Mahmood, Diodato, Angelina Mango and Annalisa stand out at the rehearsals

Mahmood, Diodato, Angelina Mango and Annalisa stand out at the rehearsals

Monday in Sanremo is the day of the first press conference and, above all, of the last rehearsals: all the singers, on the Ariston stage, sing their songs in sequence. In the audience, the press and professionals. For those who follow the Festival directly from the City of Flowers it is one of the most interesting and epiphanic moments: the various evenings, in fact, can be seen on the giant screens in the press room (this year it returned to the Roof, the top floor of the Ariston, after three years of exile at the casino), but this is the opportunity to go down to the theater and hear the songs live. And to understand how they perform on stage, where they can take flight or remain on the ground, depending on the performance choices. This year there were no monitors in the room, so one last, fundamental piece was missing: the performance offered by the TV direction. Compared to January’s ratings, some songs grow, some others are less convincing, others confirm themselves as possible candidates for victory. Among those we liked the most: Mahmood, Diodato, Angelina Mango, Annalisa, Rose Villain, Santi Francesi, Dargen D’Amico, Emma and Loredana Berté.

Negramaro – “Let’s start everything again”
Negramaro, as an experienced band that they are, with their piece in competition, immediately show themselves inevitably close-knit and vigorous. The piece communicates well with the orchestra, the countdown contained in the piece is also reflected on the stage.

Rich and Poor – “But not all of life”
The stage flashes like a disco, Angela shows off a few dance steps: then (spoiler!) some dancers dressed in evening attire enter from the sides of the audience. More than the Festival it feels like being at Eurovision. In the end Angela jokes: “I have to decide whether to dance less or sing less.” The madness share of this edition?

Annalisa – “Sincerely”
“Sincerely” by Annalisa is a song programmed to kill the charts and to allow Annalisa to give everything from a vocal point of view, between ups and downs in tone. At the rehearsals the Ligurian artist, with the eye of the tiger, already interprets her as if she were in the competition.

Rose Villain – “Click boom”
At first it seems like a classic ballad, then the song starts with the “infamous” straight kick, and the stage lights up. Convincing performance especially vocally, perhaps a little static except in the final part when he mentions a couple of dance moves that seem ready to go viral on TikTok, like the chorus. Davide Rossi is the director.

Diodato – “You move”
Song in crescendo, like the performance: Diodato starts sitting down, then gets up while the song opens also thanks to the orchestra and a dance troupe arrives: the choreography is by Irma Di Paola, who had already curated the wonderful performance at Eurovision 2022 of “Make noise” (and which also served as a model for this performance).

Mahmood – “Gold tracksuit”
The baile funk of the piece, even with the orchestra, works. Mahmood’s voice is warm, it plays with the rhythm of the song, which contains different worlds and various forms of storytelling: from the lightest to the most personal. The already two-time winner of the Festival draws one of the loudest applause of the day. “Tuta gold” is like nothing else.

Bnkr44 – “Punk Government”
They start chatting like a group of friends, then they start dancing, with a choreography that is more government than punk. If in the first part they seem a bit like a boy band from the 90s, in the end they let themselves go and make noise, which is their beauty. It remains to be seen how the director will be able to follow all the movements and make the song, a pop song that hasn’t taken off for now, on TV.

Sangiovanni – “Finish me”
A bittersweet piece which, especially in the first part, is full of words. The sound changes with the flow of the song, thanks to the contribution of the orchestra which accentuates its emotion. To attempt to “reach” the public, it must be interpreted to the fullest and best.

Clara – “Rough Diamonds”
A pop piece with contemporary echoes that should push, in some moments, to dance or in any case to move the body, but Clara prefers greater physical and interpretative composure. The winner of Sanremo Giovani, however, already sings it with conviction.

Alessandra Amoroso – “Up to here”
One of the great unknowns: in a Straight Drum Festival, how will you make such a classic ballad? Amoroso chooses the path of sobriety: dark suit, only a beam of lights behind him, the rest of the stage almost dark, little movement. Only when he lets go of the microphone stand does he let go a little. The audience applauds, she is very happy.

Fred De Palma – “Heaven doesn’t want us”
Song that chases Lazza’s “Cenere” effect. The orchestral strings dialogue with the electronics, which stood out even more in the studio version. The songs, as we have written several times, can change on the Ariston stage and this is an example of this.

Fiorella Mannoia – “Mariposa”
A song with upbeat rhythms which, on the wave of the orchestra, is filled with sounds and atmospheres that unite several cardinal points. A free piece that Mannoia interprets in his “way”, even hinting at a ballet as if he were around the fire on a beach, without thinking of anything else.

French Saints – “Love in the mouth”
Perhaps they could figure directly among the Bigs, without passing through the Youngs: compared to the other two youngs, Clara and Bnkr44, they have another step. The song starts on the piano, then the electronics enter and grows, with the voice holding the stage well. Contemporary pop done right.

The Kolors – “One Boy One Girl”
Guitar, bass and drums, disco echoes and a chorus that, like the aliens in Futurama, sticks to your head and never comes off. The wind instruments and the backing singers are important for the performance of the piece. It will be impossible to count the TikTok dances generated by this song.

BigMama – “Anger is not enough for you”
She has shit and personality to spare, but musically a greater balance must be found between the more electronic parts and those in which the orchestra takes over. Another piece that she pushes, but interpreted with composure.

Renga and Nek – “Crazy about you”
A mid tempo based on guitars (we saw several in this edition) and on the orchestra, built to highlight the vocal skills of the two. No great scenic gimmick, but the experience shows.

Emma – “Apnea”
Among the many songs with beats and electronics in this edition, it seemed to us one of the ones with the most personality. Impression also confirmed on stage: little orchestra, a lot of synth à la Fred Again.

Irama – “Not you”
A piece that starts with piano and voice and thickens musically as time passes. Irama already plays her in competition mode, very, too emphatically. A ballad, one of the few.

Geolier – “I p’ me tu p’ te’”
Strings and electronics for a song that the more you listen to it, the more you understand its nuances. At the rehearsals the Neapolitan rapper doesn’t exaggerate, he interprets the piece in the right way and convinces already in this very first round of the carousel.

Angelina Mango – “Boredom”
One of the most focused performances: a lively song without being a straight drum in 4/4 like several others, interpreted with confidence and stage presence, but also without exaggerating. The stage behind her gives a three-dimensional depth effect: increasingly among the favourites.

Maninni – “Spectacular”
A very classic ballad, almost like Diodato: no great twist on stage or in the song, but a clean and convincing interpretation.

Ghali – “My home”
At ease on stage, Ghali sings and moves with rhythm, bringing to the Ariston a piece that resonates and also has a beautiful meaning. You may or may not like it, but Ghali knows how to handle the spotlight, much better than many others. Also assisting in the audience is the alien he speaks to in the song.

Gazelles – “That’s it”
A melancholic ballad à la Gazzelle, the arrangement holds up and the voice of the Roman singer-songwriter, at the end, opens up more than in the past. It is a piece that, even at the Ariston, retains its sonic heart. An artistically clean Flavio and always wearing sunglasses.

Il Volo – “Masterpiece”
“Grande amore”, but more pop and less based on bel canto, marking an evolution of the trio. The audience applauds on the high note, but they put a lot of emphasis on it and fiddle too much.

La Sad – “Self-destructive”
Headbanging and mohawks on the Sanremo stage: the song works, they make the right amount of noise, and they turn around in circles on the stage, making a bit of faces for the cameras. Little Jokers.

The Three – “Fragile”
Live it reminds us a bit of Lazza’s “Cenere” (which serves as the model for many songs this year), performed by alternating rapped bars with a very pop chorus, but it doesn’t seem to be one of the most convincing songs of this edition.

Alpha – “Go!”
In his early twenties, Alfa presents himself on stage with personality. Folk guitars and rhythm, for a song that seems like a long ride in the Wild West. Watch out for emotions, she must be tamed immediately.

Dargen D’Amico – “High Wave”
A showman even without singing, between jokes and jokes with the stage technicians, Dargen presents a piece that has its sonic heart in electronics that push and merge, in some moments, with the strings and the voices of the choirs. The theme, that of a migrant crossing, embraces the image of a wave, also represented from a sound point of view. And the performance also moves to the audience where Dargen sings part of the piece.

Mr Rain – “Two Swings”
He starts sitting at the piano, then starts singing, but vocally he is not flawless. The scenographic choice designed for the song, which starts from the story of a father who lost his two children, is a bit creepy, we can tell you.

Loredana Berté – “Crazy”
Rock guitars and a voice that comes like a caress and then like a slap. For Berté there is no difference between practice and competition. Hands in the air, feet firmly planted, a fire that pervades her. And the journalists in the audience gave her a standing ovation.