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Adele’s surprise show at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on Friday was truly the hottest ticket in town. It was her first concert in the city since 2011 — “I haven’t played in L.A. for years,” she told the audience early on in the night, and remarked that her “best show here” in Los Angeles was also at The Wiltern, back in January 2009.
The singer attracted an Oscar-nominated crowd including Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Sam Smith and Emma Stone, who were seen standing together. Lawrence was caught on video dancing with her Hunger Games co-star Woody Harrelson to “Rolling in the Deep,” while John Mayer, Shania Twain and Orlando Bloom were seen exiting the venue after the show, according to TMZ and the Daily Mail.
Adele — who was introduced to the stark stage by her Carpool Karaoke pal, The Late Late Show host James Corden — opened the concert with her Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 smash “Hello.” The 16-song set (including a reprise of “Hello”) struck a balance between new and old material, and featured seven cuts from her latest album, the Billboard 200-topping 25. In addition, she sang such earlier singles as the Hot 100 leaders “Rolling in the Deep,” “Set Fire to the Rain” and “Someone Like You” (all from the 2011 album 21).
Throughout the evening, the diva was charming — and hilarious — as ever. She chatted about going to Disneyland the day before the show (and meeting Belle from Beauty and the Beast, her favorite Disney film), joked about how hot she felt on stage (“I feel like my makeup’s about to slide off me face!”) and sang “Happy Birthday” to a lucky fan named Marissa.
The surprise gig was only announced two days earlier, and tickets were offered to Adele’s fans in California who were previously registered with her website. Thus, the historic 84-year-old theater — with a capacity of 2,300 — was stacked full of devoted fans who knew just about every word to every song.
Further, the tickets could only be picked up once inside the venue, in order to prevent scalpers from reselling the $50 tickets for a higher price.
“Sorry if it was a pain in the ass getting the tickets,” Adele told the audience. “Did any of you pay more than $50 for any of these tickets? … They were all saying, ‘Oh, let’s do $150 a ticket, oh, yeah!’ So and so said that … I said $50.” Her declaration of being firm on the ticket price drew a thunderous applause.
“I would have [charged] less, but my record label is paying for this,” she said, suggesting that the last-minute nature of the show prevented them from doing a full-on production that would have been much more expensive. Adele then joked that the bare-bones stage was a reflection of the low ticket prices: “As you can see by the set, we’ve run out of money.”
Her sold-out tour starts in a little over two weeks, and she told the audience that “the show is great,” but “didn’t want to give anything away.” (Adele also noted that the set list for The Wiltern show will not be the same as what she performs on the road during the tour.)
The tour launches Feb. 29 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and is scheduled to play more than 100 shows in Europe and North America through November. The North American leg of the tour starts July 5 in St. Paul, Minn., and includes six-night stands at both Madison Square Garden in New York and Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
Here is Adele’s setlist at The Wiltern:
One and Only
Rumour Has It
Water Under the Bridge
I Miss You
Million Years Ago
Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
Someone Like You
Set Fire to the Rain
All I Ask
When We Were Young
Hello (reprise/audience sing-a-long)
Rolling In the Deep
This story first appeared on Billboard.com
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