Review: Adele at Ogden Theatre, 5/28/11

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Adele swooped into Denver last night with her powerhouse vocals, killer band and sassy attitude and played for a sold-out crowd at the Ogden Theatre. Opening the show with "Hometown Glory," she got right down to business. Once the curtain dropped, her band started wailing, and it was fucking on. After blowing the entire room away with her opening number, the singer sheepishly confided that she was not feeling well (her show the night before in Minneapolis was actually canceled due to laryngitis) and apologized.

This admission prompted a collective gasp from the capacity crowd, many of whom were overheard marveling at the richness of her voice despite whatever was ailing her. Indeed, Adele sounded even better than her studio recordings. Her grit, attitude and obvious connection to the songs she sang was so evident. The audience, of course, knew all of the words to every song, but for the most part, everyone stood and swayed in obvious adoration of the singer.

There were a fair number of men sprinkled throughout the Ogden, but it was the women who came out in full force to commiserate with Adele and her heartbreaking songs. There was some residual bitterness in the young singer's voice as she introduced tracks like "If It Hadn't Been for Love" with "This fucking boy has no fucking idea what a good fucking thing he's lost." Elsewhere Adele was open and expressive about her songwriting process, pointing out how "Someone Like You" saved her life, before she performed an acoustic version of the song with her piano player.

View Adele at the Ogden slide show

Adele was poised and confident throughout and was funny in all the right places; a fan had given her a Beyonce DVD, so she went on and on about how "fucking fierce" the Texas star is, which drew cheers of agreement. But while she was charming and certainly candid, nothing was more compelling than when she simply stood (or sat) and sang her heart out.

Giving a warm, mid-set shout out to Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, who happened to be in the house, before cuing up "Turning Tables," Adele pressed on even though her vocals most certainly needed a break. Just the same, she never missed a beat, or an opportunity to get intimate with the crowd, noting on numerous occasions how much she "fucking loves each of you."

On "Rumor Has It," Adele sang with upraised middle fingers in the air, which imbued the song with an air of invincibility that made the energy in the room magnetic. "Set Fire to the Rain" was another highlight, and she seemed to enjoy singing it loud and strong, as she watched the crowd's gleeful response. A dedication of "Make You Feel My Love" to the recently deceased Gil Scott-Heron was touching and emotional, and "Rolling in the Deep," of course, had everyone dancing, singing and mending broken hearts, one note at a time. Overall, Adele was impressive vocally, vulnerable in all the right places and performed with enough confidence that everyone in the room felt her presence.

View Adele at the Ogden slideshow


Personal Bias: Adele! Adele! Adele! There is nothing she can't do, in my book. By the way: "Someone like You" completely stole the show with the crowd singing a rousing chorus that made the singer giggle with joy. Random detail: She's beautiful.

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