Måneskin Awaken Something Forbidden in the Audience at MGM Music Hall

// Photo by Ana Breznik

I couldn't help but start banging my head as soon as Måneskin stepped onto the stage. Damiano David, Thomas Raggi, Victoria De Angelis, and Ethan Torchio first started playing together during their high school years in Rome, but gained international fame after their victory in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. A year and a half later, the band came to MGM Hall at Fenway wearing clothes that were almost preppy, but with an obvious gender-bending edge. Thomas Raggi was rocking a black pleated maxi skirt while soloing on a distorted Fender Strat with visibly chipped red paint. The performance of the then-unreleased song “KOOL KIDS” got the crowd moving with the band, and the shouting increased even more as the iconic sound of “ZITTI E BUONI” began. Victoria de Angelis was stomping in synchronicity with her bass line. There is something so euphoric about the release that happens during the chorus. Though the lyrics said, “We’re out of our minds, but we’re not like the others,” the whole crowd at that point became a sort of unity, letting go of our frustrations as we sang along the lines in broken Italian.

// Photo by Ana Breznik

Needless to say that Måneskin, with their almost-arrogant stage confidence and explicitly sexual thematics, greatly appeal to the younger generation. In a way, they seem to be the carriers of a neo-sexual liberation, the one that gives voice to often hidden and taboo sexual desires. Many of their songs honestly confess these forbidden feelings with no censure or shame. Take for example “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE,” which seemed to reawaken the crowd after the hypnotizing performance of “CORALINE.” The words — “I wanna be your sex toy, I wanna be your teacher. I wanna be your sin, I wanna be your preacher” — were echoed by the crowd. Måneskin gives life to the types of love often not represented elsewhere in the media. They take a censored theme, put it on display and say: “Judge me, if you dare.” Their hit, “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE,” is perhaps directly influenced by The Stooges’ 1969 song “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” which the band decided to cover on their tour. “So messed up, I want you here,” sang Damiano David as he took a microphone stand and put it between his legs. “And now I wanna be your dog!” he shouted through the hall in the ultimate tribute to their idol Iggy Pop. Pieces of lingerie found their way onto the stage, and David confidently put one of the bras on. Måneskin awakened something forbidden in the audience, something exciting, something liberating.

A pleasant surprise at the show was also Måneskin’s newest single at the time, “THE LONELIEST,” which the band performed as the first encore. The song definitely had a more commercial sound than most of the songs present on their album Teatro d’ira, yet the sheer power of David’s sorrowful raspy vocals completely overtook the audience and created a tranquil atmosphere after a very energetic concert. As the last notes of the song melted in our ears, Måneskin once again woke us up with the second rendition of “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE.” The screaming continued long after the band finished bowing. I dare say that the number of Duolingo Italian learners substantially increased that night.

// Ana Breznik ’24 is a DJ and staff writer for Record Hospital.