Adele at the Rollodrome

Around 7:30 p.m. I’d taken a group of students to the Rollodrome in Auburn. On the way, I played a CD from my college years, classic rock tunes by a band that was especially popular on campuses in the ‘60s and ‘70s, which the students openly liked.

They asked who the band was.

“Hall & Oates,” I answered.

“Those are great songs,” responded one girl, and the others agreed. To quote John Lennon, “Imagine” …

When I dropped them off at the venue, the last student out, a boy smiling and chomping on a sandwich, said, “Thanks for the great sounds!” This by itself would have made my shift, but the best of the night was still to come.

Two hours later, on my way to pick them up, I decided they probably knew of and liked Adele, so I started playing her “21” CD. Perhaps predictably, as they piled into the van they started singing and kept it up through several more tunes all the way to school — an intimate concert. 

One of the boys, Kyle, an outgoing senior I’d befriended over the last three years, has a beautiful baritone voice and knew the songs well. So in pauses between lyrics, like a DJ, he started asking questions in his best deep voice about the words to come — which everyone knew — and they bellowed the answer in sync to the music without missing a beat.

But as we neared campus, a gray tune started. “Oh no, this one’s too sad,” said a girl behind me. So I skipped to the track “Rolling in the Deep,” one of Adele’s booming mega-hits that begins with the words, “There’s a fire, starting in my heart,” and the van was floored.

By the time we reached campus they’d started singing yet another song, and I asked if I should drive around some more to finish it. “Yes!” everyone yelled, so we drove around the perimeter of the school through two more songs.

Now, for the record, these music lovers were a mixed bag of colors — Asian, Black, white — and when they tumbled out of the van at Chase Hall, it was all high-energy giggles and laughter, which at the end of a long shift put a smile on my face that was still there for the drive home … plus more, like now.

And Adele did appear at the Rollodrome that night, riding shotgun in a van waiting at its entrance.