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WPGM Reviews: Don Broco Live At First Direct Arena Leeds (In Pictures)

Picture this; you’re seeing your favourite band at small, intimate venues at the start of the year to celebrate the launch of their UK Number 1 album. It’s hot, sweaty, rowdy. Drinks are flowing, pits are opening, and tour dates are appearing out of the blue just because they feel like it.

Now imagine that a year later, only this time in arenas with visuals similar to that of the London Eye and your childhood heroes supporting them on tour. It’s now the band pouring your pints and the pits are the same capacity as the venues you were at just a year earlier. The only disappointing part? It’s just four days long and over before it’s even started.

Not many bands can pull off multiple tours to celebrate the same album but Don Broco have proven that with the right attitude, production and dedication from their fanbase that they can catapult the excitement and importance of their music to even bigger heights long after it was first released.

Amazing Things was initially released on the 22nd of October 2021 and went on to hit UK Number 1 in 2022 following its physical release. The love that got them there was evident throughout the entire arena tour – the biggest of their career to date – and it’s clear to see why fans return time after time.

Taking rock legends Papa Roach on as their support certainly gave them a tough act to follow, with OG fans wading in nostalgia, relishing in the fact that for the next hour they could release all their worries and teenage angst to the soundtrack they grew up on, with some even attending with their own children following in their parents’ footsteps. Papa Roach’s set was a special moment for everyone to cherish in their own way.

They kicked off each night with an explosive performance, setting the pace for shows that only became rowdier night after night – an impressive feat given the sheer energy radiating from the Cardiff crowd on the first day of tour.

Pits opened up close to the barrier and refused to back down until the second the music came to an end, giving back as much energy as they got from the bands themselves and not letting a single second go to waste.

Jumping into the crowd to experience their own set first hand, frontman Jacoby Shaddix set his expectations for not only the rest of the night but the rest of the tour; something the crowd took on as more of a challenge than a request. There’s an unspoken bond between someone and the music that raised them and it was special to witness that first hand.

Following the comedown from such an iconic opening act everyone was prepared for nothing but the best, but if anyone knows how to rile up a crowd from the first note it’s Don Broco. From the minute they graced the stage in a boyband-esque ensemble turning their album cover into a reality they captured the imaginations of everyone in attendance.

It’s no surprise that after making people pour their hearts out to their deepest cuts they had no trouble getting the party going even stronger than before. Despite the energy, no one lost sight of the message or meaning of their songs, with everyone relating to something in one way or another and the boys reciprocating the same care, dedication and love they get from their fans.

Not only did they include newer hits such as “Manchester Super Reds Number 1 Fan” with special guest Jacoby Shaddix who also stayed for a snippet of the much anticipated “Thug Workout” and invited their very own Beckham to the Birmingham show.

But we were also treated to old classics like “Priorities” with visuals replicating the EP artwork, reminiscing over the start of the band and the incredible journey they have been on with many fans for the past decade.

Slowing it down with harder hitting songs like “Nerve” and “Anaheim”, the mood shifted, and the sentimental value of their music became even more apparent. It’s more than just the music at Don Broco shows, with fans travelling from as far as France and Australia for just a glimpse of the action and an unforgettable night with the friends they made through the band.

There is a strong, tangible sense of support and community making the thousands-strong crowds one with the band and crew for a shared experience no one will forget any time soon.

Their fans are a force to be reckoned with; one that reached their own grand finale at Alexandra Palace, London on the final night of tour, breaking the barrier at the 10,000 capacity sold-out show just 1 and a half songs into Don Broco’s set. Dangerous, but impressive to say the least.

As we all know, the boys know how to have a good time and they know their fans do too, so in true Don Broco fashion they created their own pub and pop-up shop (boycotting venue merch cuts) to mark the occasion – The Broco Arms – giving fans the exciting opportunity to say they’ve had a shot with their favourite band or an unusual, accidental mix of double vodka, coke and red bull on tap – a lovely Welsh treat to start the week.

In Birmingham, Don Broco dedicated “Nerve” to their fan Luke who sadly passed away recently and was supposed to attend the show with his wife who still attended in his memory.

Don Broco will be appearing at Reading and Leeds Festival later this year, performing at Leeds festival on August 25, and Reading Festival on August 27.

Words + photography by Kcorra Mia

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