Don Broco // Papa Roach // Dance Gavin Dance // Live Review // The First Direct Arena // Leeds
Since announcing their arena tour last year, I’ve been beyond excited to see Don Broco live again and with Papa Roach as special guest, it only makes this show 100x better. Both bands can easily sell out at O2-style venues so seeing them both on a bigger stage will be incredible!
As we arrive, for the early start time, the arena is already filling up with fans ready to rock out. Supporting this tour are Dance Gavin Dance who had a successful headlining tour earlier this year. There’s clearly plenty of fans of these guys here tonight as a huge cheer erupts from the crowd as the band takes to the stage. Starting things off with “Chucky vs The Tortoise” the band’s unique blend of clean and screaming vocals drastically contrast each other. The screaming vocals also have a sharp contrast against the upbeat and funky riffs of the tracks. The crowd have taken well to these guys and is soon clapping along during the intro to “Summertime Gladness”. For a supporting band, they are a great warm-up to both the heaviness of Papa Roach and the party feel of Don Broco.
It seems like forever ago since I last saw Papa Roach on tour back in 2019 and I’m so ready to be blown away by these guys once more. As smoke fills the stage and arena, there’s a buzz in the air as the whole room sings along to Linkin Parks “In The End”. It’s quickly time for the lights to go down and the chaos begins. As Jacoby Shaddix bounces onto the stage and kick-starts the set with “Kill The Noise” the crowd are quick to join in headbanging and singing along. By the time the second song hits with “Getting away with Murder” a pit opens up and with the third song “Help”, body’s are soon making their way over the crowd towards the stage and over the barrier. It may have been a few years since these guys have played but this crowd hasn’t forgotten how to rock out at a Papa Roach show! Shaddix has the crowd responding to every instruction as a sea of arms and heads bang in time to the music and quickly part for a wall of death at his command. He knows how to interact with the fans making sure everyone from the front to the seats at the back feel involved with the show. And those fans in standing are throwing everything from circle pits to rowing as the band do an epic cover of “Firestarter”. Despite being on a larger stage Shaddix still jumps down to the barrier to get close and personal with the front row during “To be Loved” dodging the crowd surfers along the way. The chaos does stop though as the band plays “Scars” and the crowd sings every single word. Jacoby quickly brings the energy back up with some call and response before the band breaks into “No Apologies”. Through the whole set the rest of the band stand back providing a steady beat and rhythm to every song. As the set comes to an end however they take their moment in the spotlight quite literally as they play the intro to “Born For Greatness”. After such an energetic song there can only be “Last Resort” to end the set. Year on year, Papa Roach show that they are a force to be reckoned with on stage and I only hope its not another 4 years before they hit the UK again to play!
As the time approaches for Don Broco to take to the stage, my excitement hasn’t dropped and it seems the crowd are ready to keep going for this set. The band take to the stage in darkness and as the intro track plays each member of the band is back lit in time to the music. As a projected image of pink smoke moves up the stage, Rob Damiani warns the crowd he wants to see him go wild when the beat drops. They absolutely comply as the band hit it with “Bruce Willis” and go completely wild. From this point on l, neither the band or the crowd stop moving. You know it’s gonna be a hell of a show when there’s a sing along challenge in the first song. As the band head into “Gumshield” the entire crowd moves as one and quickly a few puts open resulting in a massive circle pit with a huge row boat in the
centre! It’s not all new songs though as the guys throw it back to “Technology”. Damiani takes a breather after this to reminisce with the crowd about some of their favourite shows in Leeds over the last few years. There’s also a special shout out to some fans who had recently seen these guys on tour in Amsterdam. This kind of interaction is that of a band who truly care and appreciate their fans. To show much this means to the fans, they quickly go wild for “UBER” and “Come Out to LA”. Throughout all of this and the whole show, the stage is incredibly lit with a huge circular lighting rig and a huge backdrop which goes from floor to ceiling projecting video of tje band as they play along with corresponding images to the songs. As the set continues, we learn that people in the crowd have travelled from as far as Glasgow to the show as well as Manchester. It about time for the guys to play “Manchester Super Reds No1 Fan” and there’s a special element to this live performance of the song as Jacoby Shaddix returns to the stage to join in on this one. After that it’s time to go back to some older songs with “Automatic” and “What you do to Me ” which has the crowd jumping so hard that the floor is shaking. This energy continues into “Action”, after which Damiani takes a moment to make sure everyone is okay as there’s a wave that someone needs help. As its been 10 years since the release of their first album, the band play the title track “Priorities” and the crowd loudly sing it back to them enjoying this throwback. With the set being non stop energy so far, there is time for a breather with “Anaheim ” before getting straight back into it with “Everybody”. XX jumps down from the stage and spends some time on the barrier with the crowd. As the night is drawing to close there’s time for “Superlove” and “Nerve”. As the band leaves the stage, we all know it can’t be over just yet!! As the crowd breaks into singing “Hey Baby” the band quickly return to the stage for 2 last songs starting with . But there’s only one way to end a Don Broco show and that’s to swing your top in the air to “The T Shirt Song”! It’s been a crazy and sweaty show but this band has proven that they have the energy and showmanship to put on an incredible arena show and have what it takes to fill a large stage!