Maneskin almost didn’t make it town for its show on Friday night, Nov. 18, at the Fillmore Detroit.
Frontman Damiano David told the sold-out crowd that the Italian quartet’s trip from Chicago, where it performed the previous night, was hampered by heavy snows in western Michigan and Indiana. Perhaps juiced by the white-knuckle ride, David declared, “Let’s make this cold, cold night a (expletive) hot night!”
And that’s exactly what Maneskin did over the course of its 90-minute, 16-song show, the group’s first in these parts.
Though it’s been together for the better part of seven years, Maneskin has been a hot property since winning the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest and has since gone on to appearances on everything from “Saturday Night Live” and American Music Awards appearances to numerous festivals, including Lollapalooza. Earlier in the week it received a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist.
A lot of hype? Yes — but hardly. In the flesh on Friday Maneskin proved it was indeed a Real Deal, a tight and confident outfit with an unapologetic swagger and a stadium-sized energy that a theater like the Fillmore could barely contain. The group clearly studied its Rock and Roll 101 and moved on to master classes, from David’s room-filling charisma to Thomas Raggi’s guitar god poses and nimble solos. Bassist Victoria De Angelis, meanwhile, got up close and personal with the crowd a few times, surfing atop it during “Close to the Top” and romping around the floor as Maneskin played “Touch Me.”
With two albums under its belt and a third, “Rush!,” coming in January, the group has plenty of pop sensibility — evidenced in power ballads such as “Vent’anni” and its current single “The Loneliest” — but is at its heart a hard rock band, with grounding in heavy metal and punk.
Maneskin kicked of the show with the latter, charging into the as-yet-unreleased “Rush!” track “Cool Kids” as David extended his winged shirtsleeves skyward (he’d be bare-chested within a few songs, however). Drawing primarily from last year’s “Teatro d’ira Vol. 1” and an assortment of non-album singles — including “Supermodel” and “Mammamia” — the band seldom took its foot off the pedal, with David calling on the crowd to “make some noise!” at regular intervals and the Fillmore fans singing along as proof that they had embraced Maneskin as more than just a curio from abroad.
There were numerous takeaways from the night: epic renditions of “Coraline,” “For Your Love” and “Gasoline;” Maneskin’s adrenalized take on the Four Seasons’ “Beggin’;” David’s spoken vamp of the Who’s “My Generation” during “Touch Me;” and Raggi’s flashy solo that introduced “the Loneliest.” The group brought a bunch of fans onstage as it closed the main set with “Lividi Sui Gomiti” and offered not one but two renditions of its Iggy Pop collaboration “I Wanna Be Your Slave,” both of which had the room palpably shaking and the Fillmore balcony bouncing to drummer Ethan Torchio’s disco-traipsing beat.
Whether Maneskin continues its ascent at a time when rock is not the chosen genre of the masses remains to be seen. But on Friday the group made good on all the buzz surrounding it and made a convincing case that it’s primed for, and deserving of, the proverbial next levels of success.