Adele performs at the Echo Awards 2011 at Palais am Funkturm on March 24, 2011, in Berlin.
Thursday night, neo-soul singer Adele charmed the hearts of 4,600 San Diegans during her sold-out show at the San Diego State Open Air Amphitheatre.
This week's show was a make-up date for a Humpreys Concert By the Bay date on June 8 that was cancelled due to illnes.
The enchanting evening began when Adele opened her set with a solo version of "Hometown Glory" that was set to a plain black backdrop with a lone piano player. The second song started with a kabuki drop, revealing her full seven-piece backing band, complete with two backup singers.
Adele transformed the outdoor arena into a setting with the intimacy of a living room, complete with hanging lanterns, antique lamps and a stool customized with a dachshund pattern. The lighting for the show can only be described as modest. Adele was primarily backlit by a cold blue tone, while a warm amber wash illuminated her from the front. The lighting appeared to emulate the theme of her set, leaving behind the loneliness of a traumatic breakup for the comforting warmth of friends.
The cozy set pieces and theatrical lighting welcomed the crowd as she sang her tales of heartbreak, shared the stories behind the songs and told jokes. Adele broke down any sense of distance between the stage and the fans by accepting gifts, welcoming one onstage for a hug, continually insisting that the house lights be shown on the audience so she could see everyone’s faces. She won over everyone by mentioning that she ditched a planned radio appearance earlier in the day in order to make it to the San Diego Zoo, which she proclaimed as the best in the world.
Throughout the hour-and-a-half set, Adele wove a mix of heartbreaking songs with a few more upbeat tracks. While she focused on songs from her sophomore release, 21, there were a number of covers and songs from 19 as well. The concert was as much of a therapy session for the singer as it was a display of her vocal abilities. There were several moments when Adele became visibly emotional after belting out a song.
Before leaving prior to her encore, Adele dedicated "Make You Feel My Love" to Amy Winehouse. To help celebrate the memory of the 27-year-old singer, who was found dead in her home last month, Adele asked the crowd to put all their cell phones in the air to create this generation’s interpretation of a candlelight vigil. Afterward, Adele returned to a standing ovation for a chilling encore rendition of "Someone Like you," before closing with her hugely successful single, "Rolling in the Deep."