Måneskin at the O2 Arena
People frantically navigating the arena, people queuing outside to buy merch, most of them very young. Eyes darting around, mascara that will likely melt into rivulets quite soon – if not tears – sweat from jumping up and down… This is all expected: it is a Måneskin concert after all. The O2 is murmuring and waiting (im)patiently for the Italian foursome to come on stage, and there’s not one empty seat in sight. Since winning Eurovision in 2021, the “loud kids” have become an international and much-discussed phenomenon, somehow conquering younger and older generations alike – or, at the very least, giving everyone something to talk about, whether it’s heartfelt praise or harsh critique. Their latest record, Rush!, has attracted a bit of both so far.
Regardless of what critics might think of their album and Gucci outfits, one thing is obvious: on-stage they’re at home. And it’s clear from the very moment they manifest themselves as silhouettes hiding behind a huge, red curtain, while strobe lighting mesmerises a ravenous audience. They open with Don’t Wanna Sleep, one of the songs off their latest release. Despite the lyrics delving into a serious topic (returning to drugs to avoid boredom, empty and lonely), it is impossible not to stand up and dance. Damiano David’s signature growl and Thomas Raggi’s electrifying guitar solo welcome everyone into the Måneskin world: they ooze youth, sensuality and a desire not to be taken too seriously. And they do, in fact, often poke fun at themselves and some of the critique that has followed them throughout the years; but rest assured, they don’t care. They’re here to have fun.
Entertaining himself and his audience comes as naturally to David as breathing, whether that’s by sultrily dancing, almost making love to the microphone stand, or talking to the crowd. He tells all the Italians present, for instance, that they have no excuse not to sing along to Mark Chapman – and if they don’t they’re all “big pieces of s**t”. One of the Italian tracks from Rush!, it’s another song reflecting on the downsides of slow dancing with fame. The drums and guitar convey the message perfectly: a hectic, agitated beat, a sense of restlessness and frenzy; chasing, escaping, running in all directions, while everyone wants a piece of you – something Måneskin must be well familiar with.
They can catch their breath for a brief second with Coraline, a slower, gentler rock ballad from their second album, Teatro d’Ira: Vol I, and also one of the highlights. David appears less frantic and more vulnerable now, open-hearted as he sings about a girl who can’t seem to find her place in the world, and the helpless knight who cannot do anything to save her – she needs to save herself.
Though eyes tend to be on the lead singer, the rest of the band are equally entertaining to watch. They are having just as much fun. Bassist Victoria De Angelis is a force to be reckoned with: she’s unstoppable, running up and down, sometimes dropping to the floor, her body becoming one with her instrument.
At the end of the concert, before the encore, David does his best impression of a British accent, while some lucky fans get to join the band on-stage, dancing and having the time of their lives. The song is Kool Kids, the perfect ending for a highly entertaining, louder than loud, high-energy show. “We’re not punk, we’re not pop, we’re just music freaks,” sings David his grin the sexier, Italian equivalent of the Cheshire Cat’s. Love them or hate them, these talented and rambunctious rock stars sure know how to put on a show.
Photos: Fabio Germinario
For further information and future events visit Måneskin’s website here.
Watch the video for the single The Loneliest here: