Adele began her six-night run at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden on Monday, which the British star suggested the crowd treat as a Friday instead. She certainly did, as she ran through a wide-ranging set list that featured recent hits like “Hello” and “When We Were Young” and old favorites like “Someone Like You,” “Set Fire to the Rain,” and the thrilling closer, “Rolling in the Deep.”
But these days, Adele fans don’t go to Adele concerts just to hear that gorgeous voice. They’re hopeful for a hilarious ad-libbed moment, a potential engagement, a viral F-bomb laden Adele-ism. And throughout the night, she provided plenty of genuine surprises and delights: she brought an adorable 4-year-old to the stage, joked about having diarrhea, quoted Mean Girls, and tried to pronounce Maryland. Adele also New York-ified her show, displaying images of the city, mentioning this week’s Chelsea explosion, and shouting out Hamilton.
Bringing up the house lights in between songs, Adele turned the 18,000-person arena into a cozy living room, where she spoke candidly about becoming a mother, writing songs about exes, and ditching those exes to find your true self. (Ever heard 21?) Oh yeah, and she sang flawlessly, nailing high notes on “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” and deep baritones on “Skyfall,” all while making performing in the storied venue look as easy as a game of Tic Tac Toe.
Check out the best moments from Adele’s New York kickoff.
1. Adele ❤ New York
Adele made sure to show her host city some love throughout the two-hour set. There was the location change in “Hello” – “I’m in New York City dreaming of who we used to be” – and a bird’s eye view montage of Manhattan during “Hometown Glory” all before she told the crowd what she’d been up to since landing in the Big Apple. “This morning I went to the Intrepid [Sea, Air, and Space Museum],” she said. “I was not expecting it to be that good! It was raining and I loved it.”
Adele also mentioned Saturday’s Manhattan explosion and the push notification that was sent out on Monday that named the wanted suspect. “That was scary,” she said. “Seems to be over now. Good riddance to you.” The crowd applauded.
2. The other Room Where It Happened
She also scored the hottest ticket in town – other than her own – and saw Hamilton. Her review? “I liked it very much!”
3. A 4-Year-Old Becomes Adele’s Special Guest
Though Monday’s show didn’t feature an onstage proposal or wedding invitation, Adele brought up a 4-year-old named Quinn, his aunt and his mother to hang out on stage. Wearing huge headphones, Quinn told Adele his age and showed off his “Adele is a heartbreaker” shirt before the whole gang posed for a selfie… or as Adele says, an “Adelfie.”
4. This Was Her 80th 25 Show
Adele wrapped the tour’s European leg earlier this year and has been performing in North America since July, and on Monday, Adele celebrated 80 shows with 25. “I am a changed woman! I am very professional,” she said, referencing shows in her past that she would cancel. “It’s my 80th show! Give me a round of applause!” The crowd complied.
5. Adele Likes to Watch YouTube Videos of People Falling
Yep, that’s true. Before sitting down for an acoustic rendition of “A Million Years Ago,” Adele sat on a lil’ bench, flanked by two of her band members. “My bum is slightly bigger than this chair,” she said before joking that out of 80 shows, she almost fell off the bench at 75. Then, she proved she’s just like us: “When I’m jetlagged I like to watch YouTube videos of people falling over in chairs.” Same, Adele.
6. She Has Seen Mean Girls
“Is anyone drunk?” Adele asked the crowd. When the cheers rolled in, she cried, “You go, Glen Coco!” before launching into a very excellent monologue about the difference between being drunk and “fluffy,” you know, like, when you’ve had three beers and are feeling good enough to keep drinking before you get too drunk that you look stupid? That’s “fluffy.”
7. Adele Credits Saturday Night Live with Her American Fame
A long, long time ago, back in 2008, Adele wasn’t sure she was going to make it in America, she said, but there was one performance and one song in particular that helped launch her American career. “I don’t know why I get so emotional when I sing this song in America,” she said while introducing “Chasing Pavements,” off her debut album 19. “For a very long time it wouldn’t connect on a level some people thought it would. Then I got Saturday Night Live.”
During that performance – on an episode where Sarah Palin appeared while Tina Fey portrayed the vice presidential candidate – Adele introduced herself and her jaw-dropping voice to an American audience that quickly realized what they had been missing. “I flew home and the next day I had a career in America!” she said. Another thing she had? “I got diarrhea!”
8. Adele Has a Pretty Good American Accent
Sure Adele can’t pronounce Maryland, but don’t you love when she tries?
Adele continues her 25 tour in New York until Sept. 26, and dates will run throughout North America through November.