Live Review: DMA’s // Sheffield – O2 Academy

Australian three-man band DMA’s sent ROCK waves through the city of Sheffield on Sunday night at the O2 Academy, as part of their 2018 tour.

They opened their sensational performance with the harmonious song ‘Play It Out’ from their very successful album Hills End released in 2016, which made it to #13 in the UK album chart. Impressive. This got the crowd singing the belt-out lyrics “You got to play it out / I’m stuck inside of you / You’re stuck inside of me.” Not to mention an array finger pointing at the stage.

Following the success of their previous album in 2016, they released their second and latest album For Now, in April this year. The album successfully took the indie rock music scene by storm; nominated for three awards at the ARIA Music Awards in 2018; Best Group, Best Rock Album and Best Independent Release. Unfortunately, no deserving wins.

They superbly performed ‘Dawning’ from For Now and began to inject higher energy into the venue. Throughout the gig, they performed much of their new material, such as ‘Time and Money’, ‘The End’ and ‘In The Air’. Being relatively new tracks and despite half of the audience not knowing all the lyrics, Sydney’s DMA’S radiated an attractive stage presence throughout these performances, having the whole crowd’s eyes fixated to them on stage. Not to mention the bar staff who had a boogie, whilst pulling pint after pint of Peroni.

Kirsten, 20, a Student at Sheffield Hallam University attended the gig on Sunday, and said: “The crowd was quieter and less rowdy than expected but the atmosphere picked up as the gig went on, they had good stage presence.”

The DMA’S sublime and nostalgic brit-indie sound has captured the attention of the UK’s indie/rock music fans over the last few years. Not surprising as their tour sold out all over the UK, but surprising as they are Aussie!

The talented trio is comprised of singers Tom O’Dell, Matt Mason and Johnny Took, who formed as a band in 2012. Their popularity in the indie/rock music scene soared with their hit EP ‘Delete’ released in 2014, of which they performed incredibly and un-stereotypically half way through their set, a somewhat wonderful surprise for the audience.

Sheffield’s O2 Academy was full to the brim as many northern gig-goers attended the venue. The audience remained defiantly full of energy when singing, however, the absence of moshing and drink throwing made the audience seem quite tame in comparison to other indie gigs. Not such a bad thing – as nobody went home with piss in their hair. Everyone was just enjoying the music.

Each member of DMA’S has an essential role to play, especially throughout their live performances. They exuded their talent well and sounded transcendent live, truly sounding the same live as they do on their recorded and edited tracks.

Charlie, 21, travelled all the way from Bristol to attend the gig and enjoyed their performance: “The vocals sounded just as good live as they did on their records, there wasn’t a single member of the crowd not singing along to every word,” he says.

The band certainly were a good distraction from that Sunday night sunken feeling, dreading the Monday morning ahead. It was an entertaining end to the week and a perfect start to a new one.

One track that stood out and electrified the venue was the track ‘Lay Down’, performed as part of their encore and a fitting conclusion to their performance. The whole venue harmoniously sang along to this single from their first album Hills End, and by this point, the drunk crowd enjoyed the end of the set before stumbling into the typical UK Baltic temperature outside, or into an Uber home.

Words by Lauren Evans-Joyner

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