Live Review

Live Review: Don Broco @ Portsmouth Pyramids Centre

Don Broco have been in the media a lot recently, not only did they play their biggest headline show to date at Alexandra Palace in November but they have just released their third studio album which is in the top 5 in the album charts. Don Broco are masters of live performance, bringing an extreme energy to the crowd, and it is impossible not to love these guys live, and having seen them 9 times (including 2 of their album release shows) I knew that this show would be something special. Not only do Don Broco know how to rock the stage but they are also great at picking support bands that can do the same.

Press To Meco were up first and having seen them twice prior to this date I knew they would be great. With high energy riffs and brilliantly close harmonies Press To Meco bring a new age of rock music to the table. The room quickly filled as soon as they began to play with mosh pits forming left, right and centre. Luke Caley (guitarist and singer) encouraged this high energy and even created a circle pit where everyone had to act like a monkey. Their set featured the likes of If All Your Parts Don’t Make a Whole and also Diffusion of Responsibility which really got the crowd moving and ready for Don Broco.

Dead! were up next for a Portsmouth exclusive. Having seen Dead! at Reading festival a few years back I knew these guys would be good, and they have also recently released their new album The Golden Age of Not Even Trying. Within seconds of coming onto stage they controlled the room with a high energy set and uniqueness tied to them, playing songs such as Up For Ransom and You’re So Cheap it was a great set and showed Dead!’s wide experience with performing and owning the room. Broco couldn’t have picked better supports if they had tried.

Then Don Broco came on to the stage entering to an extended introduction to Pretty which was an amazing way to begin the set. As they are some of the best performers and artists I have seen live I knew that their official opening night to tour would be something pretty special (if you ignore the pun). Most bands tend to open with a slower or less of an energetic song to ease fans into the gig, not Don Broco, they opened their set with a high energy song of which Rob Damiani instantly encourages a massive mosh pit, the energy was flowing and we were only one song in. What made their performance better was that the entire band are clearly ecstatic to have the fans that they do as every now and then you would see them stop for a minute and take in the adoration for them.

Playing a mix of songs from Priorities, Automatic and Technology it was an incredibly varied gig and provided a song for every type of fan. Straight after Pretty the band went into another fan favourite, Everybody which was once again packed with energy and high spirits, this also included Damiani going into the crowd and literally having people stumble over each other in hopes to get to him. Fire was certainly one of the highlights for me, especially during the part where everything stops for a moment and people are singing along with the backing vocals as lead by Matt DonnellyIt was at this point where the band stood on their platforms and really took in this amazing moment and it was such a special thing to witness.

The band then played Stay Ignorant which is always amazing live, as well as some songs from Automatic such as their more glam rock songs, Superlove and Automatic which have a really fun and bouncy feel to them especially with Si Delaney spinning around with his guitar and Tom Doyle ‘pop punk’ jumping off of his platform and really getting into the groove. Don Broco are not only extremely talented but they are just really fun to watch live as they all clearly love it and the songs that they are playing too. Next up was title track Technology which was nearly impossible not to bounce around to, it almost feels like a crime to not match the bands energy. With strong riffs and drum beats this was a great song to have ‘mid’ set.

Damiani then speaks to the crowd about this tour and how excited they were to be there and then goes into one of their most heart wrenching (and my favourite) songs Further. This one had a complete different energy as it meant so much to the band as well as people within the crowd who interpret it in different ways, I don’t think there has ever been a time where I have listened to it and not cried. The chorus was so special as everyone just kind of stopped and belted it out, and that is one of the things that make a Don Broco concert an incredible experience.

So after all of the heartbreak in Further the band go into one of their absolute classics and fan favourite, Thug Workout, which is one of the reasons how Broco fans came to be known as the push up squad. This is just a really fun song to witness live, the energy in the room completely shadows the energy Don Broco have and instead of having a mosh pit, a human pyramid was formed in the middle of the Pyramid centre in Portsmouth.

After a few more songs the ‘official’ gig ended with Automatic classic Money, Power, Fame and the band left for the encore. The room was buzzing with noise, some were chanting ‘T-Shirt Song!’ and others screaming for ‘Come Out To LA,’ luckily we got them both in the encore. Come Out To LA started with only Matt and Adam on stage during the verse until the heavier chorus came into play when the whole band came on stage, they way they perform it live is so good, especially the blend between Matt and Rob’s vocals. Finally the gig ends with the much loved T-Shirt Song, before it even started fans had their shirts off and were swinging them around in the air causing laughter from the band. It’s the perfect song to end the gig with and someone even threw their shirt on stage in which Rob started to wave it around his head. Even though it was the end of the gig the band were jumping around and the crowd members were matching their energy with their t-shirts being flung around their heads.

The applause at the end went on for ages and quite rightly so, Don Broco know how to work a crowd and having the privilege to see them live especially more than once is incredible. The tour has only just begun and if you are going to spend your money on anything I thoroughly recommend spending it on going to see Don Broco.

Check out their tour dates here:

Nick Rayns LCR, UEA Norwich, UK
Rock City Nottingham, UK
O2 Academy Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Manchester Academy, Manchester, UK
O2 Academy Leeds, Leeds, UK
Northumbria Institute, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
The Garage, Aberdeen, UK
Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow, UK


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