Photography: Stuart Moulding
  • +
  • + The LaFontaines
  • + Yungblud
O2 Academy 28/4/18


Drums roll as YUNGBLUD literally throws himself onto the stage. An immensely energetic entrance is suitably followed by a boisterous rendition of I Love You, Will You Marry Me to kick off the set. Yungblud’s unique style of alternative rock entices the originally hesitant crowd and soon this animated northern boy has got almost everyone up and dancing. The style and liveliness of the performance imitates the early work of headliners DON BROCO and the energy he himself creates on stage is quickly transferred to the crowd. By now, the audience have stopped trying to figure out what this is and are instead engaging with his genre-bending sound and dynamics.

The meatier energy that follows is easier to swallow and greatly welcomed. The angrier sound that THE LAFONTAINES bring to the stage is both familiar yet refreshing, using heavy drums and heavier guitars to complement the jagged vocals that front man Kerr Okan confidently shows off. A unique cover of Pon De Floor, appropriately renamed Pon De Fonts, ignites the crowd with a wave of energy that is undeniably inviting. The air is thick and muggy from mosh pits opening up in the centre of the crowd; a glimpse into the energy that is yet to come from our headliners.

After a series of set changes, a pink hue covers the audience from the lights shining behind Don Broco frontman Rob Damiani. There are people pushing past me in an attempt to reach the prime mosh pit areas, clearly anticipating what will unfold. With a rose clenched between his teeth, Damiani revels in the scene before him as Pretty, the opening song from their new album Technology, thunders out with characteristically solid Don Broco beats. The laddish, boisterous energy bounces off the student-heavy audience, most notably during the song Good Listener where the line “buy some chilli con carne” is bellowed from absolutely everybody’s mouth. Matt Donnelly’s drumming is, as ever, a stunning fulcrum to Don Broco’s fearsome attack, and highlights the band’s musical flair which can be easily forgotten when songs such as Thug Workoutare whipped out. If the audience needed any reminding of the band’s energetic roots and raw energy, this is where it comes crashing home.

The feeling of community is strong throughout the show and positive vibes are flowing, created by the strong connection the boys have on stage, which imitates those who are here with their own friends in the audience. A group photo is taken of the crowd as we all stand with our sweaty hands up facing the stage, a slightly cheesy yet entirely appropriate way to end the show after all we’ve been through, highlighting the use of technology in many songs from their new album. It’s hard to be disappointed at Don Broco shows because of their sheer energy, not only as a talented band, but as a group of mates appreciating music with the audience. As long as this dynamic stays, I have no doubt that the fans will also.

Ailsa Beetham

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