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Review: Don Broco @ O2 Academy

In a triumphant celebration of their tenth year together, Don Broco graced the stage at Bristol’s O2 Academy, bringing enough energy that had even twelve-year-olds commanding mosh pits.

By Alex Paterson, First Year History

Hailing from Nottingham, Don Broco brings their endless enthusiasm and fun, which seemingly matches the stereotype of a Notts night, out to Bristol. Despite having gone number one for their last album ‘Amazing things’, Don Broco seem ever hungry as they take to the stage with the same savage energy as they did ten years ago.

Trash Boat and Ocean Grove instantly showed us that tonight was not going to be quiet, with both bands using the full extent of their half-hour support time slot. Bringing clear rock influences such as Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance to the stage. Warming up everyone’s vocal chords and moshing skills for what was to be an intense night.

As the stage came to life, adorned with recently added speakers, the crowd’s excitement reached a fever pitch. Rob Damiani (lead singer) wasted no time igniting the night, plunging the audience into the whirlwind that is ‘Gumshield’. Within moments, the atmosphere transformed as bodies soared on top of the crowd and Jesus’ look-a-likes were jumping as high as the stage. And this energy did not stop throughout the show, with people going up into the crowd with pure delight on their faces. Set between pillars of foliage though, the band seemingly were trying to stray away from the classic idea of what rock concerts are and instead bring their own sense of fun and humour to the atmosphere.

Don Broco @ O2 Academy | Alex Paterson

Becoming a band after studying together at university, they’ve garnered themselves a repetition of the band with the highest energy performances. Having grown from supporting bands such as Bring Me the Horizon and 5 Seconds of Summer, Don Broco embarked on their fourth headline tour but claimed that they are in need of some time off to recuperate and write a new album.

Their own description of having ‘relentless high-octane performances’ is anything but a lie. With the band's signature Wall of Death making its appearance during ‘Uber’ only three songs in. Making the concert the best workout I’ve ever done, being off my feet for an hour straight.

A setlist ranging from new singles such as 'The Birthday Party’ to classics such as ‘Fancy Dress’ showcased the band's evolution as well as their timeless ability to create unique high-energy bangers. The crowd’s mastery of every lyric turned even the mellower moments such as ‘One True Prince’ into collective anthems, creating a collective wholesome moment amidst all the chaos.

Don Broco @ O2 Academy | Alex Paterson

Call and response songs became a true highlight, with the song ‘Bruce Willis’ bringing the crowd into enemies chanting ‘yippee-ki yay motherf*cker’ at each other. Rob Damiani’s infectious lyrics had him not needed at times, with the roar of the crowd taking centre stage. Coming off massive summer performances such as at Reading and Leeds festival, the band haven’t forgotten how to play smaller venues getting even those at the top of the venue headbanging over the railing. With antics such as Rob donning party hats, a ‘birthday girl’ sash and multiple pairs of glasses kept every eye firmly on the stage.

One brave family even brought their young children with them for this to be their first-ever concert, which must have been a truly eye-opening experience. In recognition of this, the drummer (Matt Donnelly) gave away his drumsticks to the young boy and girl who stood proud on their parent’s shoulders.

The climax of the night came in the well-named ‘T-shirt song’, as people (if they hadn’t already) took their T-shirts off and as the lyrics told them to do so swung them around their heads. With people bringing t-shirts especially to take them off for this song.

Don Broco seems ever young as their ten years of experience doesn’t seem to be a burden or a sign of slowing down, but only an indication that they can continue their unique brand of chaos forever.

Featured Image: Alex Paterson

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