Adele Soars and Charms in ‘Live in New York City’ NBC Special

Adele Live In New York City
Courtesy of NBC

She had us at “Hello.”

Adele brought her incredible pipes and copious Cockney charm to Radio City Music Hall on Nov. 17 to film an hourlong concert special set to air Monday at 10 p.m. on NBC.

“Adele Live in New York City” is exec produced by Lorne Michaels, which explains why so many “Saturday Night Live” cast members, past and present, were among the VIPs in attendance at Radio City, as was Donald Trump. The show also coincided with Adele’s Nov. 21 appearance on “SNL.”

Although Adele has ascended to superstar status during the past five years, she noted to the crowd that the performance marked her first big concert in New York City.

“This is going to be on TV so don’t pick your nose,” Adele advised with her inimitable breathless enthusiasm. A few minutes after hitting the stage in a shimmery full-length gown, she kicked off her shoes and settled in for a run of songs that explained why she’s such a force in pop music. The set list included many numbers from her 2011 smash album “21,” her Bond theme “Skyfall” and her latest chart-topping single, “Hello.”

“I’ve been dying to do a f—ing show,” she confessed to the crowd, citing her self-imposed downtime during the past three years after giving birth to a son, Angelo, in October, 2012. In a tribute to her talent and that of director Beth McCarthy-Miller, the taping went smoothly from the audience’s vantage point with no stops and starts. Nor did the star engage in costume changes or pyrotechnics beyond the visual imagery projected behind her on the stage.

Instead, Adele offered her own biographical annotation as she moved through her songbook. She introduced “Hometown Glory,” from her 2007 album “19,” as the first song she ever wrote. As the taping came just four days after the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks, she dedicated it to the victims. “Tonight, this is about everyone’s hometown,” she said.

Adele joked about her reputation for songs about lust, love and lamentations. “I make love-making music,” she said. She added that she’s often handed babies when out in public and told that she provided the soundtrack to their conception.

For the most part, Adele’s backing band was a spare eight-piece set-up including back-up singers. She accompanied herself on guitar on one song, and a few tunes included the tasteful use of an all-female string section.

Toward the end of the roughly two-hour performance, Adele admitted that she battled nerves before the show because it was the first attended by her boyfriend, Simon Konecki, the father of her son. Before she launched into her mega hit “Someone Like You,” she noted, “I don’t sing it from the same place anymore because of my man.”

She closed with a soaring rendition of “When We Were Young,” from her new album “25.” With the crowd on its feet offering extended applause, Adele bid them farewell as if she was parting with a lover. “Thank you,” she said, with tears in her eyes. “I’ll never forget it.”

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    1. Mr.Alan Winstanley says:

      WELL WHENEVER ADELE’S ON TV I ALWAYS MUST SEE HER OR RECORD HER AND THEN THE ACTUAL LISTENING TO HER IS THE BEST EVER EXPERIENCE I HAVE HAD SHE IS UNDOUBTEDLY THE WORLD’S MOST FEMALE VOCALIST ,I JUST LOVE HER AND ALL HER SONG’S BRAVO MAESTRO!!!!!XXXXXXXXXXXXX

    2. Ace Ace says:

      Well, let me say that I am hearing impair and have ben for a few years, an so cannot fairly judge her voice or singing. That having been said I wanted to check her out to see if I could glean what all the fuss is about. First thing I noticed, and I have noticed this before-incredible make-up job, she appears to have ben blessed with a sumptuous complexion, and the work done was beautiful ( although this tendency nowadays to make false eyelashes look exactly like what thy are FALSE, is a little distracting( I mean even in the ’30’s & ’40’s Hollywood made sure that there was a degree of naturalness to the lashes of Dietrich and Crawford et al) Adele’s lashes just look false. The next thing that struck me was just the Immenseness of her lower body! The upholstery like /tapestry like fabric of her gown did little to help diminish her. Most Larger ladies in the Opera tend to have A Larger shoulder / bust dimension, but Adele’s lower body is simply and starkly enormous. ( Sorry, but it is distracting when you’re watching her perform and you find yourself feeling sorry for any toilet that she uses ) . As I flashed between watching her and other TV shows, it appeared that all her songs were delivered in the same serious, and somewhat ponderous style, there seemed to be no lighter numbers.
      It also alienates some audience members that her language is a little coarse, not a good combination with the image and content of her songs.
      As she appears to sing a lot about the pain of love and romance, forgive me , but I found myself thinking “if you lay off the doughnuts, you might stand a better chance of a happy ending’

      • Aaron says:

        Well aren’t you an asshat.

        • yoyo says:

          you are an idiot… and just what did YOU look like as you lay there on your LAZY ass watching her. Actually, save it… I don’t even want to think about it. it is (usually) those who are the most critical, that are the sorriest a-holes. JEALOUS, UGLY ,WORTHLESS, ECT…..

        • Jamie says:

          Shame you have hearing loss and its unfortunate your other sences were not heightened because of it. Adele has an amazing voice! I wouldn’t care if she flew on stage with those fake lashes (or no makeup or hair primped) in a t shirt, sweats and bare feet.

    3. marcia proch says:

      this concert was spectacular because it was all about Adele! this is the way a concert should be presented! lorene michael’s knows what the public wants to see, and between him and adele, we
      got exactly what we wanted! adele didn’t talk alot, but when she did she was adorable! she looked
      beautiful and her voice was perfect!! thank you NBC you finally got something right!!

    4. Dixie Barker says:

      She was excellent. Such a natural with the audience and every song was fabulous. Wow.

    5. Marie says:

      I loved it.

    6. Jerry Murphy says:

      @Adele My 10 year old daughter’s first recital song was inspired by you and blew us away!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Adele

    7. Tom Gauger says:

      Is NBC serious? Adele appeared somewhat drunk, her dialog between numbers had to be bleeped on several occasions.
      First and foremost, the program was not live, despite the title.
      Secondly, the woman simply cannot command the iconic Radio City Music Hall stage with that somewhat untrained voice.
      It’s hard to imagine what the Variety reviewer saw that I didn’t.

    8. WATCH ADELE LIVE IN YORK LIVE STREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    9. WATCH ADELE LIVE IN YORK LIVE STREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    10. Adele is my solace in this life,
      and hopefully in the next.

    11. patrik says:

      Adele one hits Skyfall(bond theme) = one absolutely hits bond theme Golden eye(Tina Turner).

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