The Italian foursome Måneskin bristle at being pigeonholed — while a glance at their musical setup and leather-and-lace outfits would categorize them as a guitar-bass-drums-vocals rock band, they clearly have plans bigger than that. So far, those plans have worked out pretty well — they won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021, have collaborated with the likes of punk progenitor Iggy Pop, and endeared themselves to American audiences thanks to Eurovision landing on the streaming service Peacock two years ago. On Monday, they brought their first arena tour of America to town, playing a two-ish-hour set at TD Garden that was full of rock spectacle and scream-along attitude.
Musically, Måneskin situate themselves between the over-it attitudes and shout-along vocals of first-generation punk, the thudding grooves and hip-shaking rhythms of early-’00s post-punk, the gleeful excess and weepy power balladry of Sunset Strip hard rock, and the stadium-readiness of anthems by 21st-century New New Wavers the Killers. It’s a formula they’ve been refining over the years, which was apparent from Monday’s set; while earlier tracks like the “In Nomme Del Padre” and the Eurovision Song Contest-winning “Zitti e buoni” were thrashy and harsh, cuts from this year’s “Rush!,” like the insouciant “Mammamia” and the “Smells Like Teen Spirit”-riffing “Supermodel” had instantly singalong-able melodies. (Pop tunesmith Max Martin, no stranger to the worlds of glam metal and big hooks, helped the band craft the latter song.) And the not-yet-released “The Driver” had heat-warped guitars and time-signature shifts that signal another evolution coming on the horizon.
During and in between songs on Monday, Måneskin strutted and shredded while engaging in some top-notch crowd work that felt calibrated nearly precisely to the audience’s tastes. Lead singer Damiano David got the assembled to crouch down and leap back up not once, but twice — and during two separate performances of the same song, the 2021 stomper “I Wanna Be Your Slave,” to boot. Three-quarters of the band crowd-surfed while playing (drums, alas, are too bulky to be carried on the outstretched arms of teeming hordes), making the crowd on the floor surge and ebb to keep them aloft. The apocalyptic “Gasoline” unleashed the band’s pyro for the first time — get it? And at the end of the main set, a clutch of showgoers was invited to dance and pose along on the stage with the sneering, spiky “Kool Kids,” with drummer Ethan Torchio even flipping drumsticks to the assembled after the song’s flourish-filled finish.
Critics of Måneskin have mused that the band seems to be playing to an idea of what rock is, a black-clad apparition with musical ideas and anti-authority positions borrowed from years of performance videos and debauchery-filled memoirs. Monday night’s show didn’t reinvent any wheels, although to be fair, Måneskin trying to do so probably would have cut off the night’s constant forward momentum. Whether Måneskin as a band will have a similarly unflagging propulsion remains to be seen, although the newer songs featured on Monday — including an improbable cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” — seemed to indicate that they’re not planning on staying still for long.
At TD Garden, Sept. 25
Maura Johnston can be reached at email@example.com.