LIVE MUSIC – Don Broco @ Wembley Arena, London

Don Broco have grown up in many ways since their Thug Workout days, and the days where I headed up with the Red Bull Bedroom Jam crew for a photo shoot in one of the band members bedrooms, for the life of me I can’t remember whose. I remember back then that one of the crew, Michael Shankleman knew that they had something about them and they would be big and make waves in the music scene. My outstanding memory was how extremely friendly and hard working the boys were, and singer Rob Damiani’s voice was incredible.

Fast forward ten years, and we are at Wembley SSE Arena to witness just how far they have come, and by God, we were in for a shock…

Don Broco Live @ Wembley Arena, London ©IanArnold
Don Broco Live @ Wembley Arena, London ©IanArnold

First up was Neck Deep, who if I’m honest have a generic pop-punk sound, which is great because it sounds AMAZING! If only they didn’t have an egotistical stage presence that masks any musical talent they have, with singer Ben Barlow dropping phrases like “this isn’t the first time we’ve played Wembley” and “my good friend Mark Hoppus, you wouldn’t think that these are small-town boys from Wales… the best thing about them was their live singer Hannah Greenwood whose voice outshone Ben’s time and time again, and her little jigs side of stage were absolutely adorable.

Oh and the fact that when they pulled out their cover of Torn by Natalie Imbruglia, George starting singing and her smile lit up the room, now that was a beautiful sight. I just wish they didn’t come across like dicks…

Now for the main act, those hard-working boys from Bedford…Don Broco! Within thirty seconds of them coming on stage and witnessing the scale of the production in place, with three HUGE screens, incredible lighting and stage ramps you would expect to see when heading to an Iron Maiden gig, I had goosebumps and was filled with immense pride. They kick straight in with the thunderous Come Out to LA and the crowd just start dancing, and I don’t just mean a few people here and there I mean the majority! It is beautiful to see, and they deserve this reaction as they have worked for it.

Throughout the set, the boys constantly put on a show, and their showmanship is no more evident than the sometimes choreographed dance moves, the now infamous Cowboy that they have taken on the tour. You can see that they work hard and the grind still exists – that is the reason they are at this point and there is no doubt they will keep moving onwards and upwards to even bigger venues without a doubt. They steam through their set but save the original crowd rouser Thug Workout for the encore, where break off sections of the crowd starts doing push-ups, this is a thing for the band and their fandom, even having a so-called Don Broco Push Up Squad, this is followed up with the nudity invoking T-Shirt Song, where it is a top off and swing it around your head kind of vibe. Talk about ending on a high! What a night, stellar stuff from the Bedford boys, and exceptional efforts put in by all to pull off such a big show! Production, management, promoters, crew and the band themselves deserve massive credit!


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