Admittedly, spending my evening inside the Lemon Grove (The Lemmy, the Schlemmy, whatever other derogatory name attached to it) isn’t my idea of a fun time. When my sister pleaded that I go to see Don Broco there with her, it was effectively me being dragged along out of fear for her wrath. I didn’t even know how to pronounce Don Broco properly. I still don’t. I don’t think half the fans did either. But, after watching their set, these thoughts were swiftly put aside – or just knocked out of my head by a few flying feet of crowd-surfers.
Crowd-surfers in the Lemmy? I know, a little strange, but it fully explains the energy of the gig. Getting up nice and close to the barrier, my sister and I could feel the crowd brewing behind us. This atmosphere was simmering during the first support act Symmetry – a pop-punk band from Los Angeles with interesting hairstyles, hair colour and hair flicks. These guys seemed super friendly and genuinely lovely. They had a fab time based on how gracious they were and, although slightly reminding me of some dodgy music taste located in my youth, they stood their ground.
But the mood of the room was definitely bubbling as Arcane Roots came on. Bearded, rough and tumbled, their vocals were immense and their rock vibe on point. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really understand anything that they were singing – it was all quite echo-y. Still, I appreciated the lead’s impressive facial hair, waistcoat, and his acknowledgment that their outfits somewhat resembled the Beatles.
Then Coasts entered the stage. Initially I thought they looked like they could feature in an All Saints clothing shoot with their dark, loose clothing. Their image was the epitome of ‘indie’. Yet, as soon as they started their set, I was transfixed. They had amazing stage presence and moved brilliantly on stage, regardless of the lack of space they had to work with. Vocally, they were catchy but unique, with a distinct tone to the lead’s voice. I was a little bit in love, not going to lie, and I feel the crowd were too.
As they left I realised that the crowd’s ‘love’ for Coasts was nothing compared to the roar that bellowed as Don Broco appeared. Standing on stage blocks and working a slightly unseasonal Hawaiian shirt, Rob Damiani absolutely owned the very juice of the Lemon Grove. The band had clear chemistry between them, whacked out some slick dance moves, and interacted with the crowd brilliantly, with Damiani highfiving all those mental enough to crowd surf over the masses… and then the barriers. Points have to go to security – they definitely had a fight on their hands.
Its really difficult to say a highlight of a gig when you’re so submerged into it – physically and mentally. Yet, the mixture of old and new Broco was a relief for me, and the crowd loved it all. Obviously, the famous Do You Want To Know? was well received, as was ‘Fire’. Why? Because Damiani decided to crowd-surf a little boy throughout the entire song. Standard.
In short, I had an unexpectedly, bloody good time. And I really recommend that folks go and see Broco live – you can’t really explain the intensity of the action without being there yourself.
Check out our recent interview with Don Broco in the PearShaped Annual 2015.