Don Broco - Manchester Academy 2
Live Review

Don Broco – Manchester Academy 2

Stepping into Academy 2 is tantamount to stepping into a furnace. After selling out Academy 3 in record time, Don Broco were upgraded to the Union’s bigger venue, and it is packed to its capacity of 900. Tonight is the last night of The Priorities Tour and Manchester is determined to make it the best night yet.

Opening band Hey Vanity are surprisingly comfortable on stage; despite being relatively unknown, the Essex lads take command, and the songs from their as-yet-unreleased EP are catchy enough to capture interest – this tour has given them a whole new fanbase. Their cover version of Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ is nothing short of genius. Everyone in the room knows the words, and everyone in the room gives the band the kind of response a band at the bottom of the bill can only dream of; definitely a band to keep an eye on in 2013.

Mallory Knox, in comparison, are old hands at this game. They’ve been touring for years, playing festivals, and tiny venues, doing their time on the toilet circuit, and finally, they seem to be getting the recognition they’ve deserved all along. Frontman Mikey Chapman is brilliant at what he does; as the band launch into the apt opening ‘Wake Up’, they find they may need to shuffle their setlist, because the crowd needs no encouragement. Every song is sung back, and the response to singles ‘Death Rattle’ and ‘Lighthouse’ is almost deafening. Mallory Knox are on their way up, and when they headline Academy 3 in their own right a month from now; who’s to say that show won’t need an upgrade?

As brilliant as the bill for this show is, Don Broco are the reason the furnace of a venue is full to bursting. Anticipation builds, the air is muggy with it, and all 900 people burst into a roar of approval at that bass riff plays out over their heads. Don Broco launch into an amazing 13-song set and there’s no time to stop and catch your breath, no time to do anything but sing and dance and mosh like there’s no tomorrow. Rob Damiani is the ultimate crowd-pleaser, a born showman, and with his distinctive vocals and unique range, and of course ‘The Walk’, its clear that he can do no wrong. Songs old and new are played; from new single ‘Whole Truth’ to the older, slower sound of crowd favourite ‘Beautiful Morning’, and when ‘Thug Workout’ is played, the Broco tradition of press-ups being done on the venue floor is upheld. ‘Actors’ is a song so well known by the crowd that the band could have stopped playing, safe in the knowledge that the crowd would sing it for them. The encore, though three songs long, is far, far too short. Three songs? Why just three? But all good things must come to an end, and this is a fitting one. “Guys, this is the biggest headline show we’ve ever played,” Rob shouts, and Manchester is proud of the accolade, though we all know Don Broco are destined for bigger things.

Venue: Manchester Academy 2
Support Band: Mallory Knox, Hey Vanity

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