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Don Broco @ First Direct Arena review and gallery – roaring crowd and a sea of cowboy hats

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Featured image and gallery: Rianna Ram

Bedford’s finest four-piece band, Don Broco, returned to the Leeds as part of their UK arena Amazing Things tour and brought the same high-energy performance that they bring to the stage without fail every time.

Their latest album, Amazing Things, was released in October 2021 and includes 12 songs. Tunes like ‘Swimwear Season’ and ‘Bruce Willis’ truly showcase the bands creativity and range of genre, while still providing banger after banger.

Broco were joined by Dance Gavin Dance and a personal favourite of mine; Papa Roach, who most definitely knew how to amp up a crowd in time for the main event. Hearing ‘Last Resort’ played live was a moment to tick off of the bucket list!

The excitement was mutual for both myself and the fans as I waited at the side of the First Direct Arena’s stage, chatting with fellow photographers and gig-goers who were proudly repping the band’s merchandise. Some even went as far as wearing the power ranger costumes as seen in the ‘Endorphins’ music video, which was released just before the new album.

As fans waited for Broco to come on stage, there was a lot of chatter over what songs they were excited to hear after the setlists were stuck onto the floor of the stage. Fans expressed their excitement to hear ‘Fingernails’ which is a newer song and for some hasn’t been heard live before. 

After the lights dropped, strobes of light lit up the stage revealing a very well-dressed frontman Rob Damiani, alongside Si Delaney (guitar) Matt Donnelly (drums) and Tom Doyle (bass). The opening notes of ‘Bruce Willis’ were greeted by a roaring crowd and a sea of cowboy hats as frontman Rob lit off a neon pink smoke flare. The crowd lived up to their rowdy reputation when fans were seen crowdsurfing and opening circle pits within the first 30 seconds. 

The entire night was filled with incredible moments, but a highlight was when the band were joined on stage by Jacoby Shaddix, the singer of Papa Roach, who performed ‘Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan’ and ‘Thug Workout’. 

The band left the stage for a well-expected encore and returned to play ‘Fingernails’ and fan favourite ‘T-shirt Song’. Tradition took it’s place as everybody in the room swung shirts, jackets and merchandise around their heads – matching the lyrics of one of the most well-known Broco songs. The atmosphere was through the roof and looking around it was clear to see everybody enjoyed the night.

This was the fifth time I have seen this band perform, and it is safe to say they do not disappoint with their live shows. Seeing a band with this amount of unfiltered energy could never get tiring. 

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Rianna Ram

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