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Concert Review: Paolo Nutini in Boston, MA

July 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

paolo1Paolo Nutini
House of Blues – Boston, MA
July 24, 2009

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Reviewed by:  Sally Feller

Playing a sold-out show at the House of Blues in Boston, Paolo Nutini successfully overcame the venue size and left the audience with the feeling of being in a small intimate show in a pub somewhere. Having listened to Nutini’s first album, 2006’s “These Streets” and his latest gem “Sunny Side Up” I will unabashedly describe myself as a fan.

Nutini’s latest album is considerably stronger in terms of experimentation, and takes the listener on a journey through the back roads of America. You’ll hear everything in there, influences from New Orleans, certainly, and the blues, a bit of ukulele and some homegrown bluegrass, wrapped up by some chill Sunday morning coffee music to warm your soul. I was curious as to how this would all translate on stage, especially in a venue like the House of Blues, which holds around 5,000 people.

I found myself happily surprised by the translation to a live performance. Nutini emerged onstage and sauntered over to the microphone and belted out a pleasing mix of tunes from both albums. Crowd favorites mostly seemed to be from his original album: “New Shoes,” “Jenny Don’t Be Hasty,” and his latest single “Candy.” “Jenny Don’t Be Hasty” was the perfect song to finish off the set, leaving the crowd infused with renewed energy as they left the club.

Nutini seemed unassuming and relaxed and spent most of the show with his eyes closed, as you’d expect from any good soul and blues singer. I couldn’t help but be reminded of greats like Otis Redding and Van Morrison. I would be surprised to find anyone who’s seen a live show from Nutini that wasn’t compelled to feel every note in their soul, since it seems to come from the depths of the singer’s own.  At only 22, I’m expecting many, many more great tunes from Paolo Nutini in the years to come.

Just a quick shout-out to show opener Erin McCarley. This was my first introduction to her music and I was wowed and immediately wrote down her name. She’s certainly worth checking out!


*Enter our current contest to score a copy of Nutini’s latest album Sunny Side Up

*For more info on Paolo Nutini, his new album, and his current tour please visit his MySpace Page.

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5 Responses to “Concert Review: Paolo Nutini in Boston, MA”
  1. Karen says:

    I was at the show also, and was concerned because it seemed like he was drunk when he walked out on stage, and during his performance. He seemed a little unsteady on his feet, and wasn’t engaging with the crowd at all. Several people around me on the floor of the venue commented that they thought he was drunk, or high. We also noticed how tense his band mates seemed when he came out on stage, then they seemed to loosen up when they realized that he was able to perform. We could be completey wrong, but it’s odd that several of us, who didn’t know each other, got the same instant impression when he nearly stumbled out on to the staqe. I looked on-line and noticed that there have been other comments by fans, and write ups by music reviewers, commenting that he seemed very drunk at vatious other performances. These comments and reviews are from 2007 to present. It’s too bad, because I really enjoy his music, and had been looking forward to seeing him perform for over 2 years. He definitely wasn’t the alert and engaging, clear sounding, Paolo that I’ve seen in on-line videos of his perfamces from 2006-6007. It would be a huge loss to see such great talent go to waste.

  2. Sally says:

    Interesting. I was up on the third level of the club and didn’t notice that, I guess. Obviously it didn’t impact his performance for me, but the people around me didn’t mention it, either. Maybe he was drunk, maybe he wasn’t, I was still very impressed with the show and his performance overall.

  3. Tralalala says:

    I absolutely loved every second of the show. I saw him last night in Ft. Lauderdale, in a pretty small room. I was pretty close up and thought he looked totally stoned. I’m not sure how I came to that conclusion without ever seeing him open his eyes but somehow he still came across stoned. No matter though, he still sounded great. My only gripe is that the show was unacceptably short. We waited a long time for him to come out…waiting oustide for an hour in line while the club got their act together enough to finally open the doors and through two mediocre (at best) opening acts. To go through all that for maybe a one hour set was unfufilling.

  4. Jillian says:

    Saw Paolo last night at the Showbox Sodo Seattle. Was standing in the 3rd row from stage. Horribly long lag between the end of the opening act and Paolo coming out. His band was fantastic, Paolo’s singing was great but from the get go when he came out, everyone around me was saying he seemed completely drunk. I get the whole eyes closed thing but the short one liners he occasionally tried to say to the crowd between songs were completely unintelligible and trailed off into mumbling and he even seemed to laugh at himself. I grew up in Britain and have no trouble deciphering Scottish accents so that was not it. Everyone was disappointed and felt bad for his band but once I got over it and realized we weren’t going to hear him even try to connect with the crowd, I did really enjoy the music. He belted out every tune with a lot of soul and seemed to have sweated off some of the slurring and drunkenness by the end of the show. I looked online at other reviews from the last 2 years and this seems to be a pattern but it’s always denied by his management. Like I said, I got over it and enjoyed the music though there were times we were all worried he would not be able to make it through the show.

  5. Jan says:

    Hi, I am from the UK and have been to see Paolo and I definitely don’t believe he was either drunk or high! Just because it is known that he likes a drink and cigarette DOES NOT mean he is wasted when performing! It is also known that he does not feel very comfortable talking on stage… so what if he self-consciously mumbles a bit, he best expresses himself through singing
    his songs, immersing himself into the moment by closing his eyes and singing beautifully with alot of soul and genuine emotion. I am sure with time he will improve his stage rapport with the audience, but to be honest I
    really don’t mind if he mumbles, hunches over his microphone, or closes his eyes throughout if that’s what makes him happy and enables him to give the heartfelt, mesmerizing performances he does night after night. All
    I know is I’m always moved and very happy when I leave a Paolo gig,he is unique!!

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