In the midst of the green-everywhere, Guinness-swigging revelry of St. Patrick’s Day, there was some sublimeness to be found last night.
And lucky for the 900 or so people who were savvy enough to snatch up tickets quickly, it arrived in the form of a one-album artist already – almost – too big for such an intimate venue; who gave a show almost too wonderfully-executed to be the first Atlanta performance by a 20-year-old.
Little wonder Adele was named Grammy’s best new artist this year.
London’s blues, pop and R&B stand-out entered the stage to Beyonce’s hit “Single Ladies.” She enthralled the sold-out Variety Playhouse alone with her guitar (notably on the sly and jazz-colored “Best for Last”) as well as in front of her exceptional five-piece band. And in addition to material from her “19” debut, she made especially fine work of rockers The Raconteurs’ “Many Shades of Black,” her idol Etta James’ “Fool That I Am” and fellow soul giant Sam Cooke’s “That’s It, I Quit, I’m Movin’ On”.
And to top it off there was just this electric, mutual, glee between audience and artist: When she waved nervously with both hands, mid-song, so did the crowd, when she had the house lights brought up so she could take a picture of it. When she joked about seeing some strange people playing chess downtown, the ticketbuyers laughed as if they all knew the sights and sounds of Woodruff Park well. And when Adele conceded several times from the stage that she was nervous – evident only in that hand-waving and occasional ‘Woo-hoos!’, not her majestic voice — her fans embraced her warmly throughout an hour-plus set.
Were you at the Variety Playhouse last night, and if so, your thoughts? What about “19” — bought it yet? Wonder why it’s taken so long to catch on? Finally, were you able to catch opener Kameron Corvet? (Nice Prince cover, huh?)