There has been this other woman in our life for quite a long time. A woman with whom I can not compete.
I first became aware of my husband’s interest a good few years ago. At first it seemed just casual, an innocent flirtation on the internet, but then one day I realised it was serious. I had finished work and come home early and there he was, in the living room listening to one of her albums. He had gone out and bought the CD and her voice filled our house. There was no going back, there was nothing I could do.
That woman was Adele and his admiration and adoration for her has not showed signs of waning in the intervening years. He not only has her CDs, but has also bought the albums as downloads and has a DVD of her in concert too. Given her self-professed dislike of flying (the one thing I can agree with her on) it was unlikely that she was ever going to hit the shores of Australia, nevertheless I promised faithfully that if she ever came to this country, I would get him to the concert.
Of course if she was coming to Australia, she would never come to Perth. It is a rare and wonderful performer who does. Many promoters just do not want to do the maths on bringing a show to a city with a relatively small population and then having to schlep all the gear across the Nullabor to get the real money on the much more heavily populated east coast. Not all acts fly over our heads, Bruce Springsteen recently played here and we have also welcomed Robbie Williams and Neil Diamond. But Coldplay gave us the cold shoulder and so have many others. Resolving to buy my husband a plane ticket if I had to, I registered online to get an alert if Adele ever changed her mind about coming Down Under.
Then, two miracles: an announcement that Adele was coming to Australia and somehow, Perth was included on the tour. This was followed by the wait for the tickets to be released. I had a date and was ready at my computer at 10 am when the sale went live. There was no way I was going to miss out on this. I hit, ‘purchase’ and was directed to a queue… then DISASTER. I was kicked off the site and could not get back on. Frustrated, I posted an angry tweet as it became clear that the ticket release on this date was a ‘pre-sale’ batch for, ‘stadium members only’. I have no idea what a ‘stadium member’ is and could not find out how to become one. The ticket sellers had seen my tweet and replied that it was OK, general sale tickets would become available in a matter of days but it did not help. I became tense and angry. I had made a promise and was worried that I would not able to deliver. One show in Perth. One shot at Adele. I could not believe how stressed out I was getting – I was not even a particular fan.
Then suddenly, a lifeline. Someone had seen my tweet and contacted me to say they had the presale link for tickets. Huh? Was this a trick? I checked her timeline – seemed genuine. She also appeared to be quite a fan of Adele and had bought presale tickets for all her shows all over the country.
I contacted her back and she sent me the link. It took me to the ticket site – tickets were the same price. It looked OK. I asked advice from a couple of people and they all seemed to think it checked out, so I went in and secured two tickets.
They may not have been the best ones I could have got if I had waited, I have heard that presale leaves some of the good seats for general admission, but I did not care. They were good seats and I had them. When I told my husband that evening that I had got him his Christmas present early, he knew exactly what it was. He was so happy he almost cried.
It has been many months since that night and last night I did not post because last night I was at that concert. I know a few of Adele’s songs but not all of them. My mother, who lives right next to the stadium where she was performing, had been providing a running commentary on the rehearsal for the last couple of days.
‘She is singing Bond,’ she messaged, ‘Your father is not impressed, he has gone to bed.’
Well my father may not have been impressed but I, and I suspect the 65 000 other people who were there last night certainly were. I have to say, she was magnificent. A brilliant show, a tremendous set list and streamer canons that made me weep (working in events, my team’s constant regret and obsession is over the lack of real punch the streamer canons we hire provide).
And my husband? Well I guess he can now die a happy man. The only thing that might have topped it would have been meeting her in person, but then they do say never meet your heroes, and I did make sure he bought himself a programme. Adele will continue her tour, my husband will return to his CDs and I will have the memory of watching him watch her perform with the biggest smile I have seen on his face in a while.