By Dion Smith, Journalist and Paula Smith, Photographer – Rock At Night Bristol
Live Review: Don Broco’s Birthday Party Tour at the O2 Academy, Bristol, UK – December 4, 2023
It’s been a while since I have seen Don Broco live so I am eagerly awaiting to hear some of their latest material, so tonight’s show at the O2 in Bristol is going to be a very interesting night indeed. This is a sold out show and I know Don Broco know how to engage with their audience, so I am expecting this to be a night of high energy performance and great live music.
At 9:30 the band enters the stage and the crowd erupts, and last to appear is vocalist Rob Damiani who joins the rest of the band who now look poised and ready to launch into their first song of the night.
The opening track is “Gumshield” from their latest album Amazing Things, which features a catchy chorus, heavy guitar riffs and a breakdown that had the fans going wild.
This was then swiftly followed by “Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan” again from Amazing Things. Guitarist Simon Delaney jumps around a lot onstage, kicking high into the air while playing the huge sounding guitar riffs with ease. The band then followed with “Uber”, again from their latest album which went down incredibly well with the already excited crowd.
“Come out to LA” and then “Fancy Dress” came next which was a nostalgic nod to their early days. The contrast between the older and newer material demonstrated how much the band has developed and matured over the years, while still retaining their core identity and sound. Then came “Pretty” from the “Technology” album with it’s huge heavy guitar riff driving the choruses and sending the crowd wild.
Now they take it down a notch and begin “Superlove” which is one of my favourite Don Broco tracks and this certainly did not disappoint live. Tom Doyle’s bass groove got everyone in the mood and the whole band sounded incredibly tight with Matt Donnelly and Tom providing a very solid rhythm section indeed.
Delaney’s guitar work is impressive and he is capable of getting some huge and heavy guitar tones, but he’s also capable of dialling it back and getting the super smooth clean sounds when needed also.
Then came “One True Prince”, “Bruce Willis”, “You Wanna Know”, “Revenge Body” and “Endorphins” followed by the slightly unusual “Birthday Party”, a new track which see’s the band experimenting more musically but still keeping their trademark driving heavy guitar rhythms.
Last but not least “Everybody” arrives, sending the crowd wild and has the whole room jumping in sync with the big heavy guitar riff, this track is another personal favourite of mine and it went down incredibly well with all of the audience also.
As Don Broco left the stage the crowd began chanting for them to return for the Encore, and the band did indeed return to finish their epic performance with “Fingernails” and then topped off the nights setlist with “T-Shirt Song” again from their Technology album.
Overall, Don Broco delivered a high-energy performance that showcased their great songs, talent and charisma. Their ability to blend genres and create infectious, anthemic songs makes them one of the most exciting rock bands on the scene today and fans left the venue buzzing with excitement.
This was indeed a great night and Don Broco have certainly established themselves as a great live band with a great high energy performance. I personally would have preferred a few more older songs in the setlist however the newer material from their latest album certainly holds it own, and Don Broco proved once again why they are one of the most exciting and innovative bands in the UK rock scene. Fantastic job Don Broco!
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY TOUR
NOVEMBER 2023 29 – Reading, Hexagon 30 – Southend, Cliffs Pavilion DECEMBER 2023 1 – Margate, Dreamland 2 – Norwich, UEA 4 – Bristol, O2 Academy (SOLD OUT) 5 – Brighton Dome 8 – Cambridge, Corn Exchange 9 – Leicester, O2 Academy (SOLD OUT) 11 – York, Barbican 12 – Newcastle, O2 City Hall 13 – Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse 13 – Wolverhampton, KK’s Steel Mill 16 – Bournemouth, O2 Academy 17 – London, KOKO (SOLD OUT) 18 – London, KOKO (SOLD OUT) 19 – London, KOKO