With numerous awards and a handful of number-one albums in the UK charts including 2009’s Sunny Side Up and 2014’s Caustic Love, Paolo Nutini is one of the most popular and successful musicians from Scotland. In 2022, Nutini released his fourth full-length record titled Last Night in the Bittersweet, bolstered by hit singles “Through the Echoes” and “Lose It.” The second half of 2022 witnessed Nutini embarking on a UK and European arena tour in support of Last Night in the Bittersweet, which ran from August until December with performances in England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Romania, Switzerland and more.
To ensure an immersive visual experience for his fans and concert-goers, Nutini turned to trusted lighting designer Liam Tully to create a touring rig that not only delivered high-quality key lighting and punchy stage washes, but blended seamlessly with the tour’s ambitious projection design.
Tully designed and deployed a state-of-the-art lighting rig highlighted by the presence of 48 Martin MAC Ultra Performance and 18 MAC Ultra Wash fixtures.
In order to ensure consistent quality of light and color across the entire rig, Tully’s lighting design utilized both of Martin’s new MAC Ultra family of next-generation lighting fixtures. MAC Ultra Wash’s powerful feature set—including uniform color mixing, variable CTO, spectral correction filters and motorized frost—helped Tully support Nutini’s performances with beautiful unified wash looks without the audience being able to see individual LED pixels. Meanwhile, the MAC Ultra Performance’s benchmark output and high resolution dimming gave Tully the power to cut through the projections while also yielding the sensitivity to blend seamlessly with the projectors—even at extremely low output levels.
“The planning phase was fairly simple—I sat down with Paolo and we went through what he was after,” said Tully. “The show is super video driven with eight projectors around the stage. Paolo wanted to balance this with a very traditional lighting rig. He didn’t want to see the face of LEDs, which is why we went with the MAC Ultra Wash. I also needed a big profile that could cut through the project when needed. I really liked the MAC Ultra Performance for that role, especially their colors and dimmer curves. The punch was there when I needed the big gobo look, but they also look great when limited to as low as three percent.”
“The way we approached this design was different than any other show I’ve done before,” said Tully. “As I said, we put the projection at the forefront of this design, and the lighting was to compliment the projection—not to take away from it. We spent a lot of time balancing the lighting to the projection. When I changed the intensity even between three and four percent, I could see the change. You don’t get that kind of control with other fixtures. I have also found you get a consistent quality of light within the Martin family of fixtures—and it’s easy to color-match across all aspects of the design.”