Adele’s new album 25 practically broke the internet and literally broke records this week and last, which reminded us of her humble beginnings and her numerous visits to KCRW. Travel back in time with us…
March 21, 2008: The First Time
KCRW championed Adele from the very beginning, when 19 was released in January 2008. By March, she was performing in our legendary studios the night after her first gig in L.A., at the Hotel Cafe. She had a bad cold and cough, and a couple of her bandmates had visited the hospital during the tour. But illness didn’t stop them.
During this visit, Adele shared how much she enjoyed singing from a young age, her passion for ballads and how much she loved singers and her interest in what they are singing about — which gave listeners special insight as to why she covered both Bob Dylan and Sam Cooke.
From the beginning, Adele was confident in what she wanted to bring to her songs.
Adele’s first KCRW session setlist:
“Crazy For You”
“Make You Feel My Love” (Bob Dylan cover)
“Melt My Heart To Stone”
“Right As Rain”
“That’s It, I Quit” (Sam Cooke cover)
November 17, 2008: Second Session
It’s rare that we invite artists to return on the same album tour, but Adele is a very special artist so we didn’t hesitate to bring her back to check in on her rising star status. She came back with a trio, but this time she also played guitar. Some of her songs were so new that you can see her reading the lyrics (if you only heard it, you would never know).
Between her first and second visits there was a whirlwind of activity from debuting on “Saturday Night Live” on the same show as Sarah Palin, whom she credits for boosting her career. At this point, she was readying her next record 21 and going from playing The Roxy to The Wiltern in less than a year.
Here is Adele’s second KCRW visit setlist:
“Right As Rain”
“Fool That I Am”
June 26, 2009: Third Time’s A DJ Set
In the summer of 2009, we were looking forward to Adele’s Hollywood Bowl debut as part of KCRW’s World Festival, on a stage she’d be sharing with her favorite singer Etta James. We invited her to share her favorite artists as a guest DJ on Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Unfortunately, that double-bill was never to be, as Etta James passed away right before the big night. Here’s what Adele shared at the time.
Here is Adele’s Guest DJ setlist:
A Lover Is Forever –Etta James
Funnel Of Love –Wanda Jackson
When A Man Loves A Woman –Percy Sledge
I Didn’t Take Your Man –Ann Peebles
February 25, 2011: Fourth On The Floor
In February 2011, Adele returned to KCRW to play stripped down versions of her hits, a song she debuted at the Hollywood Bowl plus a gorgeous version of The Cure’s “Lovesong,” which we archived as part of the set but didn’t get to air live at the time:
Here is the setlist from Adele’s fourth visit and third performance for KCRW:
“Don’t You Remember”
“Take It All”
“Someone Like You”
“Rolling In The Deep”