Review: Adele at 6th and I Synagogue, Washington, DC

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect walking into 6th and I Synagogue last night.

First off, to be walking into a place of worship to see a secular music performance is a little off–but you have to remember I come from a Southern Baptist household.

But second, and most importantly, I had my doubts that Adele lives up to the hype. Even though her song, “Hometown Glory” is one of my favorite songs of the year and on constant rotation on my iPod, I couldn’t fathom this UK singer pulling off a decent performance for some reason. Personally, I copped tickets because I had nothing else to do on a Tuesday night and honestly, when

But all of my fears were laid to rest. Adele put on a damn good show. Throw out whatever you’ve heard about this singer, because she is the real deal. Her album, which I thought was hit or miss, doesn’t do her voice justice. I always thought that this girl was pop–a female version of Coldplay–but there is no mistaking: This girl is soul. Adele has a powerful commanding, and yes, soulful, voice that is a rarity in this age of Pro Tools and manufactured pop. Add to that her respect for old school veterans like Sam Cooke and Etta James whom she covered at last night’s performance.

The setup was completely stripped down, with only a guitar, a keyboardist, and herself, which made her performance more intimate and more soulful than her appearance on Letterman just a day earlier. But what surprised me is how young this girl actually is. She admitted that she was nervous (and was shaking at points), and between songs she would blather on like a young schoolgirl, talking so fast I couldn’t even understand her at times.  Between songs she excitedly rambled  about her drunk adventures in New York and her love for Ms. Scott among other things as well as cracking jokes that only sounded funny to herself. If she wasn’t a platinum selling artist from the UK, you might find her annoying, but as an artist, her ability to be honest and open just added to her appeal.

And  once the first note was struck, she was all business. A mental switch just flipped in her brain at some points because the girl brung it. Of course, she ran through her more recognizable songs such as “Cold Shoulder,” “Hometown Glory,” and “Chasing Pavements” (in her encore), but she also covered Etta James and Sam Cooke’s “That’s It I Quit I’m Movin’ On.” Her live performances of “Melt My Heart To Stone,” and “Right as Rain,” gave me more respect for the songs.

The bottom line is that Adele is downright amazing. If you’ve brushed her off in the past, give her another chance. And if you get the chance….see her live. Its definitely worth it.

And before I forget, the amazing local artist Laura Burhenn, who I posted about back in 2005, opened up the show.