Bailey Degnan was about as disappointed as a graduating high school student can get. When she'd arrived at First Avenue late Thursday afternoon, she learned her $350 ticket to the hottest concert of the year might be useless. British pop singer Adele, best-selling artist in 2011, had just canceled her evening gig because of laryngitis. Degnan was fretting she'd leave for college in Kansas before the rescheduled concert.
An hour later, the Henry Sibley High senior was "so happy I'm gonna cry." First Avenue's general manager had just stepped outside and announced a new date of June 22. "I'm gonna be here," the 17-year-old from Sunfish Lake proclaimed.
The 11th-hour cancellation of the hottest concert ticket since Miley Cyrus' Hannah Montana heyday was a shock for fans -- especially since Cities 97 radio had just broadcast an interview with Adele shortly before the cancellation was announced (turns out the interview was taped in October).
Amber Goodspeed, 25, of Duluth, had taken a day and a half off work as a high school English and theater teacher to see Adele. She didn't learn of the postponement until she arrived at First Avenue.
"I'm so depressed," said Goodspeed, an Adele look-alike who got lost in downtown trying to find Minnesota's world-famous nightclub and her hotel. "I've never seen her before. I've never been to First Avenue before."
The cancellation took First Avenue staffers and even Adele by surprise at her late afternoon sound check.
"She sang two notes and she knew," said First Avenue stage manager Conrad Sverkerson. "Her voice was gone. It was sincere. We sent her right to the doctor."
Adele, 23, who has the No. 1 album and single in the United States this week, postponed only her Minneapolis concert. She plans to resume her small-venue U.S. tour Saturday in Denver.
Since she is popular enough to fill arenas, Adele's $27.50 tickets to First Avenue became hot commodities selling for more than $450 on StubHub and Craigslist. At showtime, ticket touts roamed outside the nightclub, hoping to see if any disconsolate fans wanted to unload tickets.
A First Avenue door man periodically asked if anybody had any questions.
"Is she OK?" one fan asked.
"Ideally," said the door man.
Jon Bream • 612-673-1719