Home News Review: MANESKIN – Hordern Pavilion Sydney – 22 November 2023

Review: MANESKIN – Hordern Pavilion Sydney – 22 November 2023

19 min read

Causing a much needed stir in the music industry over the last few years, this hotter-than-hot Italian quartet met and exceeded my expectations when they tore up the stage in Sydney last night. All that is crossing my mind is ‘Thank God this band is bringing a Renaissance to Rock’ back into an industry that has suffered from a lack of variety and creativity when it comes to old school Rock’n’Roll. When the ingredients of great music, talent and sexy as F are brought together, what you get is Maneskin. This sold out gig at the Hordern Pavilion proved that Maneskin are a great band, and concert experience, worth the wait and worth every penny.

The bedlam was already beginning to simmer outside the venue as fans waited hours before showtime to get as close to the stage as possible. Queues were at least five fold outside the venue and every bar across the pathway in the Fox Studios precinct was heaving with excited Maneskin lovers. Revving up for a night we won’t forget, Sydney was not slowing down for this mid-week gig. I started to notice the varying ages and multi generations of fans and the crowds at the merch stands. Whilst they may be a young band, they have struck a chord with many of us well seasoned music lovers, as well as the youngsters. Apart from winning numerous awards and their Sanremo/Eurovision wins, selling over 40 million albums worldwide and with billions in streams under their belts already, we couldn’t wait to see this juggernaut of a band for ourselves.

The gates finally showed some movement so we piled in, grabbed a spot and absorbed the atmosphere. What an electric feeling inside the Hordern, with the seating all snapped up around the dance floor and the mosh pit animals already letting off steam as the front security crew had to start giving out trays of water cups. It didn’t take long for me to see the first casualty, a young lass on the ground being attended to by the medical staff, and Maneskin weren’t even on stage yet. I didn’t want to assume what this was from but you need to pace yourselves for gigs like this or you could end up missing out.

The dance floor swelled even more as a Maneskin chant erupted, then the screaming, at full volume, this venue was about to be ‘Maneskin christened’ for their first time in Sydney. Don’t Wanna Sleep brings us from high anticipation to mayhem, Damiano David, Victoria De Angelis, Thomas Raggi and Ethan Torchio are already in full flight. Loud, brash, exuding confidence and entertaining us with the level of a very experienced musical outfit was a sight to behold. Gossip (featuring Tom Morello on guitar in the studio version) was our second track of the night. There was so much happening, on stage and off, it was deafening! I already knew that this would be one gig where you need to see the band a few times to soak it all in, at a more intense level.

The Sanremo and Eurovision winning Zitti e Buoni kept this crazy momentum going and then our first new song for the night, the banging Honey (are U coming?) was up next. The band just reissued their third behemoth Rush! album with 5 new songs and renamed it Rush! (Are U Coming?) as David mentions to the crowd that this occurred ’10 days ago’, so we are in for an extra treat on this tour as this all coincides with the band’s sold out Australian gigs. Supermodel makes the list tonight and then it’s time for the stunning Coraline from their second album, Teatro d’ira Vol 1. I have so many favourites that I am happy with whatever is coming my way but the Italian songs have a special feel to them and I enjoy the fusion of delicate and hammering vocals with the heavy guitar, bass and drums. The passionate and vocal local Italian contingent were out in full force and made their presence known with their singing and waving of the Italian flags. Parents and kids coming together to see their Italian heroes added an extra layer of uniqueness to the night.

I love their cover of the Four Seasons track Beggin’, it was a joy to see so many young fans enjoy this rejuvenated classic song. The venue was melting from the heat and sweat had already been dripping for a while but you try to ignore it and focus on the music. I spy youngsters being lifted out of the mosh pit and more trays of water being handed out. Screaming and whistling penetrating between songs as Maneskin give us another great new song, The Driver.

The band are so effortless. In tune with themselves, each other, and their fans, it’s hard to believe that they are still so young. David controls the crowd with such ease, his stunning vocal range and charisma just oozes naturally. Then you have De Angelis, Raggi and Torchio as the other cogs of this well oiled rock machine. You can see when certain people are just born for this role and you can also see the affection and comradery between the band members, it’s obvious they are loving what they do.

David introduces the next song as Raggi’s favourite, the sultry and seductive For Your Love. The fans go wild as David belts out the lyrics ‘tell me what you want, I’ll give you what you want, baby’ while he gets on his knees and simulates air guitar next to Raggi’s guitar siren. Phew, it really is getting quite hot in here! They may need hoses instead of cups of water and you almost feel guilty for getting so caught up in the moment. Another new song, the lovely Valentine serenades us and then we go back up a few notches to the heavier Gasoline. The Hordern is jumping, you can feel the floor pulsating and it’s just all of us together lapping up this special experience, forgetting everything else that’s going on in the world for a few hours. Is it any wonder this band has such a cult following already?

The lights dim and a chorus of ‘Maneskin, oi, oi oi’ begins. The crowd shows no signs of slowing down and then the boys of the band appear on Stage B at the back of the floor as the new Trastevere is lovingly played in acoustic with David’s sweet vocals. The fans flock towards this stage and then before we know it, we get a powerful cover of home grown Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl?. This just continues the frenzy and after Torchio makes his way back to the main stage, he indulges in some drums-vs-bass with the lovely De Angelis. The lights flicker and it’s ‘thump, thump, thump’ and then not knowing what is coming next, we see David and Raggi back on the main stage and it’s time for the mega hit I Wanna Be Your Slave. Sydney just goes berserk and the craziness goes up even more, which I didn’t think was possible. Some fans cannot contain themselves and out of nowhere there’s a ‘stage invader’ who made it all the way. David remarks to security (as the fan is hauled off) not to be too hard on the guy and proclaims ‘you are a brave man, thank you!’.  

He may be brave but David could be braver, as no one is minding that he has taken off his white sparkly singlet during the cracking Mammamia which is up next. David struts and preens and works the crowd up further, while fans try to get a touch, and everyone is well and truly lost in the musical chaos as Maneskin keep this heavenly pace up and then flow into the last new song of the night, Off My Face, without losing a beat. Even more young fans are pulled out from the front, being crushed in the pandemonium as another Italian favourite Il Nome Del Padre just cranks across the venue.

This is a killer set and there is no respite with the next few songs. I quite like the obnoxious and bratty Bla Bla Bla which offers us some David crowd surfing and, towards the end, he decides to light up on stage and tease the throng even more. As this is occurring, we see some fans being taken to the side of the stage, dressed in an interesting variety of outfits where some don’t leave much to the imagination. These are the lucky ones who get to dance on stage when Kool Kids is blaring in all it’s rebelliousness. What a way to finish the main course and now it’s time for a Maneskin dessert encore. This crowd isn’t moving. No one wants this gig to end and the chanting begins once again. ‘Maneskin, Maneskin, Maneskin!!!’ over and over.

As the fans ramp up, Raggi makes his way back to the stage for a guitar solo before The Loneliest makes this final cut. The Hordern has seen a lot in its time but I feel this is another significant notch on its musical belt. During this time the singlet is back on, but then when I Wanna Be A Slave starts again, David sports a slinky bra to tantalise the fans yet again. He can get away with it and no one is bothered in the slightest, then it’s the bra and singlet off, and shouting out to the crowd ‘get down on your knees and then jump’. The venue erupts again as everyone uses up the last of their energy resources to cater to David’s request. Getting a second helping of the smash hit track was the perfect cherry on top to finish this wonderful night. Maneskin have left Sydney in a flurry, with a standing ovation and satisfaction that they really are as good as we all knew they were.

This was one brilliant concert and Maneskin are worthy of all the praise and accolades. It was a pleasure to spend the next day recovering from such a loud and energetic gig. Wishing this young band longevity with a continuing, prosperous career. We may be far over here in Australia but we are worth the effort. We look forward to welcoming Maneskin again for another sold out Australian Tour. Alla Prossima Maneskin!  (Until next time Maneskin).

© 2023 MARINA KNEZEVIC (All Rights Reserved)

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