Bringing their ‘Amazing Things Tour 2023’ to Leeds First Direct Arena, tonight marks one of the dates of Don Broco’s first ever UK headline arena tours but it’s definitely sure to not be their last. With a number of the dates sold out alongside strong supports, the fans are in for a treat tonight.
First support of the evening is Californian rock band Dance Gavin Dance who are returning fairly quickly after their own headline tour back in January. Opening with ‘Chucky vs The Tortoise’ it’s a quick tight set but one that is well received and sets the tone for the evening.
Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise
For the Jeers
We Own the Night
Inspire the Liars
To say it was somewhat of a surprise to hear that legendary rock band Papa Roach were the chief support for this tour would be an understatement to say the least, and that is in no way meaning any disrespect to Don Broco. It’s a tour that maybe would feel more balanced as a possible co-headline but given Don Broco’s recent meteoric rise through the rankings following their first number one album under their belt, you can’t blame them for keeping that headline spot for themselves.
Nevertheless, Papa Roach are a band that is always welcome on UK shores and after a four year hiatus they are back with a bang. ‘Kill The Noise’ is the opening song and from beginning to end, lead singer Jacoby Shaddix takes the crowd on a journey. There are pits of all sorts, moshing, crowd surfing and even a wall of death punctuated in the middle of the set with the emotional lyricism of ‘Scars’ accompanied by a wall of phone torches as the crowd take a brief respite in the otherwise energetic set.
After almost 30 years together, performing is second nature to the band with lead singer Jacoby making it look effortless whether he is front and centre on stage or up close and personal with the fans on the barrier.
There are a few cover tracks spattered through the set and a mix of classic tracks interspersed with some newer music but none resonate with the crowd quite so much as when the lyrics ‘Cut my life into pieces, this is my last resort’ sound out around the arena. The crowd are ecstatic and raise the roof as Papa Roach close their segment of the night on a high!
Kill the Noise
Getting Away With Murder
Blood Brothers/Dead Cell
…To Be Loves
None of the Above
Still D.R.E. (Cover)
Between Angels and Insects
Born for Greatness
Papa Roach are going to be quite the act to follow, but with the trajectory they are currently on Don Broco might just be the perfect option with their insane energy, crazy pits and sometimes questionable dancing. The band open their set standing at the back of the stage as lead singer Rob Damiani holds a red flare aloft and as the lights get brighter, the music gets louder and the crowd goes wilder, the beat of ‘Bruce Willis’ drops and everyone is singing ‘Yippee Ki Yay, Motherfucker’.
As would be expected for an arena tour, the production value of the show has increased tenfold, with a giant circular light spanning the rear of the stage and providing a backdrop of screen projections to accompany the tracks. Rob notes that this is the biggest show the band have played in Leeds and since this tour is only a short 4 stops it’s not a shock when fans state they have travelled from as far afield as Scotland, with Rob lamenting the band have had a little bit of stick from fans in Scotland who are somewhat aggrieved by the lack of a show up there this time around.
During ‘Pretty’, Robs asks for the crowd to start a mosh pit, adding that he wants to see the biggest pit in Broco history. Rob stops the set to organise a wall of death with either side of the room standing back and then running towards each other. However, one thing he asks is for everyone to pick each other up if someone falls.
Jacoby from Papa Roach joins the band on stage for ‘Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan’ and as the band plough through their catalogue of hits spanning four albums suddenly the night is coming to a close. A Don Broco gig can never be over until ‘T-Shirt Song’ has played and as a sea of T-shirts are swung wildly around people’s heads, the evening comes to an end.
The energy of a Don Broco show and Rob’s connection to the crowd does feel a little stilted in the arena setting although as the band gain more experience in this size of venue this is likely to be a short lived phenomenon and the slight disconnect is by no means down to lack of effort, talent or capability of the band.
Come Out to LA
One True Prince
Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan
What You Do to Me