As you may (or may not) know, I was in London for a week with my sister, and we made it a point to hit up a couple of concerts. The second show of our trip was Don Broco at the O2 Brixton Academy.
We saw Don Broco two years ago, and their album, Automatic, was one of our most anticipated releases this year, so we were pretty excited to be seeing them play a even bigger venue.
Here’s what I learned: Brixton isn’t the greatest neighbourhood. We have venues in sketchy parts of town here too, but I wouldn’t recommend hanging out in that area at night (no offense if you happen to live/love Brixton).
The first band was American pop-rockers Symmetry. I really enjoyed them: they had a The Summer Set meets Man Overboard with perhaps a dash of Paradise Fears (mostly because they played a fantastic cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar” in the middle of their set).
The next two band were Arcane Roots and Coasts. I have to admit, I took a catnap during Arcane Roots because I was completely exhausted and could feel a headache coming on, but from what I heard, they sounded like a male-fronted version of Tonight Alive. I honestly can’t remember what Coasts sounded like, but I know I enjoyed them (I was a little bit more awake during their set!).
Finally, Don Broco came out, opening with one of my favourite Automatic tracks, “I Got Sick”, followed by one of my other favourite DB songs, “You Wanna Know”.
One of the best things about Don Broco is how completely ridiculous they are (I say that with affection). Few bands would take to a palm tree-decorated stage in white pants, but they did. Few bands would synchronize their dance moves, but they do. And few bands would have a female string quartet join them on stage for the last few songs, but they sure as heck did.
They were energetic and ecstatic to be on stage (it was their biggest headliner show to date and it was sold out), and were more than ready to have a good time, playing a lot of songs from Automatic, but also a good selection from their 2012 debut, Priorities, and even a throwback to their very early days with the somewhat absurd “Thug Workout” (the video is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen).
It’s okay if you listen to these songs and don’t see the appeal, I get that they’re not for everyone. But there’s something awesome about how unapologetic Don Broco is – how they pretty much do whatever they want but still manage to make audiences scream and dance along. It’s refreshing to see a band with a sense of humour, a band that is aware of how lucky they are and take their music seriously, but don’t let their (money, power) fame get to their head.