Don Broco at O2 Academy, Bristol – December 4th 2023

I have followed Don Broco for quite a few years but have lost touch with some of their most recent work, so tonights show is going to be very interesting indeed. When I arrive the O2 Academy is absolutely packed and I am thinking to myself that this is going to be a great night. “Here we go”.

Don Broco hit the stage and the Bristol Academy crowd screams when vocalist Rob Damiani appears onstage and the band stand ready to deliver their first song.
They open with “Gumshield” from their 2021 album “Amazing Things.” This track is an absolute belter and certainly doesn’t disappoint live, with the whole crowd jumping up and down right from the very first second the super heavy guitar riffs begin. I’ve never heard this track before but I must say it certainly got the fans in the mood and sets the tone for the night. The band then seamlessly follow with “Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan, which sees the crowd singing along with vocalist Damiani and joining him in the intense fast paced chorus.

Next up is the grit and raw power of “Uber” again from the “Amazing Things” record. Damiani knows how to work the crowd who are jumping and singing all his lyrics right back to him. I was amazed at how well these songs resonate with people, as looking around the room it seemed like everyone knew the songs and sang every word. Then came “Come out to LA”, “Fancy Dress” and “Pretty”, three more belters sending the O2 crowd wild.

Then comes “Superlove” which the crowd instantly recognised right from the opening melodic intro. One thing about Don Broco is they have always made outstanding and fun music videos and I found myself imagining the video in my head as this song was being played. The slick bass parts in this song expertly played by Tom Doyle sounded absolutely fantastic and the whole band sounded very tight as they delivered this song to the very excited and enthusiastic crowd.
The bands energy levels during their performance are quite literally off the charts as they continue to bound about the stage with arms and legs flying everywhere. Simon Delaneys guitar work is also fantastic and he is capable of getting some amazing tones and textures while charging around the stage with his guitar.

“One true prince”, “Bruce Willis”, “You wanna know” “Revenge Body” and “Endorphins” came next, followed by “Birthday Party”, a new track with interesting synth and vocal arrangements which sounded different from anything they’ve done before and sounded absolutely incredible live.
And last on the main setlist is “Everybody” which has the crowd jumping up and down yet again and went down an absolute storm with the audience. This track sees drummer Matt Donnelly sharing the vocal responsibility with Damiani and has the crowd singing right back with them. What a great track this is. As the band left the stage the crowd were left shouting and screaming for the Encore.
Don Broco of course return to the stage to wrap up the night with “Fingernails” and end the nights performance with “T-Shirt Song”

Don Broco have a very loyal fan base who have stuck with them over the years and the band are bringing new fans onboard with every album and tour. What a great night of music this was. Don Broco are a great band with great songs and on the strength of this live performance, I am sure will be around for many more years to come. Awesome show Don Broco!

Words and Photos by Paula Smith 


Philip Goddard

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