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My Love/Hate Relationship with Adele
I remember hearing her sing for the first time on Saturday Night Live in 2008. “Chasing Pavements” blew me away. I remembered having a similar experience on 2005’s SNL when James Blunt sang “You’re Beautiful.” I couldn’t believe THAT voice was coming from this seemingly shy young lady. I didn’t find out until later that she was only 20 years old. That in itself was mind-blowing.
I guess you could say that it was love at first sight. I wanted the albums 17 and 19. I wanted to be all-consumed by this songbird that could do no wrong in my eyes. She started a world tour in 2008 and planned to bring her soulful voice to share with us in the States. As an avid concert-goer, I was surprised when she cancelled the US portion of the tour to reportedly be with a boyfriend. In my mind, I was thinking Hey, she’s only 20 years old. I can remember what that time in my life was like…a very selfish time where young love was king.
I continued to follow her religiously. When 21 was released in February of 2011, I was astounded that SHE could get better. I honestly didn’t think it was possible. “Someone Like You” could be one of the most touching and heartfelt songs in all of current music. Her cover of Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love” just added to the smoothness of what I could tell would be 2011’s best album.
In late February of 2011, she announced a US tour of small venues. My husband checked out the presale information, and we immediately bought four tickets for $40 a piece for the Ryman Auditorium (the former Grand Ole Opry) in Nashville, TN, for June 20, 2011. No one knew who she was when I would tell people that I was going to see Adele in concert. Not until a local radio station started playing “Rolling in the Deep” which led people to listen to “Someone Like You” did the real jealousy start to develop over my highly-coveted tickets.
By the time June rolled around, I was giddy with excitement. I hadn’t been this excited for a concert since I was Prince on college spring break in 1993 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. But to my dismay, she cancelled the show. I was heart-broken. She cited voice problems as the cause. I took it hard, but just a few days later, she rescheduled…on my birthday. Yes, she rescheduled for October 10. I quickly got over how upset I was about her cancelling the show. I was going to see her on my birthday. On my birthday in 2009, I saw Kings of Leon and that was a treat. Even though I had already seen them four previous times (one being in the folding chair front row at the Ryman), it was a good birthday. I had grandiose thoughts about Adele’s birthday gift to me via song.
In the meantime, people were scrambling for tickets to the show. There were very few floating around on StubHub and eBay, but those that were there were selling for hundreds to thousands of dollars. My husband asked me on several occasions if I wanted to sell, convincing me that we could make big money. He put them on eBay as a test…all four for $4000…a shot in the dark, I thought. A family in California finally offered us $2500 for them. I vehemently said no. I was going to see Adele no matter what. My husband promptly took them off of eBay.
Less than a week before the concert, on Wednesday, October 5, Adele pulled the same shenanigan that she did the previous June. She cancelled. This time, I was just angry. She cited the exact same reason for cancelling which this time just infuriated me. I had read online that she would smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. I blamed HER for her throat affliction. I was destroyed that my birthday present had been retracted.
I later found out that her vocal cords hemorrhaged. She released a statement saying she needed an extended period of rest in order to avoid permanent damage to her voice, stating further that she was undergoing surgery to "alleviate the current issues with her throat.” She went on to add that singing at this point could damage her voice forever. Adele underwent laser microsurgery on the first week of November.
She seems to be recovering well in her statements. I wish her well. I will probably stick to watching her on TV and listening to her music in the privacy of my own home. To me, we had a beautiful relationship. As selfish as I feel for throwing a tantrum like a spoiled child over not being able to see her, I still hold a grudge against her for not taking better care of herself. It felt like we broke up. I still wished her well, but I would forever have battle wounds from her utter disregard for my feelings and my birthday.
I was refunded my money for the concert a few weeks ago. It felt like I had picked up my property from an old flame’s house. I sighed and moved on.