The Brightside, Brisbane QLD
December 7th, 2017
Support: Storm The Sky and The Comfort
When Don Broco is mentioned in Australia, unfortunately, the majority of ears will be foreign to the name and sound. They’re a, dare I say, boy band style group, that have discovered a magical formula of appealing beyond the small party of girls heart throbbing over lead singer, Rob Damiani. The crowd was this zesty combination of fan-girls, dude-bros, high-nosed music analysers, mental mosh-pit maniacs and average people; but we all had an absolute ripper time. Seeing these guys at a festival would be a treat as the crowd involvement was very successful and enjoyable. Opening for Don Broco were Brisbane grown alternative rockers, The Comfort.
As a musician, I’ll confirm that it can be rough to play as the opening act; people are saving themselves for the following bands, venue patrons are still arriving and the blood-alcohol percentage of the crowd isn’t yet favouring the performers. But, excuses don’t make a stationary performer and weak song transition banter any more interesting. Bass player and second vocalist, Dominic Harper, has the right idea with a barrage of head banging, twists, turns and heart-touching staunch faces. The other boys put on a bit of a show but need to catch up! Visual performance aside, the musical performance was first class. Featuring song such as ‘Roses’, ‘Dysphasia’ and ‘Love and Other Drugs,’ they’ve absolutely got the potential to get the crowd energised. They base their sound around spacey verses, loud, distorted and huge choruses with a complimentary contrast between the higher voice of Dominic and aggression of Liam Holmes (guitar, vocals). Imagine Catfish and the Bottlemen went to a heavy metal workshop for a month; that’s The Comfort. It’d be great to see these guys headline a smaller venue!
Catch the eye with a stripy gown over an artsy long-sleeved golden shirt? That must have been fucking hot, but it sure as hell got my attention; good call William Jarratt (lead vocals). Storm the Sky have grabbed originality and offered it a firm massage for their most recent album; Sin Will Find You (2016). After a well performed and enjoyable, yet safe Aussie metal-core album in 2015 (Permanence), they’ve stepped up their game and found a new electronic/alternative-rock/anthem style. Although the relatively long build ups in most songs can be a bit of a buzz-kill in a concert, the guys jumped up and around to compensate. It’s super nice to see performers live triggering samples too instead of being backing-track jockeys; the musical immersion is much more satisfying. In the right sort of environment these guys could elevate a night of music to a new level, but maybe the crowd selection wasn’t quite the right mix for a pre-Don Broco performance. Nevertheless, I see these guys growing further as an Aussie band with the style of music they’re composing.
Don Broco are going to really kick off in Australia now that they’ve made their debut appearance after being together for 8 years, surely. We had a buffet of new material dished out to us as, since Automatic (2015), the band have released 5 singles in anticipation for their album coming around the corner in 2018, Technology.
The performance kicks off straight into the perfect build ‘Everybody’ has been composed with, plus it’s the song with a cowbell… no need to mention that these guys have serious style. Rob Damiani (lead vocals) has crafted a confident and energetic presence on stage and it feeds deep into the crowd; everyone loves it. A series of bangers from Automatic then came ploughing through the fingers and mouths of our boys from Bedford. If you’re new to the band, by far the most fantastic thing about them is they don’t have any slow and disappointing songs composed. Only write anthemic, groovy riffs with catchy, fun, sing-along melodies then no-one gets bored, right? Formula confirmed; it works.
Sad times came when we realised none of the merchandise had arrived at the concert due to a shipping issue.
“So we’ve decided when we’re finished the tour, Australia is going to get free shipping!”
The crowd goes wild.
Rob received a light-hearted boo, but the majority of the crowd laughed the teasing joke off.
Around halfway through the concert a mosh-pit erupts and sets the crowd energy for the rest of the show. We had circle pits, fans jumping like maniacs, general chaos, and even a wall of death. It’s hard not to join in with the beefier riffs in songs like ‘Pretty,’ ‘Technology’ and ‘Everybody.’ An honourable mention needs to go towards Matt Donnelly (drums) for smashing all of the high backing vocals recorded whilst beating away at his kit. The newer songs have also integrated a few more sampled sounds and keys but really do avoid sounding electronic at all, so don’t get deterred by touring keys player and backing vocalist, Adam Marc; he grooves hard and adds a lot of positive energy to the sound. The encore of ‘Thug Workout’ arrives to the crowd after a lengthy chant of suggesting another tune. It’s the first song Don Broco wrote together so if you want to hear it, you’ll have to look past Spotify and get yourself to a gig. If I mention the song was heavily inspired by System of a Down, it speaks for itself. The raucous riffs sent everyone into a pit of spaghetti and even conjured an attempt of the infamous Don Broco push-up tradition. ‘Thug Workout’ was the tune that sparked a wall of death and ended the concert on an incredibly strong note for a debut appearance.
Australia will see more of Don Broco, so do yourself a favour and get into them for their next appearance.
You Wanna Know
Money Power Fame
What You Do to Me
I Got Sick
Review by Kurt Boldy
Revisit Kurt’s chat with Don Broco frontman Rob Damiani here
Don Broco – East Coast Australian Tour
Friday 8 December – Corner Hotel, Melbourne – 18+
Sunday 10 December – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney – 18+