Don Broco took to the stage of Rock City to showcase their much-anticipated new album ‘Technology’, deservedly their first to place in top 5. The Bedford born and bred rock band absolutely smashed this sold out show, with a consistent high-energy performance that certainly did not disappoint.
The two support acts Yonaka and Man With a Mission initiated the level of high energy, contributing to the overall experience. Yonaka, the four-piece Brighton pop/rock band opened the show delivering a captivating performance as all members were fully absorbed into their music, with the crowd in turn being completely encapsulated.
They interacted with both the crowd and each other in a way that didn’t feel at all rehearsed. Man with a Mission, all the way from Japan, followed shortly after, further increasing the energy of the crowd and getting us pumped up for the headliner with their unique blend of hard rock and dance-pop, paired with their individual aesthetic (all wearing werewolf masks). They performed their own songs as well as covering rock classics such as Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, which everyone sang along to in a classic rock concert fashion.
“The show was highly atmospheric”
Don Broco’s new album, featuring 16 songs and a lot more vocals from drummer Matt Donnelly, is much heavier than their previous album ‘Automatic’ and is more reminiscent of their first two albums ‘Big fat smile’ and ‘Priorities’. This was reflected by the constant moshing, crowd surfing, and screaming of lyrics. The show was highly atmospheric, with a strong feeling of community within the crowd – I lost my friend for most of the show yet still had an amazing time, enjoying some good music with like-minded people who appreciate Don Broco’s music just as much as I do.
The venue was ideal, with the main area providing an intimate setting, and the balcony and surrounding areas allowing a birds-eye, wider, view of the stage. The whole venue was completely packed, which was really nice to see as it showed the progress that they have made as a band; the first time I saw them played at a venue in Bedford with a capacity of 200, and they are now performing in sold out venues with capacities of 2,450+.
They opened with the song ‘Pretty’ from the new album, shortly followed by ‘Everybody’, these songs were released prior to the album’s release date on the 2nd February, meaning everyone knew them well and were singing along, though this was the case for pretty much every song. The setlist showed a good level of variation, with a nice mixture of new material and old, and of course the classic ‘Thug Workout’ was performed for the OG Broco fans.
Sound and lighting were of high quality, yet kept fairly simple with blends of blue, pink and white, similar colours to that shown on the ‘Automatic’ album. There was no need for the lighting to be anything more than simple, due to the great stage presence created by frontman Rob Damiani, who was constantly moving about the stage and highlighting his friendly personality whilst engaging with and acknowledging all areas of the crowd, including the balcony.
“Both Matt and Rob attended The University of Nottingham”
Before their encore they played ‘Money Power Fame’, and came back with new song ‘Come Out To La’, before ending the show with ‘T-Shirt Song’ to which everyone took off their t-shirts and swung them around their heads in a Nottingham Ocean-esque manner. The show felt more personal as both Matt and Rob attended The University of Nottingham, allowing them to create a greater connection with the crowd as they already had a relationship with the venue, as asserted by Rob as he said he had seen many gigs and attended many club nights there as a student.
This was my 9th time seeing the band and they were just as amazing and enthusiastic as ever. I had an amazing time the whole way through and just as I thought it couldn’t get better, somebody proposed on stage – can’t beat that.
Images Courtesy of Alana McKenna