7 months a go, I saw Don Broco and Issues were going to be touring the UK in February and I was beyond excited as they are two of my favourite bands. Not only that but the closest show to us at The SSE Arena Wembley, was 2 days after my birthday.. it was fate.
Just a bit of background info on the bands:
Don Broco are a British rock band from Bedford who have been formed since 2008. The band consists of Rob Damiani (lead singer), Simon Delaney (guitar), Tom Doyle (bass) and Matt Donnelly (drums and back up vocals). The band was originally called Don Loco until they found out a rapper was already using this name, after guitarist Simon broke his wrist during a football match, the band decided to use the name Don Broco as a funny insult to Simon as Rob called him “Don Broke-o”. They have featured at Download Festival, Sonisphere, Slam Dunk Festival and have supported big bands like We Are The Ocean, Enter Shikari and Bring Me The Horizon.
Neck Deep are from Wrexham, North Wales and consist of Ben Barlow (vocals), Matt West (guitar), Sam Bowden (bass) and Dani Washington (drums). They have released two EPs, Rain in July and A History of Bad Decisions, debut album Wishful Thinking and studio albums Life’s Not out to Get You and The Peace and the Panic. Neck Deep won a Kerrang! Award for Best British Newcomer 2014 and for best single in 2018, they also won Best British Band at Rock Sound Awards. They have toured with Hacktivist, We Are the in Crowd and Knuckle Puck.
ISSUES are a 4 piece Metalcore band from Atlanta, Georgia, founded in 2012. The band consists of Tyler Carter (lead vocalist), AJ Rebollo (guitar), Skyler Acord (bass), and Josh Manuel (drums). They have released two studio albums, self entitled ISSUES and Headspace, an EP Black Diamonds plus an acoustic version of the EP Diamond Dreams. They have toured with the likes of Attila, Bring Me The Horizon, Young Guns, Of Mice & Men and played festivals such as Slam Dunk, Download and Reading & Leeds Festival.
ISSUES will always be one of my favourite bands to see live, Tyler Carter’s R&B vocals are flawless mixed with the energy from bassist Skyler who was bouncing all over the stage. Opening the set with Hooligans, one of ISSUES stand alone singles, was a perfect choice with it’s DJ-esque music and soft vocals mixed with harsh vocals. During Never Loose Your Flames the crowd turned on their phone torches to sway in time with the soft tune of the song. Mad at Myself was a great closing number, one of their more popular songs with a blend of soft vocals and metal core guitar and drums.
I’ve never properly listened to Neck Deep before this gig, I got out of the Pop Punk scene just before they burst on to it. However I was more than surprised to see how much they owned that stage and how loyal their fan base was to them, singing to every lyric and cheering through every song. They did a wicked cover of Torn by Ednaswap (and Natalie Imbruglia) and even invited a saxaphone player called Saxl Rose (you can find his YouTube channel here), on to the stage to perform with them for a few songs. The best thing about Neck Deep is half way through their set, a charity who I can’t remember the name of (sorry!), came on the stage to talk about mental health. The public speaker of this charity was amazing and really got the crowd pumped up for a good cause, I always appreciate bands that use their fame for something good.
What a band! As soon as Don Broco came on stage, they owned it. Full of energy and life, all band members were grinning from ear to ear to be performing this gig. Opening up with Come Out to LA, then smashing out all the favourites from their album, Technology, like Pretty, The Blues, Everybody and Technology. Half way through the set a familiar cowboy enters the stage, the very cowboy from the Technology music video banging out his signature moves like his life depended on it, he was also joined by a little army of fellow cowboys.
Even with the new album being the main focus of the set list, it was nice to see Don Broco playing oldies like Priorities, Automatic and Money Power Fame with the same enthusiasm as the newer songs. During their encore, the band debuted their newest single, Half Man Half God, while it’s not one of my favourite songs of theirs, you can’t deny how much of a banger it is live and the crowd was living for it. Don Broco also treated us to their first ever single, Thug Workout, which was released a decade ago now. Ending their setlist was T-Shirt Song, played with as much passion and energy as the first song of the night. The crowd was full of shirtless, sweaty gig goers swinging their t-shirts over their head and shouting the lyrics back at Don Broco – what an ending.
This was one hell of a show that Don Broco put on, full of funny surprises, amazing background graphics, lots of lights and one amazing band. Definitely worth checking out these lads when they come to a town near you!
Last Gig review: Icon For Hire
*DISCLAIMER – ALL PHOTOS PROPERTY OF DON BROCO & TOM PULLEN*