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Live Review: DMA’s, October 2nd @ The Brightside

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on October 3, 2014

Words by James Tait.

Stepping into Brisbane’s The Brightside, it’s not surprising to see it packed out. DMA’s national tour has sold out most venues, the band never more popular after a 2014 that has been nothing short of supersonic. What is surprising is the numbers gathered to see support act, Brisbane’s own The Creases.

Despite some muddy sound issues early the band rip through a couple of new songs: How Long Til I Know one of the standouts, as well as their original hit I Won’t Wait, as jangly and catchy as ever. Obvious crowd favourite Static Lines whips the crowd at the front into a frenzy upon its noisy introduction and the band close things out with the lengthy but nifty Gradient off of their incoming EP of the same name, a very positive sign of things to come. The Creases blend of garage rock shoegaze with pop vocals is a different animal live, co-frontmen/guitarists Joe Agius and Jarrod Mahon’s interweaving vocals giving each song such depth and The Creases are, above all else, fun. Don’t miss these guys at The Blurst of Times in a couple of weeks.

Ducking out quickly for some fresh air, and absolutely everybody out the front/back/I can’t really tell at The Brightside is hyped for Newtown’s DMA’s. I overhear one conversation raving about their last (and first ever) show in Brisbane at the much more intimate Black Bear Lodge and the hope that this show will live up to the quality of that despite a more expanded setting.

As someone who caught both the latter and the former right now, DMA’s do not disappoint. It’s hard to believe just how polished this band is onstage considering this is only their first year of live shows. The band rush out without a word and blast the crowd with upbeat Britpop throwback Feels Like 37, everybody jumping with Johnny Took’s acoustic guitar firmly in the driver’s seat.

DMA’s are an absolute wall of sound live, managing to turn the previously mellowed out EP tracks The Plan and Your Low into pounding, roaring live staples, the rumbling bass of the former felt in the bones of everybody in attendance. Frontman Tommy O’Dell beats at a tambourine occasionally, as if anybody in attendance can even hear it, but he uses it more like a sword, frequently raising it in the air and rallying the crowd into sing-along around him.


The band’s backing musicians, who provided a solid foundation for the three to build off without interfering with their original sound, exit the stage and the band tone things down with their newest single So We Know, gentle strumming, smoke billowing around them and people knowing every single word despite the song only receiving a release less than two weeks ago.

Everybody knows what’s coming next. There isn’t a soul in this crowd who doesn’t know every single word to the brutally honest, electrifying Delete, they wouldn’t be here if they didn’t. The band make it through the first half with a whole bunch of raised lighters in the front row building beautifully until their backing band charge back onstage and they rip through the outro, a powerful crescendo topped with vocal harmonies from O’Dell and guitarist Matt Mason that leave goosebumps. The band closes with the up-tempo Play It Out and the crowd leaves buzzing.

For all the hype behind them, DMA’s are a totally sublime experience live. Have your jibes about them being an Oasis tribute band, there’s no denying the honesty and conviction behind each and every song and the sheer musical talent with which each member has been gifted. Make an effort to catch these guys as soon as you can, they’re only scratching the surface of what will surely be a long career.

Remaining Tour Dates for DMA’s

With special guests The Creases

Fri 3 Oct – Sydney | Oxford Art Factory (18+)

Fri 10 Oct – Adelaide | Rocket Bar (18+)

Sat 11 Oct – Melbourne | Northcote Social Club (18+)

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