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Adele ‘thrilled’ to be back in UK for first public performance in five years

Adele ‘thrilled’ to be back in UK for first public performance in five years (Ian West/PA)
Adele ‘thrilled’ to be back in UK for first public performance in five years (Ian West/PA)

Adele said she was “thrilled” to be back playing for her home crowd during her first public UK concert in five years.

The pop superstar, 34, delivered a dazzling headline set at BST Hyde Park festival in London on Friday where she treated the sold-out crowd of adoring fans to array of her hit songs from across her four number one albums.

Taking to the stage in a black sequinned halterneck gown with her hair swept into a bun, she became emotional as the audience chanted back the opening lyrics to her 2015 hit Hello.

Graham Norton Show – London
The pop superstar, 34, delivered a dazzling headline set at BST Hyde Park festival in London on Friday (Matt Crossick/PA)

She told the crowd “what’s happening to me” as she asked them to help carry the tune until she continued the ballad in her typically powerful fashion.

After playing her opening songs, the Tottenham-born singer said: “Hello, I’m so happy to be here.

“Guys, I’m back at home, also where I know. The amount of times I have been up there drunk off of my face, singing along to other artists at these shows.”

She added that she was “thrilled” to be back on stage but that she found it “strange to be in front of a crowd again”, which included her son and one of her best friends.

During the two-hour set she performed classics tracks and new hits including Rumour Has It, One and Only, To Make You Feel My Love, Rolling In the Deep and Easy On Me.

In her typically down-to-earth style she chatted to her fans throughout the event who had travelled from across the world and drank a mug of tea, noting she was currently not drinking alcohol.

After spotting a sign announcing it was a fan’s 18th birthday, she ensured they would have a particularly memorable day as she promised to buy them their first drink after the show.

A couple of lucky fans received a special momento from the event as she hurled concert T-shirts along with a personalised message and a £50 note into the crowd using a T-shirt cannon gun.

The Brit Awards 2022 – Show – London
Adele performs at the 2022 Brit Awards in London (PA)

The singer also stopped the show on multiple occasions to highlight potential issues within the audience to security to ensure everyone was safe.

She commanded the stage throughout the evening, moving from poignant ballads to amplifying the energy for Set Fire To The Rain as fire bellowed out of the stage during the performance.

Ahead of her last song, Adele appeared to refer to various delays and last-minute postponements of shows over the past year, telling the London crowd: “I know that a lot of things have happened with this album and I’m sure a lot of you feel that you’ve been let down and stuff, which is mortifying really and upsetting to me.

“But I take my singing very seriously and the last thing I would ever want to do is let people down but I had to do that, it just wasn’t right.”

To close the landmark performance she sang Love Is A Game accompanied by a spectacle of fireworks as she told the crowd “I love you so much London”.

Fans described the singer as “iconic” and many admitted to getting emotional during the historic set, following the show.

Laila Messaoudi, 28, from Marylebone, London, told the PA news agency: “I’m not an emotional person, I know that, but I cried like four times.

“This was on my bucket list… if I’m going to die tomorrow, I need to see Adele.”

Ms Messaoudi, who was joined by her friend India Taylor Smith, also 28, described the singer as “iconic”.

“The second she came on I burst into tears. She’s so British, she’s so London, so fabulous,” she said.

“It’s phenomenal, a dream come true and we got every song we wanted.

“This was everything I could have ever wanted it to be.”

Amit Belkine, 28, a medical student who has seen Adele perform five times and came from Israel for the festival, said: “Something in her songs just touch me.

“Her voice is incredible, amazing, touching… everyone can relate to something.”

Her appearance at the BST Hyde Park festival is her first festival headline set since she played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2016.

Her only other UK performances in the last few years were at the 2022 Brit Awards and during her An Audience With Adele special concert at the London Palladium which was held behind closed doors to launch her latest album 30.

She was due to begin her Las Vegas residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Hotel on January 21.

However, she made a last-minute decision to postpone the highly-anticipated series of shows due to it not being ready in time.

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