Why I took my daughters, aged 5 and 7, to see Adele

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 On Saturday night I took my two young daughters to see Adele (along with 95 thousand others). It was their first concert and meant to be a wonderful surprise.

When I brought the tickets back in December, both my girls, who are five and seven, were massive Adele fans. Her album 25 was the soundtrack to all our car journeys and I could measure the time it took to get from A to B by how many times we got to listen to 'Hello' on repeat.

On family road trips Adele came too – the four of us belting out lyrics together was as much a part of the experience as time spent at the destination. I swore to myself that if she came to Australia, we would all go and see her.

Adele performs at ANZ Stadium on March 10, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.
Adele performs at ANZ Stadium on March 10, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Cameron Spencer

Unfortunately, a week after scoring the tickets (I missed out on the first show, but got through after a cool 45 mins for the second) my eldest daughter, G, declared she didn't like Adele anymore.

I was convinced that when the time came, G would forget her new insistence that Adele isn't as cool as Katy Perry or Taylor Swift and remember the joy she felt in singing along.

When we arrived at ANZ Stadium my five year old, C, squealed with pure joy. "Are we really going to see Adele?" she asked me, her wide eyes sparkling. "I hate Adele!" moaned her sister as we took our seats.

C made up for G's petulance – she was genuinely awestruck as the video screens of Adele's iconic eyes went up, revealing her idol on stage. She sang along, danced on her chair, waved her arms in the air and soaked up the electric atmosphere. My heart swelled as I watched her create some amazing memories.

Meanwhile, G put up a good fight (she even asked me if she could listen to Katy Perry on my phone), but not even a stubborn seven year old can resist the pull of live music. Adele won her over; she danced (dab, dab, dab) and reluctantly sang along.

Adele didn't really need the special effects that accompany her show – aside from her singing (which was of course, amazing); the best bits were the moments that she talked to the crowd. She asked questions, engaged with audience members. I got the feeling that she would happily meet us all if time allowed.

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But Adele's authentic inclusivity isn't just reserved for the tour. She has shown genuine support for positive causes, speaking out against injustices and modelling kind, warm and inclusive behaviour that I'd like to think would inspire my daughters to do the same. 

In May last year she invited two gay fans, André Söderberg and Simon Carlsson onto the stage and literally jumped for joy when Söderberg dropped to one knee and proposed to Carlsson. Months earlier the singer told TIME magazine how she would react if her son Angelo came out as gay.

"I can't wait to know who his best friends are going to be, who his girlfriend or his boyfriend is going to be or what movies he likes... Whatever my kid wants to do or be I'll always support him no matter what," she said. 

Cat Rodie
Cat Rodie 

This year Adele also challenged the status quo at the Grammys when she said she couldn't accept award for best album, because she felt it should have gone to Beyoncé for Lemonade. She broke her Grammy in half, and was later praised for owning her privilege and showing genuine solidarity at a time when the issue of racial bias at the music awards has been increasingly contentious. 

When Adele stopped her live Grammy's performance (a tribute to the late George Michael) because of technical difficulties, she was described in some corners of the media as a trainwreck. But her artistic credibility remained intact – she didn't want to "mess it up" for George. She was courageous, showing that even award-winning superstars make mistakes. It's an important lesson for youngsters (and grownups too, actually) – it's ok to mess up, as long as you brush yourself off and have another go.

During Saturday's show, my girls watched as Adele allowed herself to be vulnerable. Admitting that she was "crapping herself" when the screens went up and that the ANZ Stadium was the biggest venue she had played. She told us how she felt when she first met her son, and how an ex-partner made her feel small. She's not putting on an act; she is sharing part of herself. She is the show.

And yeah, she has a potty mouth ("Mum!! Adele said F---ING!"). But she isn't afraid to laugh at herself (she isn't self-deprecating either). She owns her experiences, good and bad, because they are part of who she is.

In her glittering ball gown, Adele looked like the Disney princesses that my girls so admire (she's clearly no damsel in distress). But she shows them that they don't need to have a minuscule waist and waif-like limbs. It might not seem like a big deal, but giving youngsters a good example of body diversity goes a long way in a world that seems increasingly obsessed with skinny.

Later on, as we queued to get on a train someone asked the girls if they'd had a good time. "It was the best night of my life," said C, exhausted, but still on a high. "I liked one song," said G, scowling again, "and the swearing!"

I hope that they do remember it forever, and not just because it was a brilliant show. Adele is a wonderful role model for my girls and I hope she remains imprinted on their young minds for a long time to come.

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