Paolo Nutini @ Luglio Suona Bene – Cavea – Auditorium
aaamusic | On 03, Aug 2010
Rome, July 18th
The live performance of Paolo Nutini is always a wonderful surprise. He masters the stage like an old bluesman, white vest and a glass of red wine in his hand, he can enchant the audience like a wizard, singing with his beautiful rough voice, closed eyes and a half-drunk, half-concentrated expression, the show is first himself and then his music, marvellously played by The Vipers, his seven piece band.
This time the gig takes place in a breathtaking venue, the Cavea of Auditorium designed by Renzo Piano, a jewel of modern architecture placed in the heart of Rome and it’s promoted by Goigest.
Liam Gerner opens the night, an Australian acoustic singer-songwriter with blonde curls. With only his guitar and hid gentle voice, he gives the audience 25 minutes of beautiful folk-soul songs veined of melancholy, but that kind that makes you feel alive, because you can feel your heart beating. A good surprise.
Carly Connor is the second opening act, she’s from Glasgow and his music is a good pop-rock-soul reminding Blondie and Duffy. The audience really appreciate her, even because she’s supported by a three piece band performing very good, especially choirs.
The gig is introduced by a little piece of Guaglione, a song that seems to be written for a young a handsome guy like Paolo, his musicians have the time to take their instruments and start a full of energy version of 10/10, they jump on the stage and people are having fun, it’s such a positive and happy song that you can only dance.
Alloway Grove follows the same style, even if it’s more country it is from the first album, but it talks about love and girls conquering, Nutini’s vocal style is different from the studio album, it’s like he wants to scream a repressed energy and songs explodes supported by a strong music backdrop, The Vipers are an amazing band, the performance wouldn’t be the same without them.
High hopes breaks the tension with its soft mouth-organ, so as These Streets, penetrayed with melancholy more than the studio version, it’s almost acoustic, Paolo is helped by people who sing-along moved.
Bear me in mind is a brand new track showcased during this summer tour. It’s a pleasant blues song, it’s good going towards rock, but I think it has no the strength to be a next single.
The gig goes on with Growing up beside you, I love that song because it’s so delicate and almost whispered, a wonderful prelude to a beautiful version Candy, one of the most successful singles of the year.
Meanwhile Nutini sip good red wine savouring its taste with closed eyes, he knows how to create the right atmosphere for two intimate songs like Chamber music. Lights are turned down and Paolo playing his guitar sings the sorrows of a Worried man, lyrics are beautiful, taking inspiration from old spirituals.
There’s time for a cover, so before Coming up easy, that sets crowd on fire going into a powerful crescendo a la Blues Brothers at the end, Nutini pays tribute to reggae with Riding for a fall. Funky Cigarette is a folk-country-funky that well introduces Pencil full of lead, a typical 50’s rock ‘n’ roll song that shake your ass against your will, I want to dance acrobatic rock, but I can’t do it!
Sleepwalking is a cover of a soul song, winds and Paolo’s vocals support it giving a beautiful tension that suddenly stops .
After another sip of red wine, Paolo sings New Shoes, introduced by Gavin’s wild trumpet. Every song is not the same compared to the studio version, and this is Paolo’s strength: he changes tempo, shade, goes slowly or faster, he’s the master of his music, he can manipulate it as he desires.
No other way is one of my favourite tunes, it’s harrowing, and his way of singing it is heartbreaking, his voice stand alone, supported by only few notes of guitar and soft drums, winds embellish it giving a touch of desperation.
The gig ends with one of the most successful singles, Jenny don’t be hasty, introduced by a little piece of Take me out by Franz Ferdinand, a very bright idea and another demonstration of Paolo’s love for good music. This live version is stunning, with lots of echo on vocals on the end.
Crowd has gone mad, and give him a standing ovation.
But Paolo keeps for his audience other three tunes: Tricks of the trade always reminds me Tracy Chapman, it’s a short soft folk tune, while on Time to pretend I start to dance and scream! For two reasons: I love MGMT and I love this cover, that is so far from the original but at the same time is so incredible, synths are substituted by trumpets and Paolo sings it with a great energy, almost screaming.
The last song is obviously Last request, it’s completely different from the studio version, people would like to sing along but it’s impossible, he changes tempo continuously. Also it’s sung softly, like a lullaby, it’s a sort of sweet good night to the audience. But Paolo wants to give us one more song, so he ventures into Caruso, people helps him to sing, words are not perfect, but his performance is definitely unforgettable.
Author: Roberta Capuano