Don Broco at Rock City
Just over a week after releasing their much-anticipated third album ‘Technology’, Don Broco took to the stage of Rock City on the 13th February to show their Nottingham fans what they had been working on for so long. It was definitely worth the wait. The Bedford alternative rock four-piece played a thoroughly consistent, enjoyable set at the sold-out show, which pleased all.
Up and coming Brighton pop/rock band Yonaka opened the show, delivering a fun, high-energy performance. They interacted with both the crowd and each other, in a friendly way that felt completely natural. Second support act Man with a Mission, all the way from Japan, followed shortly after, providing an engaging performance with their unique blend of hard rock and dance-pop. Man With a Mission’s individual aesthetic made them easy to remember, with their distinguishing feature being that all members wear differently designed wolf masks throughout both their concerts and music videos. They performed both old and new songs as well as covering rock classics such as Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, meaning even those unfamiliar with the band had a chance to sing along.
Don Broco’s new album, featuring an impressive 16 songs, is much heavier than their previous album ‘Automatic’, being more reminiscent of their first album ‘Priorities’ and EP ‘Big Fat Smile’. As soon as frontman Rob Damiani walked on stage, along with band members Si, Tom and Matt, the crowd erupted. They opened the show with ‘Pretty’ and ‘Everybody’, two of the new album’s most popular songs (due to their early release prior to the official album release on the 2nd February). The setlist included a great mixture of new material and old, catering to all fans.
The show was highly atmospheric; there was a continual buzz and feeling of excitement within the crowd, reflected by the constant moshing, crowd surfing, and screaming of lyrics. The highlight of the show had to be when Don Broco played ‘Thug Workout’, a crowd favourite and an absolute timeless classic for the old school Broco fans. The venue was perfect, with the main area allowing for an intense, intimate experience, and the balcony providing a clearer view of the stage and show as a whole. The venue was absolutely packed, showing the band’s admirable growth as in a matter of years they have progressed from performing in 200-capacity venues to playing sold out venues with capacities of over 2,450.
Rob Damiani worked well with the venue, constantly moving about the stage and entering the crowd, highlighting his friendly personality whilst he engaged with and acknowledged all areas of the crowd, including the balcony. Both Rob and Drummer Matt Donnelly attended the University of Nottingham, and their relationship with the venue was made clear as Rob mentioned the many gigs and club nights he had attended at Rock City, making the audience feel a greater connection and level of relatability to the band.
Prior to the encore, popular Automatic song ‘Money Power Fame’ was performed, before they came back on stage to sing a final two songs from Technology: ‘Come Out To La’ and ‘T-Shirt Song’. T-shirt song was a perfect song to end the show with that everybody could sing along to and swing their t-shirts around their heads in a Baywatch fashion all too familiar to us ocean-lovers, as well as the band members who attended UON.
An overall amazing show, topped off with on-stage proposal from an audience member just in time for Valentines day. If you haven’t already seen Don Broco, I’d recommend going along to one of their gigs if you get the chance or at least listening to the new album, completely deserving of its place in the top 5 (a first for Don Broco). Their versatile style and catchy lyrics paired with their fun-loving personalities make them impossible to dislike.
Photo courtesy of Wilful Publicity