Stopping touring is the hallmark of some all-time great performers. The Beatles stopped touring when they entered a more studio-oriented phase of their career. Icons like Michael Jackson stopped when their tours became too much to properly manage. Leonard Cohen was a famous songwriter for decades but only really performed late in life.
Adele may have just joined this list after playing a rainy show in Auckland, New Zealand. To be clear, it's not because of the rain. She just borrowed a spare poncho from an audience member and kept singing.
No, her retreat may be for a simpler reason: She's got stage fright.
"Touring isn't something I'm good at," she told the audience. "Applause makes me feel a bit vulnerable. I don't know if I will ever tour again. The only reason I've toured is you. I'm not sure if touring is my bag. My greatest accomplishment in my career is this tour."
That's pretty cut-and-dried. To be frank, her identity as a touring musician never seemed integral to her overall career as a performer. Unlike acts like The Hives or Eagles of Death Metal, for whom the albums are more like signposts in the midst of a career defined by an electric live show, Adele's magic has always been her inimitable voice. That voice can only be shackled by a concert venue with unreliable acoustics and a PA that doesn't have the same fidelity as a studio mic. So, really, her tour is just a chance for her fans to worship at the altar of her personality and to line her pockets.
But she's far from ungrateful.
"It's changed my life, I understand why I do it," she told the crowd.
Maybe we haven't seen the last of her after all.