Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rockin in St. Paul

Hey people! I have the privilege of being a guest poster today. You're probably asking yourself "How can I get in on this action?" Turns out you just have to be friends with CinR and attend a concert or some other celebrity related event that's too cool for school. Enjoy!

                                                         image via
After buying tickets in March, having the concert canceled twice in June, and having the rescheduled concert relocated from the small and quaint First Ave to the big and commercial Xcel Center, I had a lot of anticipation going into Adele's sold out concert in St. Paul last Thursday with two of my friends (compare it to the amount of anticipation you have for this sentence to end).

Before I talk about Adele's performance I need to tell you about two other things. First, my awesome friend Ryan was nice enough to go down to the ticket office in the middle of a work day and exchange our First Ave tickets for Xcel Center tickets. He waited in line for some period of time (I believe more than 15 minutes, but I won't give him credit for a full day) and made friends with all the other people in line, most of whom happened to be nice mom aged women. If you've ever met Ryan you are his friend, that is just the sort of person he is. Or as he would say: "People just like me." Since they all waited together Ryan and all his lady friends ended up with seats near each other. It was fun attending Ryan's mini reunion at the concert, discussing grandchildren, boasting about our die-hardedness, and what not. 

Second, Wanda Jackson opened for Adele. Dubbed the Queen of Rockabilly, Ms. Jackson toured with (and rumor has is had some sort of romantic affair) with Elvis Presley back in the day. For an accurate picture of this performance think of your grandma, add black hair if her hair is not black, and imagine her rocking it out. Awesome. I did a little bit of research and Ms. Jackson recently put out an album with former White Stripes front man Jack White. Composed entirely of covers, Ms. Jackson provides the vocals accompanied by Mr. White and the band. Apparently, there are lots of guitar solos and opportunities for rocking out. Jack White was not at the Adele concert, but still, as you can imagine rocking out with a legend is pretty cool.

Okay, so back to Adele. This was definitely one of the best concerts I've ever been to. She played most of the songs from her new album, 21, several songs from her previous album, and a few covers. The stage was understated, decorated with old rugs, lamp shades hanging from the ceiling, a simple podium for her doxie adorned mug, and a burnt orange back drop. In all honesty it was a little too hipster for me, but it went with the vibe so whateves. Adele is incredibly down to earth. Between most of her songs she told the crowd stories about her exes, her friends, and her feelings, peppering everything expletives. I'm not sure if it's her accent or the fact that she says it with a smile, but Adele can drop as many f-bombs as she wants without sounding the least bit crass or offensive. She did her best to make the audience feel at home often requesting the house lights be turned up between songs so she could see us. She confessed feeling nervous about the big crowd, invited one fan on stage for a photo op, and invited the crowd to sing along to Some One Like You and Rolling in the Deep (not that everyone wasn't already singing along to every other song she sang).

                                                        Pre-concert photo op. Look at all those people behind us!

No joke, Adele sounds better in real life than she does on her CD. Her best songs were just her and the piano. I don't think I really appreciated how heavily piano-centric her music is until seeing her perform live. I was talking to a friend once about the song Someone Like You and we agreed that even if you don't have someone like that in your life you still feel connected to that song--like if you did have someone like that, that's exactly how you would feel. It almost leaves you wondering if you really do have someone like that because after listening to her song you're pretty sure your heart has been broken. So basically, all that to say Adele and her music is SO easy to relate to. I don't like admitting that I was so easily taken in, but I was. At least I wasn't as emotional as the 40-something guy in the row behind me with tears streaming down his face.Yeah, that happened.

The not so awesome part of this concert? Well I had to go work the next morning. I am getting way to old for staying out late on a week night.

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