Don Broco are a band who have received a lot of hype over the course of 2015, in which they have successfully completed a headline slot on the Kerrang! tour and released their new record Automatic which managed to hit the top 10 in the UK Charts upon release. The band’s position in the UK music scene is an odd one: both looking and sounding a little too clean to be rock, but also at times sounding a bit too heavy to be pop. However, it seems to be this fine balance that has gained them a devoted following. Tonight they bring their summer-infused pop-rock to the O2 Academy Leeds, and bring with them their army of loyal fans who pack the venue.
In all honesty, the majority of the eighteen-track setlist heard tonight doesn’t really show much musical variety, with many of the songs not sounding unlike a boyband with a slightly distorted guitar in hand. It therefore makes you wonder how such a band has developed such a strong following having only released two records; but when lead singer speaks of Leeds becoming the band’s second home, and how this is their fourth visit to the city, you are reminded of the power of intensive touring paired with a fun live show. And that’s what tonight is all about – having fun – you’ll see few bassists as happy as Tom Doyle. The ringmaster in this carnival of fun though is vocalist Rob Damiani, whose laddish charms have the teenage girls in the crowd (which is almost everyone except for the boyfriends that they have dragged along) screaming at the tops of their voices. His endless supply of buoyant energy and charismatic showmanship make up for points in the set where his vocals are a little over the top, and lack the depth that you would hear on the record. Using every move in his arsenal, from the Mexican Wave to the Don Broco Walk (Youtube it), he does everything in his power to ensure that every person present has had a good night.