We’ll never know what Adele’s Las Vegas residency looked like back in January when she tearfully canceled the shows on the eve of opening night. But after Friday’s (Nov. 18) first performance of Weekends With Adele at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace, we know exactly what it looks like now: utterly and breathlessly spectacular.
The beloved British singer/songwriter addressed the cancellation toward the end of the two-hour-plus concert, calling it “the worst feeling I’ve ever had but the best decision I’ve ever made.” It’s hard to argue with her after seeing all the massive technical flourishes and tiny thoughtful touches that color the 20-song set. It’s clear that Adele lovingly dedicated the past 10 months to creating the intimate show of her dreams, and the lucky 4,000-plus fans who got to be in the room returned the love tenfold, reducing the singer to tears more than once throughout the poignant night.
“I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience or any disappointment that I caused,” she told the crowd. “But we’re here tonight, together.”
Of course, the show wasn’t all waterworks – this is Vegas, after all, and this is Adele, whose concerts frequently double as a stand-up comedy routine, with her trademark cockney one-liners and between-song banter. She also wielded a T-shirt gun to launch merch, a handwritten note and a $50 bill for cocktails to four fans, seamlessly working in a Rambo reference between her heart-achingly personal breakup ballads. And the audience got out of their seats on more than one occasion too, with Adele reminding the crowd ahead of “Water Under the Bridge”: “I don’t have many uptempos, so if you want to dance, now’s the time.”
But the true centerpiece of any Adele performance is her inimitable voice, and on Friday, her powerful and nimble vocals sounded up to the challenge of carrying two shows a weekend into the new year and beyond — and when she needs a break, her fans are always more than happy to sing every word.
As she kicks off five months of shows in Sin City, come inside the room with Billboard for the seven best moments of Weekends With Adele opening night.