Topping a massive headline show at London’s Alexandra Palace is no easy job, but the lads from Don Broco promised a special run of shows to celebrate the release of their third album Technology, and they certainly worked hard to deliver.
The first band of the evening were 4 piece Yonaka from Brighton, who gave the audience an enthralling set of future alt-rock classics. As thundering drums and gritty riffs grabbed everyone’s attention, front woman Theresa Jarvis belted out songs such as Gods and Lovers, All In My Head and Bubblegum with a similar edgy charm to 90s fem-rock heroes Shirley Manson or Gwen Stefani.
Man with a Mission were the main support for the night; who I can best describe as a band offering pure Japanese rock craziness at its best. They are famed for their part man, part wolf personas and took to the stage wearing wolf heads which had eyes that eerily lit up at select moments during their performance. As the band blasted through tracks including Dead End In Tokyo, Raise Your Flag, and their wonderful cover of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, I couldn’t help but be sucked in to their wolfy ways. However; even if they did not have this quirkiness, you’d still be foolish not to enjoy them; as the band gave the O2 Academy an adrenaline fueled, euphoric performance of melodic hardcore rock.
By the time of Don Broco’s set, the room was already buzzing with an excited energy, which became even rowdier as the band took to the stage bathed in red lights to perform opener, Pretty. Within moments, the crowd were having the time of their lives dancing about, moshing and even crowd surfing while the band energetically bounced about on stage playing a fairly mixed set of new and old tracks alike.
The fans sang along throughout classics You Wanna Know, Fire, and Automatic, but even more impressively seemed to know all the words to songs from the new album Technology, which had only been released just under two weeks beforehand. This seemingly proves just how accessible and catchy the band’s music is to many.
Throughout the set, front man Rob Damiani made sure that the fans were ok, and also recounted tales from previous visits to the area, telling everyone that his nan is from Solihull and that Birmingham is one of the first places that they ever played as a band, so they never miss it out on tour. As the band played old favourite, Thug Workout, this audience interaction only increased as Rob encouraged everyone to take part in push ups during the break down, before all hell broke loose in the form of a gargantuan mosh pit.
As Don Broco ended the set on Money Power Fame and the room went dark, everyone still wanted more from the Bedford lads, and luckily their clapping and shouts did not fall on deaf ears as the band returned to the stage for an encore of two more songs. During Come Out To LA, drummer Matt had his stint on lead vocals for a change, which was fun. However, the song that really grabbed everyone’s attention was closer T-Shirt Song, in which the room descended into a sea of clothing being swung around everyone’s heads.