Its impossible to deny that Don Broco are on of the UK’s most mosh inducing rock powerhouses touring right now. The University of Manchester’s Academy 1 saw this in full affect as the Bedford bad boys packed the Students’ Union biggest venue out for not just one night but two. Fans of Don Broco were spotted camping out from as early as 8am to get a prime spot to watch their favourite band!
I had the chance to speak to a few of those dedicated super fans outside of the venue, one of whom delighted in telling me that this was the 53rd time she’d be seeing Don Broco! I like to believe I’m somewhat of a veteran gig goer at this point having seen nigh on 150 shows but I pale in comparison to the dedication of some of Broco’s most die hard supporters. Almost all of the dozen or so fans I saw camped out had tickets to every single night of the tour, a testament to the sheer awesomeness of Don Broco and their live performances.
Don Broco are a band born and bred for a live setting, you simply haven’t heard Broco until you’ve heard them live. They were electric headlining Slam Dunk and I was ecstatic to see if they could surpass this at their own headline show. They didn’t just crush their shows at Manchester Academy they well and truly killed and buried them. Tighter, louder and more engaging than almost any other band I’ve seen this year I felt blessed to be amongst that crowd. Joined by new and old friends I moshed, danced, crowd surfed and sang along, never bored for a second.
I hate to admit that I haven’t always been a fan of Don Broco. I never disliked them as a band but I wasn’t sure if they lived up to the hype created by my friends. One of whom, Katy, flew over from Dublin to see them three times on one tour and has more pieces of Don Broco merch than I do clothes in general. It wasn’t until I saw the band live at Slam Dunk in September that I realised how wrong I was.
Whilst I missed the band bringing out their David Beckham look-a-like from their second Manchester date I had one of the most memorable gig experiences I’ve ever had. I found myself somewhere between ‘Automatic’ and ‘Uber’ being handed a battered and broken umbrella and being thrust above the crowd. Surfing over a mass of hands and bodies, thrown over a circle pit the size of which Academy 1 has likely never seen, I came face to face with front man Rob Damiani and it felt as though I had seen the face of god. I was swiftly thrown over the barrier into the welcoming arms of Academies security and bought back to earth.
The most exciting thing about Don Broco is that these memories are not uncommon, every fan of the Band I’ve spoken to has one or more. You can’t go and see them and not come away with a story. I won’t soon forget that umbrella, nor Rob’s towel which I was lucky enough to catch towards the end of the set.
Amazing Things hadn’t long been released since when Broco set of one their tour. I’d seen ‘Uber’ and a few other tracks prior to their release at Slam Dunk but I knew they were always going to be at their best when every fan had, had a chance to learn them inside and out. Amazing Things had grown on me and sits amongst Technology and Automatic as engaging albums from beginning to end. Rob, Matt, Tom, and Luke delivered the new tracks impeccably, even those I wasn’t completely sure about on first listen like ‘Bad 4 your Health’.
Easily the best track live on Amazing Things was ‘Endophins’ reminiscent of ‘Come out to LA’ but faster driven, heavier in bass and perfect for pusihing it back. I was bruised and battered by the time the band got to their encore of ‘Everybody’ and ‘T shirt song’ but joyful in my achenes. If your not aware of ‘T-shirt song’ you have to check out this fan footage of the bands final track to see just how engrossed the band were.
I’d happily see this band everyday of the week, and Amazing Things only gets better each time I hear it live.