By some act of god, with literally one minute left until the room closed and I got kicked out, a single ticket popped up and I purchased it without a second thought.
Had I been to a concert alone before? Nope. Would I regret not grabbing the opportunity when I had the chance? Absolutely. Luckily, my husband was on board with going to Las Vegas as a family and my parents even agreed to tag along to help with the kids. As we all know, in January 2022, right before her first scheduled show, Adele announced that she would be postponing her Las Vegas residency. I held tight to my ticket and checked my email every couple of weeks to see if there was an update on when the show would be rescheduled.
Finally, on July 25, 2022 (four months after I was supposed to attend the concert), I received an email stating that it had been rescheduled for January 28, 2023. I booked a room at Vdara (one of the most family-friendly hotels in Vegas) and waited impatiently for January to come around.
At 7:30 pm on January 28th, I arrived at The Colosseum at Caesar's Palace. In the months leading up to the show, there was quite a lot of gun violence and mass shootings in California and in neighboring states so I was definitely worried about the safety of large gatherings. To my relief, The Colosseum was prepared. They had three cops between every line to enter the theater, a K-9 unit and metal detectors at every entrance. All of these precautions made me feel very safe and calmed my fears.
I made it into the theater at 7:55 pm and had just enough time to find my seat, use the restroom and buy a drink before the show started at 8:15 pm.
Of course, the first number Adele sang was "Hello." My expectations for her performances were high given how objectively naturally talented she is, but even still I was blown away by the power and clarity of her voice. Even though I can only assume it takes effort to sing that well, it looks effortless, like all she has to do is open her mouth and out pours captivating, flawless music. The woman sitting beside me sobbed hysterically through the first 15 minutes. Adele started off with a few of ballads only accompanied by the piano and lots of talking in between to get comfortable with the audience. She mentioned that the size of The Colosseum--4,100 seats compared to The Hollywood Bowl's 17,500 seats--was as large as she is comfortable with because she gets nervous and she likes the smaller size of the venue because she can see everyone in the audience. It was all very endearing and Adele is surprisingly down-to-earth for being one of the most beloved singers on the planet.
Another thing that caught me off guard during the show was how funny she is. I found myself recording in between songs because I wanted to remember her witty remarks and show my husband how hilarious she was. I have watched her interviews, including the special with Oprah, but her humor during the show was unexpectedly brilliant. Why do I sound like I'm typing with a British accent all of a sudden? It was bloody brilliant! Okay, moving on...
After singing a couple of ballads with the piano, she brought her backup singers and a full orchestra on stage. She also decided to raffle off a seat in the farthest section and bring that person and their friend down to the front orchestra section for the rest of the show. Why is she such a wholesome human being?!
Watch the raffle here:
From there, the show only got more entertaining. I loved the projections across all of the walls, the rain and fire elements, the piano that was made to be destroyed and put back together and Adele's engagement with the audience. Halfway through the show, she used a T-shirt launcher to shoot four signed T-shirts up to the top balcony to connect with her fans better.
One of her last songs was "When We Were Young," and for ten minutes before she started singing, she walked through the audience and selected people at random to talk with them, take pictures with them and ask them to share their favorite memory from when they were younger.
Here's Adele in Vegas chatting with the audience:
After two hours of laughter, tears, heartwarming moments (two men got engaged in front of her and she hugged and took a selfie with them!) and enchanting music, Adele wrapped up her show with a dance party to "Rolling in the Deep."
Not to be melodramatic, but Adele has been my favorite singer since I first heard "Rumour Has It" on the radio of my first ever car, driving around the redwoods in Santa Cruz. I clearly remember that moment--her soulful voice made me freeze and listen. It's been 12 years since that moment and in that time, I've graduated college, traveled the long winding path of figuring out my career, gotten married and had two kids. All of that feels like a lifetime ago but isn't the transcendent, ever-present nature of music incredible? With each album, Adele grew into the woman she is and I was in different stages in my life when her albums came out, the songs providing new meaning in each step of the journey.
To say I feel honored to have been able to see and hear Adele perform live would be an understatement. Everything about her show far exceeded all of my expectations. It was an experience I honestly never thought I would have. It was a dream and a hope that I put out into the universe on the morning of my 30th birthday. It was pure magic.