“I love you, but you scare me,” Adele told the crowd during her NBC special “Adele Live in New York City” Monday night.
The show, which was filmed at Adele’s recent one-night performance at Radio City Music Hall, opened with (what else?) “Hello,” the chart-topping single from her album “25.” The singer’s nerves were a running joke throughout, a reminder that she is a mere mortal – albeit, an extremely talented one.
Adele is having a pretty big week. On Sunday, she performed on “The X Factor” finale in the U.K. where she cracked jokes about being nervous and debuted a chic bob. On Monday, she announced a 56-stop North American tour, which will mark her first U.S. tour dates in five years.
“Saturday Night Live” boss Lorne Michaels served as executive producer of the NBC telecast, which probably explains the SNL-like opening that featured Adele goofing around with a flip phone in a cab. SNL alum and “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon introduced the singer as “a once-in-a-generation artist” to an audience that reportedly included Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jennifer Lawrence and Donald Trump.
The set included songs from “25” and older hits such as “Set Fire to the Rain” and “Skyfall.” Adele was candid with the audience – NBC had to bleep a few turns of phrase – and her famous cackle, which inspired a YouTube video and a mention in her Rolling Stone profile last month, also made several appearances.
The singer interrupted “Someone Like You,” a tearjerker from her album “21,” to say that she approaches the song differently now that she’s found love with her longtime boyfriend, Simon Konecki.
“I don’t sing this from the same place anymore,” Adele told the audience. “I sing it from an amazing place because of my man.” The singer also revealed that Konecki was seeing her perform live for the first time.
She saved her tears for last, following a stirring performance of “When We Were Young.” “Oh, I thought I did quite well by not crying until now,” she said while explaining that her long-awaited return to music had been months in the making. Adele then shared that she’d managed to remember the whole concert. “I normally get so nervous that I blank out,” she confessed.
Adele closed the show with “Rolling in the Deep” before exiting the stage and running into an elevator, where she sobbed – which to be fair, is basically what happens to everyone when they listen to Adele.