Britpop, Burberry and bloody good tunes marked the DMA’s second visit to Sheffield this year. The cocksure Aussie trio took to the stage of the O2 Academy for the penultimate UK show on the For Now tour.
Erupting with the massive ‘Play It Out’ from their debut Hills End, the crowd launched into a frenzy. In layman’s terms – wasting your £5 pint in the sheer excitement and soaking some poor bloke in front. With the first verse came a state of confusion from a nearby gig-goer, “I thought they were Mancunian?”
It’s clear where frontman Tommy O’Dell’s inspiration lies: the attitude of Oasis, the creativity of Primal Scream, and the commanding presence of the Happy Mondays. There’s no doubt the boys got inspired by their recent stint with Kasabian this Summer. It has certainly helped strengthen their stage presence. This presence was soon summoned – in the 13 second intro of ‘Dawning’, which was the first taste of the spectacular second album For Now.
After seamlessly belting out ‘Melbourne’, the band harnessed their energy into one particular song, ‘Timeless’. The crowd’s solidarity peaked with the opening of the chorus, “Could I make you happy?”A ‘fuck you’ attitude was bounced between the chaotic crowd who were hanging on every syllable, “I’m fine, I’ll wait on another shelf” O’Dell sings.
It was evident that a raw emotion came from a very real place for both O’Dell and backing singer Matt Mason. Screams erupted for ‘Timeless’ and the chorus was sung in unison with the band while O’Dell turned to the stand-in drummer to crack a huge smile. A cathartic moment for all involved.
Although they’ve mastered the rock ‘n’ roll package, DMA’s more emotional and vulnerable side of their music was not communicated on Sunday. ‘Delete’ and the heartstring-tugging, ‘The End’ usually tap into a medium that their fans adore, but Sunday had its issues. It’s difficult for a band usually so intimate to translate to a venue like the O2. DMA’s message got lost in the venue. Although they’re a home-grown band, adaptation is needed to truly control larger crowds. They certainly have the talent, and by God do they have the sound to do so too. .
The band was beckoned back on stage with chants of ‘D-D-DMAS’, for the encore. They closed the set with the top-of-your-lungs-screaming ‘Lay Down’. Johnny Took and Mason on guitars marry into O’Dells attitude-drenched lyrics to flawlessly execute the DMA’s staple.
Sheffield has been spoilt with two visits on the For Now tour in 2018. Anyone who had previously witnessed the trio’s talents however will know that this was not them playing to their potential. The peak of their career isn’t here just yet though either.