Earlier this week, during the homestretch of her 15-month-long slog of a world tour, Adele announced to fans in New Zealand that this could actually be the end of her short-lived touring days. “Touring isn’t something I’m good at,” she said at Sunday night’s show. “Applause makes me feel a bit vulnerable.” And so she dropped this bomb: “I don’t know if I will ever tour again. The only reason I’ve toured is you. I’m not sure if touring is my bag.” She then tearfully thanked the tour for “changing my life,” and carried on being Adele while the internet fanned the flames. If you take Adele’s comments at their extreme face value (as her entire fandom seems to have done), this means that after the final four shows of Adele Live — which wraps up back in London at Wembley Stadium June 28 through July 2 — Adele will retire from touring at age 29. To put that in perspective, the late Leonard Cohen didn’t truly hit his touring stride until his 70s.
But Adele’s decision wouldn’t be an exception: Enya’s never toured a day in her life and has only recently begun to consider it. Kate Bush stopped touring for 35 years when she was even younger than Adele, but eventually came back. They each had their reasons — greater interest in recording than performing being the primary explanation — but Adele is a unique case. Her fame eclipses Enya’s, Kate’s, and just about everyone who’s ever sung a note’s fame. What does someone with Adele’s ubiquity, star power, and voice do as a singer if not sing live? We have some ideas. Here is Vulture’s unsolicited advice for the rest of Adele’s presumably long career off the road.
Do Whatever She Wants21 and ended up having to cancel the whole spectacle due to vocal cord hemorrhaging; questions about whether she’d ever be able to tour again dogged her for years after. Her current tour exists to prove she could keep at it, and it’s been no cop-out. This tour put Adele to work for 122 shows on multiple continents — enough live appearances to satisfy fans for a lifetime. And in this business, bet that at least one of them was taped for a concert film after it’s all over. Adele, love, there’s no fan-artist contract that says you’re obligated to perform for us for the rest of your life (though we can’t speak for your label contract). Bow out on top.
Tour As a Hologram the technology to holographically resurrect dead musicians for profit, then why not skip ahead and just do it for the living? Touring isn’t healthy. No one should spend months at a time on a bus — though, we’re sure Adele’s is quite luxurious — whizzing through time zones, climates, and life. Going from relative solitude to being screamed at by thousands every day sounds unpleasant. Adele should feel no shame in phoning in all future performances if we’ve already invented the digital capabilities to make it feel somewhat authentic. From the nosebleeds, who can tell the difference? That might even have been a test Adele hologram onstage this whole time for all anyone knows. It’s an easy solution to a tricky problem: Have Adele record new live vocals, get her in a motion-capture bodysuit for total accuracy, and voila! And because Real Adele will still be here while her hologram tours the world, she can continuously update its witty stage banter and give it commands to assist in even more engagements.
Livestream Performances Remotely
Perform Exclusively at Awards Shows From Now Onalbeit with a couple hiccups — so although awards shows have not always been kind to Adele, they’re still a fine touring substitute.
Judge X FactorThe Voice is every artist’s side gig, but could Adele ever turn her back on X Factor?
Go Straight to a Las Vegas Residency29 and 33?), coast on their chart successes, then begin a Las Vegas residency by 35. That way, instead of always traveling to the people, as the rigors of touring require, the people can come to her. It’s a career route that Britney Spears has already make acceptable for younger crowds — Britney was among the youngest to start a residency in this retiree oasis — but prematurely aging herself has never been Adele’s concern. She’s had to endure the stereotype that her music is for the boomer generation for years — it’s time to just embrace it. Then, when Adele gets tired of the Vegas heat, she can close the curtains on performing — and maybe even releasing albums altogether — and retire to the English countryside to live her best British life and occasionally drunk-tweet when no one’s looking.
Make the Super Bowl Her Final Show EverAdele didn’t say she’d never perform again, but hanging it all up would be the ultimate power move. And we know just the place to call it a career: the Super Bowl halftime show. Sure, Adele has said she wouldn’t play the Super Bowl because “that show is not about music,” but neither is performing for the last time. It’s about the moment. The Super Bowl loves a moment! Whitney Houston’s National Anthem was a moment. An equally good idea: Everything we just said, but instead, the Super Bowl is a fake out and she disappears for years, then, when the time for her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction comes, she can deliver her true final performance. A mic drop for the ages. Or, you know, she could just wait around for the comeback call from Coachella in 30 years.
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