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Måneskin live in London: new gen of rock heroes emerge triumphant on the biggest stage

During a one-off show at London's O2 Arena, these Italian stars proved that they're a million miles from Eurovision now

4.0 rating

By Ali Shutler

Maneskin live at The O2 (Picture: Fabio Germinario)

Måneskin’s unlikely journey from busking on the streets of Italy through The X Factor to winning Eurovision and becoming the global saviours of rock and roll is already the stuff of legend. Rather than looking for a shortcut though, every step of Måneskin’s journey has been about wanting to get their music in front of as many people as possible. Why? Because they’ve always known it’s great. Tonight, that self-belief pays off with a very sold-out show at London’s O2 Arena that’s part all-conquering rock spectacle, part sweaty punk gig.

There’s always been a sense of drama to Måneskin’s theatrical rock, and tonight they dial that up at every opportunity they get. The show starts with the stage hidden behind a giant red curtain and the band playing a menacing instrumental that only gets noisier until the hammering ‘Don’t Wana Sleep’ kicks in and the crowd erupts. The energy and volume doesn’t let up for the entire two-hour show. It is called the Loud Kids Get Louder Tour, after all.

Elsewhere the snarling political venom of ‘Gasoline’ sees the stage literally catch fire while the encore starts with guitarist Thomas Raggi standing alone on the giant stage, ripping the sort of wailing solo that made Slash such an icon. Members of Royal Blood and Bring Me In The Horizon are in the audience and the whole show is performed below a shapeshifting lighting rig that seems to have been created with one eye on the festival headline sets that are surely in the band’s near future.

Still, none of these impressive tricks are used to hide. For the most part, the show is just the four members of the band, having an absolute blast together. It’s thrilling from beginning to end.

Måneskin are a ridiculously tight unit, with guitarists Raggi andVictoria De Angelis often locking in together to create intricate, entertaining breakdowns. When he’s not air-guitaring along, vocalist Damiano David is delivering note-perfect rapid-fire lyrics and hyping the crowd up while drummer Ethan Torcio is an absolute beast, holding everything together. There are not-so-subtle nods to stadium conquering titans Muse, Foo Fighters and The Killers but the band are confidently their own thing.

A majority of the covers that the band leant on throughout the early days of their career are gone, replaced by their own arena-conquering anthems. Their mega-viral take on The Four Seasons’ ‘Beggin’’ is the only exception, with David taking a rare moment to introduce it.

“You know I don’t like doing this but the next song deserves an introduction because it’s one of the most important songs in our career,” he starts. “It’s brought us very far and we’ll always be grateful to it, but we have played it so many fucking times. Some people dare to say they’re sick of it, but there’s two things you need to know. One; we don’t give a shit. Two, we know that deep inside your heart, you love it,” he grins. That self-assurance flows through every moment of this constantly exciting gig.

Måneskin are often celebrated as bringing rock and roll to a new generation, and there’s a lot of kids in the audience headbanging along at what must be their first concert that definitely support the claim. However, there’s more to the four-piece than safely recreating what’s come before. ‘Bla Bla Bla’ is a snotty punk pushback with plenty of flamboyance, ‘If Not For You’’s lush romance makes it the perfect song for a first dance at a wedding and ‘Baby Said’ is a disco rock party-starter. Alongside heavy hitters like ‘Gossip’, ‘Zitti E Buoni’, ‘Mammamia’ and ‘The Loneliest’, it’s a staggeringly impressive gig that never lets up. They even play ‘I Wanna Be Your Slave’ twice, eager to drain every last moment of excitement from the room.

The band are set to play Glastonbury later this summer as part of another hectic festival season but this isn’t a victory lap. Måneskin want more and tonight’s swaggering, electrifying gig suggests there’s really no limits to where this goes next.