While I am too young to have experienced the hysteria of The Beatles invading America, I’ve seen the footage many times over the years. When Måneskin arrived in Nashville for their show at Municipal Auditorium, I feel like I experienced it firsthand. I cannot experience it for the first time again, but SoCal residents, your Rush! invasion is approaching as Måneskin will conquer Kia Forum on October 10th, and ticket prices are insanely cheap for the insanity that is a Måneskin show.
Fresh off playing Madison Square Garden, the quartet – not four male mop heads from England, but three energetic men and one daring woman from Italy – left me, and I assume most everyone else, grasping for new adjectives to express just how phenomenal their performance was.
First and foremost, there was no opener. You should get there on time and be prepare for two hours of excitement. With the stage hidden by a red curtain, the room was already filled with an electric energy. The crowd was dressed in a crazy variety of ensembles – hot dog costumes, fish-net stockings, blazers with nothing underneath – and there were all ages, from toddler to senior.
As the lights went out, lights illuminated the band behind the red curtain, strobe lights flashing along with pounding music. The screams. My god; the screams. “Earth-shattering screams” may be an overused description of a concert crowd, but I sincerely don’t recall ever hearing an audience this loud.
The curtain dropped, and there they were. Again. The screams. Donning cowboy hats and attire, we got our first look at front-man Damiano David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi, and drummer Ethan Torchio.
“Don’t Wanna Sleep” started the night and David, singing with a mic dropped down from the rafters, was sensually working his hips and eliciting even more screams from the crowd, while Raggi gave his first of many epic guitar solos.
Giving us a little two-step action, “Gossip” was next and the crowd was encouraged to sing the chorus, which they gladly did. Raggi and De Angelis had a musical duel moment which would be repeated several times throughout the night.
Raggi showed off his guitar skills by playing with the back of his head during “Zitti E Buoni,” and David continued to cover all zones of the stage, working the crowd like a master showman. Seriously, these guys are all 23 and 24! How do they look like they have done this for decades?
Before beginning their new song, “Honey (Are U Coming?),” David took a moment to greet the fans, and then earned many, many screams of delight when he gave his mic stand some naughty moves. I’m pretty sure many in the venue wished they were that mic stand.
David yelled, “Get your fucking hands up!” and had the whole general admission section jumping during “Supermodel,” creating a sea of people with their hands in their air. After a gorgeous performance of “Coraline” reminded us they are Italian and had people’s phones lighting up the venue, David spoke of the next song being very special, even though they joke about it and “talk a lot of bullshit about it.” But he said they are grateful for it and asked the crowd to sing along to their cover of The Four Seasons’ “Beggin.’” De Angelis – who I am pretty sure smiled the entire night – made her way through the crowd while playing, delighting many before she safely arrived back onto the stage.
Once again, David addressed the crowd and said, “A few days ago, we announced an extended version of ‘Rush.’ This will have five new songs, all for you. One of them is ‘The Driver,’” and they jumped right into it. After, he shouted for us to “Make some fucking noise!” and fans did just that for “For Your Love.” During which, David picked up one of the large light rigs on stage, shining it on his bandmates, then highlighting all areas of the auditorium, making everyone feel like rock stars.
Torchio showcased his insane drum skills while the crowd raised their hands in worship to him before “Gasoline” brought out the pyrotechnics. The big screens that had been showing the band members were shut off, and with the fire and all lights dialed to red, it felt like we were now inside a cave of fire as well.
But then… they all vanished. The crowd looked around, wondering “Is it over?” When suddenly, a smaller stage that had been hidden by a black sheet was “unmasked” at the very back of the floor section. David and Raggi appeared, with Raggi holding an acoustic guitar, and they performed the sexy, yet romantic “Timezone.”
Måneskin did their homework for this evening’s performance. Nashville holds one person above all others – the legendary Dolly Parton. David said they had arrived in Nashville the day before, and “something beautiful had happened.” The band had visited our beloved Parton in her studio and “it was amazing.” As a tribute to her, they performed “Jolene,” which the crowd ate up like crazy.
With the acoustic stage time complete, De Angelis and Torchio performed a bass and drum solo, giving the other two time to return to the main stage, and giving us another example of just how incredible they are as musicians.
I thought things could not get more amped up, but I was happily mistaken. As Måneskin performed their mega hit “I Wanna Be Your Slave,” David instructed the audience to get on their knees mid-song. Then, at his command, everyone jumped up, continued jumping, hands in the air, screaming, and basically going ballistic (in a positive way). Honestly, it was such a memorable moment that words cannot express it (which is not something a “writer” should confess).
As David told a story about their first visits to the US, and how everyone always said, “Ah, Italians! Mamma Mia!” the energy level continued to build and explode for their “Mammamia.” The song also saw Raggi crowd surf while he played, and David unbuttoning his vest to the screaming delight of many, and De Angelis slapping her bass with authority – and still with a smile.
No matter how loud it had already been, David said it needed to be even louder for their cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble,” and it was. For “In Nome Del Padre,” he parted the sea of fans in GA and walked through it, delighting many with his proximity. The band members felt no fear being with such avid fans, which I thought was kind of amazing.
After a blistering guitar solo from Raggi, David explained, “The next song is very special. We write all of our songs. I write the lyrics and they are about love and relationships and bullshit like that. This song is special because you can send it to people that hurt you or make you angry.” “Bla Bla Bla” is indeed the perfect song for that. Once again David went into the crowd, did some crowd surfing, and then returned to the stage to sadly announce the next song as their last song of the night.
As this was my first Måneskin show, I had no idea why a crowd of 30 people was running to the side of the stage, but it was made apparent when “Kool Kids” began. The previously mentioned hot dog costumed folks and a variety of other stand-out attired fans were now onstage to dance their hearts out with the band. The song’s end included an extended round of distortion and feedback before everyone vacated as we waited for the expected encore.
When the time came, Raggi appeared onstage, gave another impressive guitar solo to another ear-shattering screaming crowd, which was then amplified when the other band members joined him.
Smoking a cigarette and looking badass while singing the ballad “The Loneliest,” David had the crowd swaying along before he bowed and tipped his hat in appreciation.
As is custom at their shows, “I Wanna Be Your Slave” was up again and we were again told to get on our knees by David. With even more energy than the previous time, when it was time for us to jump up, the room was filled with an energy I have no way to adequately express. Who knew I was going to share such an incredible moment with 9,000 other people?
After spraying the crowd with beer and saying goodnight, the magical evening came to an end. I – along with the people around me as we walked to our cars – could not form words. Every adjective I can think of seems so inadequate. I wanted to text videos to everyone I know and say, “Look!! Look at this fucking band! They are going to be the biggest band in the world soon!”
Hopefully these meager words will get you to make plans to see Måneskin in person for yourself next week. If not, you will regret it when your grandkids ask, “Where were you when the Måneskin invasion happened?”