Apparently it doesn't take much to mount an unforgettable Adele concert.
Judging from the charttopping soul-pop powerhouse's sold-out tour stop at NYC's Beacon Theatre last night, all you have to do is plop her on the stage in front of a simple backdrop and backing band, and then let that nature-defying voice do its thing.
Oh, and what a tremendous thing it did, effortlessly translating gems from her first album (the standing ovation-met opening "Hometown Glory," and, of course, that album's career-making single "Chasing Pavements"), her No. 1 sophomore disc 21's monster hit "Rolling In The Deep" and soul-drenched covers including that effort's "Lovesong" by The Cure, Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" off her debut and and the country-tinged "If It Hadn't Been For Love" by The Steeldrivers.
But even though most of the subject matter revolved around her staple topic, heartbreak (particularly the split with her last boyfriend that notoriously fueled 21), the mood was anything but dour.
Often revelatory -- of said boyfriend, she confessed, "He is a f***ing loser... And he's trying to get back in touch now. I wonder why?!" -- the singer also kept the packed house in hysterics between songs (A highlight? Tales of drunken karaoke nights out singing her own songs and an odd one about being escorted out of the Four Seasons in a wheelchair. Ok...).
But let's not get too off-topic: the voice was clearly the centerpiece, also roaring out newer masterpieces like "Someone Like You," "Rumour Has It" and a breathtaking "Turning Tables."
You get the sense that this will sadly be the last time Adele will be playing an intimate, historic venue like The Beacon even though it so perfectly suits her. But that gargantuan voice and its swelling mass of admirers just can no longer be contained in anything smaller than an arena.
But at least for now this is how she rolls.