Once upon a time, an egregiously long time ago, Jodester and I had a date night with this lovely lady: 

Excuse me while I actually freak out (even four months later). Long story short: the weekend of 4th of July, my parents went to a concert at the Minnesota Zoo and met a ticket broker with a fabulous hookup for Adele tickets. Then I shattered half the teeth out of my mouth, and my dad, in the ultimate power move, bought my mom and me two SECOND ROW SEATS. 

My mom texted me while I was at work, and I utterly freaked out. Best surprise ever. 

We started off the evening crammed in the bar at the St. Paul Grill, because it is one of our top five favorite places in the world. Everyone else there was also headed to Adele, and the buzz and excitement felt tangible. 

After a Cosmo for her, and a Manhattan for me, we headed across Rice Park to the Xcel. It honestly felt like a pilgrimage of sorts - little girls and their mothers, couples young and old, hordes of teenage girls (hordes of middle-aged girls, too!)...everyone was grinning ear to ear, everyone was excited and hyped up. What a cool atmosphere! 

Fun fact: When the show starts, the giant Adele eyes on the stage open as she rises out of the ground on a second, ancillary stage in the middle of general seating. I totally called that the eyes would open while talking with the people around us - and when they did, everyone freaked out with me. We genuinely all turned and jumped up and down and shrieked "HER EYES! THEY OPENED!" Video via Youtube below (not mine! I was too busy shrieking and freaking!): 

You guys. I've been to a lot of concerts in my day. And a lot of musicals, and a lot of opera, and a lot of orchestra. I am not unfamiliar with the experience of being in an audience. Being in THIS audience, though, was genuinely the coolest and most virtuosic concert experience I'd ever had. She is utterly unbelievable live. She sings, and if you close your eyes and block out the thousands of screaming fans, you could be listening to a recording. 

The best part of the entire evening, honestly, was seeing the contrast between her insane vocal gift and her warm, sharp-witted, totally irreverent personality. She chatted between songs. "Chatted" is the only word for it. She cracked jokes at everyone's expense, including her own. She poked fun at her sad songs, joking "Yeah, if you came for an uplifting night, this in'nt it..." in her thick Cockney accent. 

Then she opened her mouth and sang, and it was like oh. Holy shit. This woman is a chameleon and a goddess and everything in between. 

Favorites: "Hometown Glory," which featured panoramic views of her London neighborhood and then cut to Saint Paul. The audience, upon realizing that was OUR skyline, lost its collective shit. 

"Send My Love To Your New Lover," which was huge on the radio in July and was even huger in person. I cried. Being totally honest, I cried at least six times. She's just naturally cathartic...and I have weak tear duct control, okay?! 

She asked the arena to light it up for her cover of "To Make You Feel My Love," paying homage to hometown hero Bob Dylan. Again, I wept. Then she followed that one up by heading out to the ancillary stage, twenty feet from us...

...and going NUTS on an acoustic set. Her largely a'cappella "Someone Like You" gave me shivers (and tears, duh).

She paused out in the small stage for awhile, and worked her way around it taking selfies with the crowd. During which she dropped it low and legit started joke-twerking. See below: 


She ALSO waved, directly to my mother, as she worked her way around the four corners. This was confirmed by everyone around us freaking out with us (again). Jodester, naturally being the cutest person ever, caught her eye and they had, I kid you not, a moment. (The theme of the night was clearly "We freak out, and have the best time ever.")

Her official set concluded with "Set Fire to the Rain," but she came back out and slayed on "When We Were Young," which featured black and white photos of her as a child, concluding on a silhouette of her pregnant with her son. 

Naturally, the show closed with "Rolling in the Deep," and I, naturally, cried tears of just sheer overstimulation and joy. (More Youtube above, not mine!)

Having been truly buried in confetti featuring handwritten song lyrics, we headed out into the night on a wave of congeniality and euphoria. I didn't see one cranky face at having to wait to get out, or hear one less-than-rave review eavesdropping on our way out the door. 

Truly a top five night!