Adele's 25 is finally here. The singer's long-awaited third album arrived today, but all week, anticipation has surged. We learned that 25 won't be available to stream on services like Spotify. It's projected (this is probably not a coincidence) to sell somewhere around 2.5 million digital and physical copies in its first week, which would give it the record for most copies sold since Nielsen SoundScan began monitoring sales in 1991, dethroning N*Sync, which currently holds the record for the 2000 album No Strings Attached.
Adele will cap off the week with a performance on Saturday Night Live this weekend, but perhaps the moment at which Adele mania crested was her performance, Tuesday night, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. On this week's All Songs +1 podcast, Bob Boilen talks to NPR Music's Saidah Blount, who braved the mayhem to see the show. The crowd crossed age, gender and genre lines, with everyone from Long Island housewives, to fellow Brits and long-time Adele devotees waiting in a line that wrapped around two corners of the block.
The endless line proved too much for some, who sold their tickets to the swarm of scalpers buzzing around the building. "Behind me I saw a woman [sell] her ticket to a scalper for $1,500 cash," Blount says. "He had a large, like one of those office folders, the metal ones. Just cracked it open, pulled open the cash, counted out the bills, handed it to her and she walked away."
Those with the fortitude to withstand the snaking line were treated to tunes from 25 (the rest of us will have to wait until a recording of the concert is broadcast on NBC on December 14). Adele received a standing ovation after each song. And just as appealing as her rich, distinctive voice is her character: Adele is personable and charming, and that girl-next-door connection is part of what attracts her diverse audience.
The show opened with 25's first single, "Hello," and after she tackled the song, Adele relaxed. "She kicked off her shoes," Blount says. "She was like, 'My feet are swelling. I'm going to kick my shoes off.' And of course a laugh goes out. Everybody knows that feeling."
So relax, kick off your shoes and hear the rest of Bob's conversation with Saidah on the +1 podcast.