Don Broco @Motorpoint Arena 08/02/2019
As part of their UK tour, Bedfordshire rock band Don Broco headed to Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena, which proved to be an unforgettable night of quality entertainment and music. Broco’s setlist was on point, including songs from all of their albums, which provided a range of different kinds of music, crossing over between indie, rock, pop, and even interwoven elements of R&B.
Don Broco had two support acts, both of which put on a show that made the crowd buzz increasingly in excitement for the headliner. First to play was rock band Issues all the way from America. Issues are known for their genre-blending style which passes between metalcore, rock, and pop. This was reflected through their 30-minute set which exhibited both pop-punk style songs including “The Realest” reminiscent of the following act, Neck Deep, as well as heavier rock music that had everyone banging their heads along to tracks such as “Mad At Myself” and “Never Lose Your Flames”.
Welsh pop punk band Neck Deep played next in a similarly short set, which they made the most of with an extremely high energy and engaging performance, covering a range of the songs that are loved by their fans such as “In Bloom” and “Can’t Kick Up The Roots”. They also performed their cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn”, which had everybody singing their lungs out, and which frontman Ben Barlow explained was part of a charity compilation named ‘Songs That Saved my Life’, created to increase mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
Whilst waiting for Don Broco to come on, you could feel the heavy atmosphere and anticipation, as we waited eagerly for the night to get even better and reach its climax. About half an hour after Neck Deep finished their set, all the lights in the arena went out, which made the crowd roar in excitement before the lights suddenly went up and Don Broco were suddenly on stage and smashed straight into the chorus of ‘Technology’’s “Come Out To LA”. Despite being fairly far back, the sound quality, atmosphere, and experience in general was not at all lessened, and the multiple screens in the arena meant that everybody could see the stage and band clearly. Something that Don Broco proved they are particularly good at is having the ability to create the same kind of feeling and atmosphere in a massive arena such as The Motorpoint as they have in more intimate venues, such as venues local to the band including Bedford Esquires and St. Albans’ The Horn.
The boys played a range of music all the way from their first album ‘Priorities‘, to ‘Automatic’ and ‘Technology’. Hits such as “Priorities”, “Money Power Fame” and “Greatness” had the whole arena simultaneously jumping and shouting the lyrics in synch. Alongside these songs were more emotionally atmospheric songs such as Automatic’s “Further” and “Nerve”, which the crowd passionately sung along to. One of the best moments of the set was when “Everybody” came on, with the lights blacking out before they came back on to reveal the iconic cowboy from the music video, playing guitar on a miniature stage in the middle of the arena. After this the “Everybody” Cowboy roamed about the audience, getting involved in the moshes, and crowd-surfing onto the stage before performing the well-known dance that he performs in the music video.
My favourite track that Don Broco performs continues to be “Thug Workout”, which is without a doubt on their setlist every time they play. This is their heaviest and oldest song, which always creates a massive atmosphere both through its intense instrumentals and vocals, as well as frontman Rob Damiani instructing the crowd to open up big mosh-pits and create a wall of death, also calling upon the ‘push-up squad’. Broco’s penultimate song was their new single “Half Man Half God”, which is heavier than the songs from their previous albums, perhaps hinting at what is to come on their next album. The show ended with “T-Shirt Song”, which saw everybody swinging their tops around. It was the perfect way to end the night and the arena was filled with a euphoric feeling, reflected by the fun that both the audience and Don Broco themselves were clearly having so much of.
This particular show had a heightened element of spectacle compared to Broco’s previous gigs, with advanced staging that encompassed a range of different levels for members Si, Tom, Matt and Rob to move between, screens at the side of the stage, and an intense lightshow throughout. The gig reflected Don Broco’s talent as both musicians and performers, with the boys perfecting every element of the show, from the unique staging, to their incredible stage presence and vast setlist. Don Broco are a band that never get old no matter how many times you see them, and I look forward to see what’s in store for them for the rest of the year.