Måneskin returns to Chicago in electrifying show at the Aragon

The band became the darlings of Lollapalooza this summer, making their return to Chicago all the more special.

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Vocalist Damiano David and the rest of Måneskin perform on Thursday night at the Aragon Ballroom.

Vocalist Damiano David and the rest of Måneskin perform on Thursday night at the Aragon Ballroom.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

At a time when rock ‘n’ roll needs some fresh new blood, Måneskin has come in for the kill.

The electric, four-piece band from Italy has been taking over the world the past year and a half, seducing a growing fan base with an alluring mix of rock-star swagger, amplified talent, catchy hooks and a good dose of unabashed sex appeal — all centerstage at a packed Aragon Ballroom on Thursday night.

Chicago remains one of a handful of non-sold-out shows on the Eurovision champs’ Loud Kids Tour. A surprising fact given the band’s watershed moment at this summer’s Lollapalooza, where their unfiltered thrill show made them the breakthrough highlight of the festival.

Guitarist Thomas Raggi and bassist Victoria De Angelis of Maneskin wow the crowd at the Aragon Ballroom.

Guitarist Thomas Raggi and bassist Victoria De Angelis of Maneskin wow the crowd at the Aragon Ballroom.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Måneskin now has 25 million Spotify users, has scored a triple-platinum hit with the bullseye cover of The Four Seasons’ “Beggin’,” been named Billboard’s “Top New Rock Band of the Year” and just this past week was nominated for a best new artist Grammy.

Of course, there was also the fracas in August, when Måneskin appeared on the MTV VMAs telecast, and producers were hit with censorship claims for awkwardly panning away when bassist Victoria De Angelis had a wardrobe malfunction. (MTV eventually released a revised version of the performance, a nod to the power of the breakaway act.)

Måneskin was a bit more subdued when the band walked on stage at the Aragon to screaming fans. De Angelis, singer Damiano David, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio looked like a living Gucci ad (the Italian fashion house has an ongoing collaboration with the band) in coordinating three-piece suits and ties (David also in pearl earrings and heeled boots). 

Fans cheer as Måneskin performs at the Aragon Ballroom.

Fans cheer as Måneskin performs at the Aragon Ballroom.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Nothing about the show, though, was business as usual as the group let loose in an explosive 90-minute set of incredible kinetic energy. Måneskin literally played on their knees, took several bouts crowd-surfing and strutted down a staircase that was a far cry from the expansive catwalk they had at Lolla but still did the trick.

The exceptionally talented De Angelis and Raggi fed off each other in symbiotic harmony while Torchio’s brute force kept everything on cue. David’s charisma and gravelly vocals alone would have been worth the price of admission.

The band who once cut their teeth as buskers on the streets of Rome have amazingly have held onto that same sense of DIY urgency, passion and realism.

With no opening act, the group started with the punk rock banger “Kool Kids,” a new, unreleased track (possibly from their coming January album “Rush!”) that summed up the feeling of the show. 

The set list was a well-stitched selection of tracks from last year’s “Teatro d’ira: Vol. I” as well as several chart-topping singles that have since been released and others that haven’t — like “Touch Me,” which the band has abstained from putting on streaming services to “see who the real fans are.”

Maneskin bassist Victoria De Angelis (left) and guitarist Thomas Raggi cut loose during the band’s concert Thursday night at the Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom.

Maneskin bassist Victoria De Angelis (left) and guitarist Thomas Raggi cut loose during the band’s concert Thursday night at the Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Other standouts included the slinky glam pop of “Supermodel,” the dark dance hall track “Gasoline” (which they’ve been dedicating to Ukraine) and rock rager “Zitti e Buoni,” the song that won Måneskin the international Eurovision contest in 2021 and set them on their path to stardom.

The mix also included slowed-down beauties “Coraline” and “Vent’Anni,” both sung in the band’s native Italian, perfectly playing up the romance language.

Introducing “Vent’Anni,” David said: “We’re an Italian band. Our origins musically were born and raised in Italy. So it’s a huge honor and responsibility to bring Italian music around the world.”

No sooner than he said those words than several people in the crowd started waving Italian flags.

Nearing the end of the show, Måneskin took on a fevered cover of The Who’s “My Generation,” with David zeroing in on an expressive spoken-word delivery of the lyrics.

Then, in a perfect segue to connect with their fellow Gen Z’ers in the crowd, they invited about 50 people on stage for a full-on dance party as the band played “Lividi Sui Gomiti.” It was so crowded David said he had “nowhere to go” but eventually found his nook, ducking in among the people like a herder amid his flock. 

For the encore, Måneskin surprised the crowd, playing “I Wanna Be Your Slave” for the second time in the show, without reason, without anyone batting an eye — underscoring the total rock stars they are.

Set list

Kool Kids

Zitti E Buoni

In Nome Del Padre

Supermodel

Coraline

Beggin’ (The Four Seasons cover)

Close To The Top

I Wanna Be Your Slave

Vent’Anni

For Your Love

Gasoline

Touch Me

Mammamia

My Generation (The Who cover)

Lividi Sui Gomiti

The Loneliest

I Wanna Be Your Slave

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