Monday, November 01, 2021

Back On The Road: Don Broco Night One of Two Live At Manchester Academy (28/10/2021)

With the long-anticipated album, ‘Amazing Things,’ it was only a matter of time before Don Broco announced they’d be hitting the road again with a headline tour. They did not disappoint, and with a jam pack tour now in full swing, if night one of two at Manchester Academy is any insight to the rest of the time, then fans are in for the night of their lives. 

The long anticipation. Booming voices of excited fans as they sip their beer and bob their heads to the music, the lads in Don Broco know how to keep their fans in a state of suspense.  As the stage area was being prepped and set up, the unveiling of the city landscape left the audience staring in wonderment; just what was Don Broco planning?

Fashionably late as always, Don Broco knew how to keep their fans waiting when the room suddenly became dark.  It was time. The atmosphere instantly changed with a siren-like synth echoing across the Academy with bright lights and skyscrapers in their mini cityscape set up. The screens lit up, cold lighting directly the stage that made the Don Broco lads look like silhouettes as they made their grand entrance on stage.

Phone recordings at the ready. The slow build-up of an echoing synth soon burst into the distinct, brand new track, ‘Manchester Super Reds No. 1 Fan’ in its first-ever performance in Manchester. Rob Damiani burst onto the stage, sporting his Manchester red t-shirt, his presence demanded the attention of each audience member, and we obeyed. The Aggressive riffs of the track sent fans into a frenzy and instantly opened up a mosh pit. This was where you knew this set was going to be something special.

I was pleasantly surprised that instead of instantly playing all the top tracks from their latest album, ‘Amazing Things,’ right at the start of their set. Don Broco chose their setlist very carefully, playing a pattern of older tracks with the new spread between them. Paying a visit back to ‘Priorities’ (2012), ‘Automatic’ (2015), and ‘Technology’ (2018) meant the pace of the show was excellent and left you feeling a high level of anticipation for their newer material but reminiscing with the old. 

‘Endorphins,’ a personal highlight saw audience members dancing along and singing along, which is expected but hearing a room full of people sing the distinct “…I’m so pathetic, I’m so pathetic” echo was surreal and an enjoyable moment. 


It would be a Don Broco show if there weren’t a few twists and turns along the way. Both supporting acts Kid Brunswick and Noisy came back on stage. Rob Damiani introduced them as “…two of his favourite UK bands right now…” inviting them to perform the never-performed live track, Action. A crowd rager and game-changer of the night. This track was just pure energy when the performances became more fuelled, aggressive and intense. Showcasing the talents of all three bands, Action live a must in future shows.


It was the encore that was the final push of the night. I thought it was strange that ‘Everybody’ or ‘T-Shirt Song’ had not yet played when they made their exit off stage. Of course, this would be the pause before the encore, and members in the audience started to chant, no demand ‘T-shirt Song’ louder and louder. 


The long wait for ‘T-Shirt Song’ did not disappoint. The final song of the night saw many of the audience take off their t-shirt or use their recently purchased merch to honour the lyrics, ‘…I take my t-shirt off, swing it around my head…’ and as soon as the breakdown hit, a sea of t-shirts was thrown into the air and spun around continuously and eagerly. This sort of interaction with the audience makes a Don Broco performance so endearing and electrifying. 


The setting at Manchester Academy was utilized well, using the entire stage and lighting set up to create a visual showcase that emphasized and complimented each song’s performance. Using different colour schemes and visuals on the skyscraper screens highlights the era of the track being performed cleverly. Resulting in electrifying energy that cascaded throughout the Academy. 


Don Broco are masters of their craft. They don’t take themselves too seriously but still showcase infectious music and the potential for one-day headline stadium tours. Their natural flair and energy bounce incredibly off of each other, and the ‘Amazing Things’ headline tour is just the beginning of the boundaries Don Broco continue to push and break. 

Ana Joy King



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