At the last minute I was called to help out with a promotional event for the sold-out Adele show at the Historic Sixth & I Synagogue. I hadn’t heard much about Adele, but I knew Laura Burhenn was opening. If Laura was going to be playing her solo material, I could use the opportunity to wallow in the drunken melancholy of her tunes.
Jackie and I cabbed it straight from the office to set up some stuff. When we get there, we’re greeted by a LiveNation rep leaning against a railing with shades on, his face turned up to the sun, his groomed hair tucked behind his ears, and his elbows resting on the railing. I swear I didn’t have any preconceived notions. But I did notice the faint smell of douche products as we made the necessary introductions and continued on.Inside, Laura was soundchecking, so I peeked in and waved. As we’re setting up, guess who’s bouncing off the walls… none other than our dear Shervin! (mentioned in my previous Ben Ritter post). Should have figured he would be there
Here’s a shot of the ceiling inside the synagogue. What a beautiful place. We played here as part of DAM!Fest in October, but that seems like a distant memory already. Jackie and I placed flyers in all the pews, then went roaming around Chinatown looking for some snackies.
I spent the next hour or two trying to wrap my brain around how to get Em her ticket, since she was going to get here late. She had forgotten her cellphone in New York over the weekend. These last few days, it’s felt a little like she’s sitting in a box somewhere closed off to the world, and there’s no way to contact her. We don’t have a home phone, and she just moved to a new office at work that doesn’t have a phone set up. So basically I could only email her, given that she’s sitting in front of a cmoputer. A couple times this week she’s called me from some stranger’s cell phone. Another time she used a payphone (mommy, what’s a payphone?). Anyway that night, I eventually managed to call around and get two friends to email her instructions about where to pick up her ticket!
By the time we got back to the synagogue, there was a pretty long line to get in. Luckily, we had the two front rows reserved for us, so I had a sweet view. Laura had Tom on pedalsteel and Winston on violin and mandolin (both of These United States). It was a lovely set, dark and warm and bathed in the kind of blue light that haunts recurring dreams. “I’m so alone, I’m so alone, I’m so alone I could die.”
When Adele came on, she stormed the stage and poured charm all over everybody with her total irreverence for formality. An adorable British girl, her voice was mindblowing. omg. It’s the kind of voice that cracks so incredibly perfectly and each time just makes your heart shudder with it. She sang covers by Bob Dylan and Etta James, the first of which (Make You Feel My Love) just walked me into another headspace emotionally. That, I wasn’t really prepared for. I actually found a YouTube recording of her singing it somewhere. Listen to it, you’ll see what I mean.) She ended her set to a standing ovation and deafening cheers like I haven’t heard in a long time.
It turns out Em had made it into the show. She was standing in the back! Good, because she was my ride home. We had to stick around to do a Meet & Greet for some promo winners. Above, there’s Adele signing autographs for her fans. While we wait around, Shervin entertains us with pee-in-his-pants stories about meeting Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley. Aww. Look at that beaming face priceless.