Luke Unger reviews Don Broco's Bristol date at O2 Academy - a night that truly was 'a gig for the fans'.
The band kicked off the set quickly with one of their newer songs, ‘Pretty' with the crowd instantly reacting, compressing and pushing towards the front barrier. Having seen them at Reading Festival a few years ago I knew that Don Broco have an, arguably infamous, reputation for rowdy crowds. This one certainly did not fall short of the reputation.
Having seen the guys play at Reading nearly five years ago it's incredible how far the band have come. Almost 10 years in the making, Don Broco's new success is no feat of luck. ‘Thank you for getting us to no. 5 in the charts, it's absolutely crazy!', Damiani shouts belatedly to a roar from the crowd, midway through the gig. While the band's lyrics could be deemed slightly undeveloped and at times a little whiney, their music undeniably has developed tenfold from their original beginnings and you have to merit their commitment, whatever your music taste.
Speaking to second-year Aerospace Engineer Arthur Smith after the gig, I asked him to sum up Don Broco's set in three words: ‘Banger after banger'
His answer seemed pretty accurate. Whilst the tour was promoting their new album Technology, the band seemed to play predominately old material, even going so far back as to play ‘Thug Workout'. The night seemed more like a gig for the fans; belated at the success of their newest album, the band seemed to have an electric interaction with the fan base that have been with them on their comparably slow rise to fame every step of the way.
Considering this, the crowd was wild. Multiple mosh pits were formed for nearly every song culminating in a vortex of sweat and elbows. It almost seemed like half-gig, half-workout as I struggled in vain to find footing amidst the squeeze, so as not to get sucked in headfirst, unawares. It got so rough that halfway through Damiani asked if everyone was alright and that no one was hurt.
I appreciated the fact that towards the end of the gig, the band didn't say anything like ‘This is going to be our last song', a trope used constantly by bands that cheapen the gig and just comes across as unoriginal and narcissistic. They just simply went off and then came back on. The band finished the set with ‘Come Out to LA' and the ‘T-Shirt Song' during which the whole crowd, men and women, took their t-shirts off and swung them round their heads.
Don Broco are a band that undoubtedly are going to headline some serious festivals this summer, after the successful release of this album and I can certainly see them fronting one of the larger stages at Reading this year. With the success of Technology and their new sound, this is a band to watch in the next few years.
Featured image: Flickr / Ellen Offredy
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