Review: You Better RUSH! to see Måneskin

Following a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden, Italian rock band Måneskin visited Columbia, Maryland at Merriweather Post Pavilion on September 23rd. They were touring in support of their 2023 release RUSH!, which recently won a VMA for Best Rock Video for “The Loneliest”.  Members include Damiano David on lead vocals, Victoria de Angelis on bass, Ethan Torchio on drums, and Thomas Raggi on electric guitar. Even while it was raining, Måneskin delivered an amazing and jam-packed show.

Måneskin opened the show with “DON’T WANNA SLEEP” from RUSH!, a mood-setting track that demonstrates Damiano David’s infectious rockstar vibe. The concert kicking off with a guitar intro leading into the opening line, “Dance, dance, dance until I die”, perfectly represents Måneskin’s energetic groove. Immediately as the last note hit, it segued into the hit “GOSSIP”. David looks like he was born for this, enticing the audience by seeing how many of the words they know. Red lights filled the room for their next track, “ZITTI E BUONI”, entirely in Italian. Echoing the words that they’re the biggest Italian rock band of all time, each member of the band is in a trance performing one of their hits in their native language. They all introduce themselves, but then immediately get back into the music, playing their most recent release “HONEY (ARE U COMING?)”. At only 4 songs in, I thought this was the most pumped and energetic part of the night, but the concert got even more exciting. Måneskin commands the Pavilion. The energy throughout the whole concert didn’t tire me out; it just made me want more. David was sure to interact with the audience and make it feel like we were up close talking to him as he introduced the next track, “It talks about one of my favorite topics: supermodels.” And, obviously, they played “SUPERMODEL” next. The band is highly coordinated, especially David and bass player De Angelis who continually interacted with one another on stage. “CORALINE” slowed things down a bit, with just a purple-lit stage and light guitar. But like Måneskin always does, they kicked things into high gear with a soulful sound that made for a dramatic and hypnotizing performance.

David’s several different alter egos came out in this show: rockstar, poet, and angry young man. “Beggin’”, the Four Seasons song, is what David had the most to say about, talking about how it was the band’s first song to earn them a standing ovation. The crowd could not have been more excited. Thomas Raggi got right up next to the crowd during this number, connecting the band with the audience in one of many instances during the night. For the acoustic set, they went straight to the back of the crowd; the B-stage was right at the very back of the Pavilion’s seats. “TIMEZONE” and “IF NOT FOR YOU” were performed, the former inciting the most singing from the audience. Don’t let the relaxed acoustic set fool you. Minutes before, while performing “GASOLINE”, the band had flames behind them as they belted out the hit with the crowd. As a song that was written in protest to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, it got the impassioned message across. The band returned to this high intense energy with “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE”, arguably their most famous song. This is truly what brought the house down, with Damiano David’s shirt completely off as he danced around the stage. If you need a hint about David’s personality, he went straight into the crowd with the Jumbotron camera following him, and at the end of the number, laid a kiss on the camera. Thomas Raggi crowd surfed during “MAMMA MIA”, another song that got a roaring reaction from the audience. A shirtless Ethan Torchio was shown on the Jumbotron drumming his heart out. However, David showed his most powerful vocals of the night, on a cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.”, growling and stretching along his whole range. He references the New York Times article that said, “Is Måneskin the last rock band?”, asking a response question of “Is this sh*t rock and roll enough for you?”. With enough charisma to excite more than the whole venue, David sings about his ex-partners in “BLA BLA”, showing off his “angry young man” alter ego.

Showcasing different sides of himself, David flips off anyone who ever doubted him and truly rebels. In a final display of his connection with his fans, he performs “KOOL KIDS”, and brings some fans onto the stage. They dance alongside the whole band as each member demonstrates their musical prowess, including a De Angelis bass solo. The track, while being humorous, connects with each of their fans. Måneskin is often criticized in their home country for being too Westernized, and for going against the conservative nature held by many older people in Italy. This includes the male-on-male kiss shared by David and Torchio in June 2021 in response to Poland’s anti-LGBTQ views. But to the fans at this show, Måneskin is comprised of all of the cool kids. They are speaking out to the LGBTQ+ community and against the conservative ideals they might’ve been raised by, and speaking about what they think is cool. As the crowd anxiously awaits an encore (where Måneskin would play their VMA-award-winning track “THE LONELIEST”), it’s clear that Måneskin has built an audience around rebellion; the goal might be to inspire their fans to be as rock-and-roll as they are, in a modern fashion. That would not make them the last rock band, it would make them an inspiration to many others.

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