Adeline Makes Awe-Inspiring First Impression at D.C.’s Union Stage

Adeline performing at Union Stage

On Sunday February 24,  Adeline, pronounced “Ad-uh-leen,” made her first Washington, D.C. appearance at Union Stage, and it most certainly will not be her last. Starting the evening off with “Echo,” highlighting her strong vocals with belts that prompted praise from the intimate audience, we knew we were in for quite a show.

Adeline does it all: writes, produces, sings, and plays the bass. The French-Caribbean artist released her first solo album [ad-uh-leen] with her keyboardist Morgan Wiley, this past November 2018. The reflective 14-track album is an eclectic mix of R&B, funk, and even a little disco that is a clear representation of the artist’s background.

Adeline performing at Union Stage

Before continuing onto the next song, the multi-talented powerhouse paused due to a sound issue. If it wasn’t already, her utter and complete love and respect for music became clear because she couldn’t just continue onto the next song stating, “We have some sound issues to fix, we came here to give the best show for you Washington, D.C., we’re not pretending…”

Whenever the artist addressed the audience there was an undeniable warmth that flowed from her as freely as her lyrics and expressive bass lines. At one point, before performing “Emeralds,” Adeline invited the audience to come closer, and without hesitation, the stage was soon surrounded.

Addressing the audience again, Adeline thanked the crowd and revealed her aspirations, “We’re not going to stop until it’s huge, and I will always remember your faces for being the first ones to come — thank you so much.”

Adeline performing at Union Stage

It’s hard to say which of her songs during the performance was the most emotive, but a personal favorite was the song, “Before.” Watching her play the bass and sing with such expression was incomparable. Throughout the performance, she would pick up and put down the bass, allowing her to put her entire body into the songs; getting down on her knees, throwing her head back, using her hands to give more meaning to lyrics or sounds, or going back-to-back with her guitarist.

During, “Hi-Life,” the audience was even more engaged when Adeline asked, “Can I get a soul clap, D.C., can I get it D.C.?!” It was clear from everyone’s face — including the band’s —  that this was an amazing, fun, personable, and enlightening performance that would not be forgotten. We learned about Morgan’s superpower, an interesting bubbling brook sound that he made with his mouth and fingers; We learned a bit of Creole during, “No Name,” another personal favorite, when Adeline got us to sing part of the outro, and much to her delight we sang it correctly.

All-in-all, Adeline made quite an impact with her first D.C. appearance, and we’re waiting for the next opportunity to see her again.

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Enjoy photos by our photographer Ana Medvedeva

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Michelle Castagnola

Michelle Castagnola is a music-loving Maryland native. Her musical awakening began when she put The Beatles' “1” into her Hello Kitty CD Player on the ride to elementary school one morning. She is looking forward to combining her love of music with her love of writing.