By Bonnie Dowler, Second year English and Philosophy
As both long term and newly-found fans of Don Broco know, buying a ticket for their tour guarantees an evening of unbounded energy and sweaty pits. I had the fortune of seeing the quartet (or quintet live) at the O2 Academy and, as per usual, they did not disappoint.
The band began with an energetically disorientating ‘Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan’, which, owing to their quintessential stage presence supplied by lead vocalist Rob Damiani, had the crowd forming a pit before the first chorus of the set. Damiani injected energy into the crowd with his stage presence. He was just as excited to see the crowd as they were to see him – not a small feat by any means! Damiani’s energy reached its peak during their song ‘Gumshield,’ in which he didn’t stop jumping up and down like an overexcited toddler (with an amazing full head of curls) from the very first guitar chord to the chorus.
Unsurprisingly, the energy of the crowd was at its highest in ‘Bruce Willis’. Probably my highlight of the evening, Damaini divided the crowd and had each side belt ‘yippee-ki-ye, motherf*****!’ at the top of their lungs while he manically laughed into the microphone and pointed at a 6ft image of Bruce Willis’ floating head behind him. On second thought, this was definitely my highlight of the evening.
Another highlight has to be when Damiani encouraged the crowd into a circle pit during ‘One True Prince’, and fans dropped to the ground and started doing push ups in the middle. After the song Damiani joked as to whether there was anyone ‘still doing push ups down there’.
The addition of Adam Marc for yet another tour proves a continuation of the band’s genius. Let me put it this way – it was nothing but entertaining to watch a 30-something man spin around three times and hit a cowbell with a drumstick. Guitarist Simon Delaney definitely got the memo that the band were going all out with their stage performance, kicking his leg in the air and spinning around multiple times a song. It was Impressive really – he carried on playing while twirling around like some kind of early 2010’s hipster flamingo.
In terms of sound, the band displayed masterful skill in manipulating the transition between loud and quiet. This was especially prominent in ‘Endorphins,’ in which an amorphous wall of sound gives way to nothing but synthetic drums, only to crash land into the tangibly heavy chorus again.
It was clear throughout the performance that the band genuinely enjoyed their interactions with fans. While talking to the front few rows of fans, Damiani asked a fan in a football shirt if he was ‘Beckham from Portsmouth,’ remembering him from a previous night on their tour; to which the crowd erupted.
Fittingly, the band concluded their set with a sea of sweaty t-shirts swung around in the crowd to ‘T-shirt Song.’ It was heart-warming to see that before the song had even started, the majority of the crowd had taken their shirts off, having seen Don Broco enough times before to prepare for their last song.
Unfortunately, Don Broco’s ‘Amazing Things’ tour culminated in Bedford, the band’s hometown the following night, so the window of opportunity to see their stage presence for yourself has been missed – at least for a while. If the band carry on, as they have done for 13 years, release another album and announce another tour, I highly recommend treating yourself to the energetic and everchanging Don Broco experience.
Featured image: Bonnie Dowler
Have you seen Don Broco live?