Inside Adele’s First Las Vegas Residency Concert: Jitters, Apologies and a Shout-Out to ‘The Walking Dead’
Tears, apologies, screaming fans, a Celine Dion shout-out and 30-plus minutes of banter punctuated the long-awaited two-hour opening performance of “Weekends With Adele” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Even before she took the stage of The Colosseum at exactly 8: 15 p.m. on Friday night, it had been a monumental week for Adele, who received seven Grammy nominations. Onstage, she revealed that Sunday’s biggest event will be the finale of her favorite show, The Walking Dead ..
“I have a lot to share with you. It’s been a huge week for me. It’s the Walking Dead finale on Sunday. Can you believe it? Are there any Walking Dead lovers? I’ve been obsessed for over a decade with The Walking Dead and it’s all ending on Sunday… and obviously it will be opening night, the Grammys, and the World Cup.
This note was a lighter moment among heavier ones throughout the singer’s 20-song set. The evening was thick with apologies for last year’s abrupt cancellation hours before “Weekends With Adele” was to start its run. She explained that it “wasn’t ready” in a video message earlier this season. Almost 10 months to the day later, no one in attendance really seemed to care about that anymore. The five-month-long run saw ticket prices soar into the five-figures, with fans happy to pay record numbers.
As the crowd of 4,000-plus entered The Colosseum, they saw a single white piano on stage within an illuminated A-frame. Adele, who was strict about not allowing anyone to sit while she sang, came out on time with Eric, her piano player. She was wearing a black gown with a constellation-like design detail and it looks like a custom-made Schiaparelli.
She seemed visibly nervous as the music to “Hello” began. Her first words to the crowd were, “I’m shitting myself.” As the thunderous chorus struck, 180-degree floor-to-ceiling screens switched on and the room became surrounded by four enormous projected images of Adele, giving the crowd an up-close look at the singer.
She was in tears at the end of “Hello” and said, “I should give you a standing ovation. Thank you so much for coming to me.” It looks exactly like I imagined it to look. It is perfect. Thank you. I don’t get to go off stage for about 50 minutes so I’m going to have a shitty face of streamed makeup for the whole first part of the show.”
“Easy On Me,” which was the second song on the set list for the evening, was placed in a fitting place with Adele telling everyone that “Hopefully, over the course of time my nerves will disappear .”
They did it quickly. Soon, the singer was as excited as everyone else to be there. She paid tribute to the goddess who “built the Colosseum”, and giddily shared, “I’m not going to hide, I feel like Celine dion… was why I wanted to perform in here.” It was because of her .”
After all that was said, she set the stage for the night. “This show, the one we are all at right now, grows and I wanted it to start small. I want it all to be about me, so I joined the show and did “Hello” with just him. I want it to feel the same way it does in the studio for me. When I start writing songs, I simply sit down at the piano and just play until I feel satisfied. Then I just start making noise until eventually, many of the songs you have probably heard of come to life. It might seem a little wobbly because my nerves are out-of-control
She worked through the jitters by getting closer to the audience, moving through the crowd many times, and then sitting on a special perch at the front of the stage. She even showed off her shoes and wore only athletic socks at one point. The crowd seemed to love these relatable moments. Grabbing a T-shirt gun and firing it into the audience, she gifted fans with items including some new gear, a handwritten note and “$50 to get a drink.”
After performing “Turning Tables,” which she said “just makes me really angry”, she apologized for the delay in mounting the show. She told an audience member, “It only took nine months to get there, I’m fucking sorry.”
The intimate setting of the singer and her pianist was transformed into a chandelier with hundreds of glasses. The A-frame was widened to accommodate the introduction of the band, and backup vocalists.
Adele took a few sips from a cup between songs and explained that it looked like she was drinking wine but she was actually drinking hot honey. Although I don’t drink while working, I will definitely need a shot after this .”
By “Water Under the Bridge,” about 30 minutes in, Adele loosened up, revealing that last week she was “sick as a dog” and quarantined herself to the top row of the theater. She stated that she knew she had to perform her first Vegas concert and that she would lose everything.
“So I was able, to come to production rehearsals,” continued Adele. “And I had that very top balcony up to there.” Adele also pulled in some fans from that exact area — “the worst seats in the house” — and moved them to the front row.
Her set list also included “Rumor Has It,” as well as “Skyfall,” during which 24 string players performed behind her, arranged Hollywood Squares-style with eight players in three rows.
Presuming she was taking a break from makeup, Adele was onstage during a prerecorded performance of “Cry Your Heart Out”, which featured vaporous-like video images that included her singing.
The show was also filled with amazing stage effects. The stage filled with drops of rain while Adele sang “Set Fire to the Rain” and the stage was partially lit up by flames. During “Hold On”, the venue felt like a lantern festival, as synchronistically programmed lighted objects danced above the audience.
After taking a walk among the crowd, she asked for their childhood memories. Then she went into “When We Were Young “.
After singing “Hold on”, she finally spoke out about the rumors that had been swirling in the months since the postponement.
“There was so much shit written since about me and I tell you it’s completely made up and there have been rumors that my hotel moved and I was moving theaters, and all that and [Caesars] never asked any questions. She blasted, “They’ve been amazing, so thank-you for having me.” “It was the worst feeling that I have ever felt, but it was the best decision .”
The lights went up and the cameras turned, projecting the audience onto the screens during “Someone Like You”, and “Rolling in the Deep.” This transformed the venue into an interactive, sing-along, dance party. The piano appeared to be floating and a confetti storm fell, making it difficult for the audience to see the stage. For the finale, “Love Is a Game”, another confetti shower fell. Images of hearts displayed inspirational messages on the screens.
The last message that Adele saw before she left the building. “The Beginning.”
The theater was packed with people eager to go to the “Weekends With Adele” shop. With a line stretching across the casino, guests waited to snap up items such as a $250 Adele varsity jacket with her album titles 19, 21, 25 and 30 on the sleeve or a $45 Adele Saturn T-shirt — as well as nameplate necklaces with the words “Married,” “Divorced” or “Hello.” Gowns she’d previously appeared in were also on display, including the Schiaparelli from her 2021 Adele One Night Only television special plus lots of merch with song title “I Drink Wine,” and a Dear Adele postcard station complete with a red mailbox to drop a line.
If Lady Gaga raised the bar on Las Vegas residencies with her epic “Jazz Piano” hit show, Adele has moved it along a bit further with “Weekends With Adele.” And judging by the vibe in the audience, it was well worth the 10-month wait.
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.