Live Review: Don Broco - Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham 08/02/19

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Friday night, Motorpoint Arena and Don Broco. Could Fridays get much better? They sure can; with Issues and Neck Deep supporting we were in for banger after banger, all night long.

Kicking off proceedings were US four piece Issues who brought the energy from the get-go, slamming straight into ‘Hooligans’ which set the electric pace for their short but extraordinarily sweet set. The Nottingham crowd were graced with heavy hitter ‘COMA’ which was wonderfully balanced out with the slower track ‘Home Soon’ then finishing off a triumphant opening set with fan favourite, ‘Mad at Myself’.

With the crowd filling the Motorpoint up nicely it meant it was time for the pop punk maestro’s, Neck Deep to take to the stage by storm. Lead single ‘Motion Sickness’ off their latest album ‘The Peace and The Panic’ set the ball rolling. Bouncing from tracks off ‘TP&TP’ and their 2015 album ‘Life’s Not Out To Get You’. Joined onstage by friend and Creeper pianist, Hannah Greenwood providing backing vocals, Neck Deep also welcomed Tony Hancock (AKA. Saxl Rose) to the stage to feature his soulful saxophone licks on Neck Deep’s slower tracks ‘December’ and ‘In Bloom’.

In the midst of those two tracks the Motorpoint crowd were blessed with a cover of Ednaswap’s ‘Torn’, which lead singer Ben Barlow explained that they had ‘butchered’ which I feel is an over exaggeration as it went down an absolute treat. Ramping the pace back up Neck Deep finished off their superlative set on concluding track off TP&TP ‘Where Do We Go When We Go’.

The lights dip, murmurs of the intro to ‘Come Out To LA’ ripple through the arena before lead singer Rob Damiani burst onto stage in the first chorus to launch their set into orbit. Following on from the opening track they delved into their new album ‘Technology’ dropping ‘Pretty’ and ‘Good Listener’, which was followed swiftly by title track ‘Technology’ but not before a silhouetted familiar figure appeared at the top of Broco’s impressive stage production.

Blasting their way through their energetic hit after hit set, the stage lights dropped and shined over to the B-stage in the centre of the arena where the silhouetted figure appeared to reveal himself to be the Broco cowboy, as seen in many of their music videos Don Broco went to the extra length of bringing him onto the UK tour. The cowboy stumbled through the first line of chords to his feature track ‘Everybody’ which Broco emerged back on the mainstage to carry on and get the mosh pit mayhem underway again.

Dishing out a repertoire of tracks from albums new and old including ‘Further’ and ‘Automatic’ before it was time for the cowboy to make an appearance again. This time it was to crowd surf from stage to the sound desk in the second chorus of ‘Priorities’. Broco delved back into their second album for their pre-encore track ‘Nerve’ which finished the hour of energy off perfectly before the heavy hitting encore came into play. Newest single ‘Half Man Half God’ was the leading line of the encore, which to say it had only been out for only under two weeks it went down a treat with the jam-packed Motorpoint arena.

But, it wouldn’t be a Don Broco show if ‘Thug Workout’ wasn’t on the setlist, to the joy of the arena it was, fans dropped to the floor to participate in the iconic Thug Workout press-up regime, which lasted for over 10 minutes...yes, you read that right, 10 MINUTES. Once everyone were back on their feet it was time for Broco’s finale, ‘T-Shirt Song’. T-Shirts aloft and spinning round above thousands of fans heads I reflect to myself in awe of what I’ve just witnessed, an incredible set proving that arenas are now the definite home for Don Broco.

Photography by Ami Ford
Words by Jake Haseldine