Gig review: Adele, Manchester
It's been five years since songstress Adele brought one of her tours to the UK.
And it was clear from her performance in Manchester that absence certainly does makes the heart grow fonder.
Right from the start, the crowd screams and cheers as she pops up from beneath the stage at the back of the bustling arena.
Wasting no time she belts out spine-tingling smash hit ‘Hello,’ walking through the crowd to the main stage for the final chorus before diving straight into ‘Hometown Glory’.
Fans are swaying, dancing, singing and snapping photos of the star throughout her performance, barely believing that the international singing sensation is standing in front of them.
The curtain rises on the diamond-shaped stage to reveal her live band complete with a 12-piece orchestra.
It’s only after finishing ‘One and Only’ and ‘Rumour Has It’ that Adele pauses for breath, chatting to the crowd in her friendly south London accent.
Almost immediately, the star makes you feel that instead of a 20,000-seater arena, you’re sat in her front room having a cuppa and a natter.
At the first of four nights in Manchester she speaks of her absence from the music industry, her child, her love of curries, Manchester’s music scene and Smirnoff Ice.
But, as the Oscar winning star points out, these days she’s instead sipping warm honey from a mug, which she was given for Mother’s Day by her husband and which she has on stage with her throughout.
And it was clear throughout that her fans have a special place in her heart.
One fan even got the star to video an announcement to tell her family she was pregnant while another got a special shout-out for her glamorous choice of outfit.
And it was certainly a night not to be forgotten by one young fan.
Little Kate, who hails from York, was spotted in the crowd enjoying her first concert before Adele beckoned her on stage for a special selfie.
The tearful youngster was clearly overwhelmed to meet her idol but was cheered on by the thousands of music fans in the crowd as she listed the acts she would like to see next.
Although to be fair it wasn’t only Kate wiping away the tears throughout the evening.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Adele launched into the heartbreaking hit ‘Someone Like You’ and her acoustic version of ‘Million Years Ago’.
You could feel every single note and word bounce around the packed arena as she sang her socks off.
And it was only going to be a matter of time before Adele got the crowd to channel their favourite Bond star/villain as she belted out smash hit Skyfall.
Just when you think the star couldn’t get any better she took to the mini stage at the back of the arena and launched into ‘Set Fire To The Rain’ complete with water pouring down around her.
The finale of ‘Rolling in the Deep’ has the entire arena on their feet, with the confetti cannons throwing out mini lyric-printed souvenirs.
As she disappears beneath the stage, it’s over.
After a whirlwind two-hour show, Adele gave it her all and left the crowd stunned.
After five years, it was most definitely worth the wait.