Paolo Nutini Serves Songs ‘Sunny Side Up’

Paolo Nutini
The Vic Theatre
Chicago, IL
August 2, 2009

Paolo Nutini The Vic Theatre

Paolo Nutini is finally back! It has been three years since he released his debut album These Streets. This past June, sophomore record Sunny Side Up was made available to the world, placing Paolo Nutini back on the music scene map. I remember seeing Paolo Nutini perform live in concert for the first time in Chicago at the Double Door back in 2006. He was just 19 years old then and playing in front of hundreds of people in a country he had never visited before. I’m not joking – that Double Door concert was his first time in the United States of America! I was lucky enough to get the chance to meet the singer/songwriter from Scotland after the show. Though meeting Paolo Nutini lasted but a brief moment, I recall him being a shy, young teenager with such a strong Scottish brogue that I could barely comprehend a word he said to me.

More photos of Paolo Nutini after the jump…

Paolo Nutini The Vic Theatre

What I noticed the most three years ago was that Paolo Nutini sang with his eyes closed. I’m not talking about every once in awhile. He sang with his eyes closed during every single song for the entire performance. I understood that the guy was nervous, shy, overwhelmed, you name it. However, I did not expect that the next time I would see him live in concert, Paolo would still sing an full set without opening his eyes. Not sure about you, but I think three years of performing for audiences around the world would help you overcome any stage fright you once struggled with. Call me crazy, but I don’t understand why as an artist and a performer, Paolo Nutini fails to acknowledge his fans. All he has to do is look at them and register that there are people watching him who like his music enough to pay to see him perform his songs right in front of their eyes. And to top it all off, I’m pretty sure Paolo was completely stoned from the second he walked out on stage to the moment he walked off. And I’m not the only one who thought so… My friend Becky, who attended the show with me, was actually the one to ask me if I thought he was stoned. Needless to say, I could not have agreed more. I don’t know how the guy did it, but Nutini sang for over an hour without forgetting any lyrics or messing up in any way. I guess some people can perform perfectly fine under the influence.

Set List / Chicago

New Shoes

High Hopes

Alloway Grove

Coming Up Easy

No Other Way

Growing Up Beside You

Last Request

These Streets


Down In Mexico (The Coasters cover)

Loving You



Funky Cigarette

Jenny Don’t Be Hasty

Nevertheless, Paolo Nutini put on a great high-energy show and fans appeared to be having the time of their lives. One woman standing next to me had brought her little sister to the show after they both attended Nutini’s Detroit concert the previous night. The younger of the two sisters told me that they had spent the car ride from Detroit to Chicago listening to Paolo Nutini’s two albums nonstop over and over. A woman on the other side of me sang her heart out during her favorite Nutini song “Last Request.” This lady was belting out the words so loud, she drew stares, high-fives, and various versions of “You go, girl” exclamations from fans around her equally as into the music.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

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  1. Jacque says:

    I have been looking for a set list and was thrilled to find your photos and site. However, he never played Rewind in Chicago. I remember the woman next to me yelling “Rewind” all night and then leaving extremely disappointed that he never played it. So something is off. Interesting to see your photos, we were to the right side (facing stage) he seemed to look the other way the whole concert and we could only see his cute shaggy hair. Didn’t realize his eyes were closed all night. Oh well, he rocked the house anyway!! Thanks for your posting – great photos.

  2. Becky says:

    Definitely sounded great even if he was under the influence!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I was there for his Paolo’s amazing show at the vic. Loved it! And he DID open his eyes and acknowledge — and even talk to — his audience. He was obviously very into his music, but I think that is pretty cool to see! Also, I didn’t think he seemed high — he seemed fine and very sweet, and you said yourself that he didn’t make a single mistake! Oh, and something’s funny with the set list. High Hopes (my favorite) was second right after New Shoes. Fantastic show!

  4. Becky says:

    I know so many performers who never go on stage without being under some kind of influence and in many cases it enhances their performance. Paolo didn’t miss a beat, but he definitely missed the faces of his audience. I NEVER saw him open his eyes and I was in the very front the whole time. Even with a great sound, it is disrespectful not to acknowledge the existence of your fans.

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