With their carefree attitude, ’80s-homage stage visuals and endless energy, eclectic Don Broco lead the party at a soldout, 10,000-strong Alexandra Palace.
Alexandra Palace – 25 March 2023
Words and Photography: Aggie Anthimidou
You can’t put Don Broco musically in any box, and this is true for their live show. As the lights dim, a silhouetted band takes the stage. Frontman Rob Damiani sporting an ’80s-inspired mullet and shirt, walks onto the stage holding a flare. He ‘smudges’ the set with hot pink smog and launches into Bruce Willis, wonderfully showcasing his dynamic vocals.
“London, how are you doing?” Damiani greets the crowd, “We are Don Broco, and we wanna kick things off tonight with an old-school sing-along”. In Damiani, Don Broco have a very commanding and enchanting frontman. Whatever Damiani asks, the crowd happily goes along from start to end.
Gumshield is only the second song of the set, but it has already built up so much energy that security has to stop the show to relocate the front barrier, which has been pushed forward. With safety back on track, the band comes out on stage again to continue with Technology.
With a generous 21-song strong set, Don Broco covers material from all four albums, with a good chunk from their recent chart-topping album Amazing Things. They play an eclectic blend of alt-rock, synth-pop, funk and post-hardcore, all under one Duran Duran like stage. Somehow it just works.
“Feeling good down at the front? This is insane to be back here at Alexandra Palace,” Damiani says. “This is our favourite venue in the entire UK. Ten thousand people raging in a room on a Saturday night! This venue was our first big UK show.”
He takes a lot of time to talk to and interact with the audience throughout the evening, and he manages to shrink a big, impersonal venue to what feels like a small intimate gig made by friends for friends.
Come Out To LA is a joyful, vibrant interlude complimented by screen visuals of aqua palm trees and Hollywood hills. “I wanna make some noise for anyone who came from Europe.” Damiani takes another long break to welcome all the fans from around the world.
He raises the temperature with One True Prince before the stage is drenched in neon red and fuchsia lights to kick off Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan.
“There is no way we are playing the rest of this song without the help of Jacoby fuckin’ Shaddix.” Damiani stops the song to welcome Shaddix on stage, and the crowd goes wild. You can read the report of the Papa Roach show here.
The Don Broco set includes older fan favourites Automatic and Priorities, while the cheeky Everybody, with its infectious beat, is the perfect Saturday night dance anthem. Superlove follows only to further compliment the party feel.
“You’ve been unreal. We are gonna be back at some point this year, I can promise you that,” Damiani says, “and pretty much after this, we’re gonna start writing the next album.” The leads into the final song of the set, T-Shirt Song.
“They always play this last,” screams an excited girl next to me, and it seems that everybody has been hyping all night long to dance to this song. An array of t-shirts are waved and thrown into the air.
“Thank you so much, you have been fuckin’ amazing,” says a grateful Damiani. Don Broco took a small arena rock gig, turned it into an intimate experience and then offset it to a dance club by the end of the evening.
Their live show is fun and carefree. If nothing else, it is definitely unique and Don Broco is a band to watch.