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Photos: Adele performs sold-out show at Chelsea at Cosmopolitan

Adele performs at Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan on Aug. 20, 2011.
Photo: Isaac Brekken

Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe

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Adele at Chelsea at Cosmopolitan

An eclectic crowd -- men, women, young and old -- gathered Saturday night at the Cosmopolitan’s Chelsea Ballroom for British soul singer Adele’s sold-out Las Vegas debut. Her widespread appeal could be a testament to the caliber of her talent; she’s an artist, plain and simple, and good music is good music.

Before the Grammy Award-winning songstress took the stage, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Wanda Jackson had her time at the mic. The 73-year old queen of rockabilly’s jiving jams were well received by the crowd, notably her cover of the late Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.”

After a brief intermission, the lights again dimmed, and a roaring applause ushered Adele and her band onstage. Guitarists (including a multitalented bassist with surprisingly superior trumpet chops), a pianist and a drummer provided the musical accompaniment for the evening. What followed was 2 hours of pure and unadulterated entertainment.

The set list included tracks from her debut and sophomore albums, 19 and 21, respectively. As both were critically acclaimed commercial successes, it came as no surprise that the sea of Adele devotees joined the singer in a majority of the evening’s music offerings. Each song was delivered beautifully, sounding almost identical to what is recorded on the singer’s albums.

With her belting out the chorus of “Chasing Pavements” and softly singing the verse of “Hometown Glory,” the chosen tracks effectively showcased the range of her vocal abilities. The artist did stray from her original repertoire a few times, performing cover songs well suited for her soulful voice, among them The Cure’s mesmerizing “Love Song” and Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”

Although more than 4,000 fans had comfortably fit in the expansive venue, Adele managed to make the performance feel intimate. In between songs, she entertained the audience with amusing anecdotes and personal stories that inspired her captivating lyrics. It was almost like conversing with her over coffee: The audience learned about the breakup behind her latest album, her dachshund Louis Armstrong and a guilty pleasure of reality television.

Adele was perfectly charming, and it felt perfectly natural. There was more to this concert than excellent music. It was an experience, and it was accomplished without choreographed dance moves, LED light shows and costume changes. The awe-inspiring artist’s encore included two current hits from 21, the recently released “Someone Like You” and the epic smash “Rolling in the Deep.”

An overwhelming applause erupted -- a reminder that people are still thankful for talent in an age dominated by auto-tuned pop stars. Adele’s gift is just that -- a gift.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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