The yeehaw agenda was alive and well during Don Broco’s headliner at The Nile last week. Showgoers decked in cowboy regalia meandered through the crowd and one bold fan passed chaps and sunglasses up to singer Rob Damiani- only one small part of an insane night.
Up and coming group Selfish Things opened the tour with a brief set heavy with emotions. Attendees were still filing in, but fans in the front row turned their faces to singer Alex Biro as he alternated between guitar and piano during the heartfelt set.
Chicago pop punk group Sleep On It pumped up the energy in the audience during their time onstage. The fun five-piece played plenty of old songs, but celebrated the release of their newest album by adding new tunes into their setlist. Their vibes were infectious and got the crowd even more warmed up as the night went on.
Sleep On It was immediately followed by the British punks in Trash Boat. As the most hardcore-influenced band on the bill, their sound was slightly out of place from the other openers, but the mosh pit started regardless. Songs like “Controlled Burn” and “Old Soul” showed off the musical zeal of the group, making plenty of new fans by the end of their set.
Don Broco isn’t the biggest name in rock yet, but based on their set at The Nile, they absolutely should be. Drawing elements of rock, punk and hardcore (while throwing in plenty of quirky effects) make them uncommon in today’s scene. The band has built a cult-like following over the years, making the journey across the pond to rock out with their rabid American fanbase.
With so many bangers under their collective belt, Don Broco opened with “Pretty”straight into “Stay Ignorant” from their latest album. The 400-odd kids in the room turned into one mass of movement, straining towards the stage to be closer to the band. Damiani, dressed to impress in his signature offbeat style, was all smiles as he connected with the excitable crowd. Guitarist Simon Delaney was a force all his own, high kicking during his shredding guitar parts, while bassist Tom Doyle kept the backbone strong and drummer Mat Donnelly provided killer backup vocals as well.
Don Broco never slowed down, adding new single “Action” into the set- minus its plethora of guest vocal features. The crowdsurfing reached new heights on the stomping, driving “Greatness” and the band even took it back for the underrated “Priorities”.
They closed their regular set with “Everybody”, exiting to a wall of cheers and adoration. Within moments, most of the audience had their shirts off, whipping them around their heads for and encore of “Come Out to LA” and “T-Shirt Song”.
Trying to describe Don Broco to anyone who’s never heard their music or experienced the madness of their live show remains impossible, as these eccentric, genre-bending Brits continue to defy and massively exceed logic and expectation. One thing’s for sure- we can’t wait to have them back in America for their next epic headlining tour.
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel