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There’s a uniquely unbridled energy at an all-ages show. With less and less of the things rolling around nowadays, when they do it’s a guaranteed sell-out. Of course it helps when the headliner happens to be a young local, “I knew them back when” talent like DMA’s and the venue is one of Sydney’s finest, the Enmore Theatre. Pre-curtain, the crowd is awash with vintage Adidas and other greasy op-shop collectables… fans imitate DMA’s imitating Oasis.
Opening with Play It Out, the trio have doubled in size for their live show, the six-piece providing a meatier sound fit for such a grand stage. Gliding seamlessly from opening to Melbourne and Feels Like 37, singer Tommy O’Dell’s voice cuts through the mix with crystal precision. O’Dell’s takes a sort of no-frills approach to his delivery, planted centre stage with hunched shoulders, he’s peering over the edge of what could be a rather dull performance… but of course is most graciously saved by his powerful and immediately identifiable voice. Particularly in songs like Straight Dimensions, O’Dell effortlessly has a wholly captivated audience to whom he sings with grimy romanticism.
As only a band like DMA’s can, they take Beautiful Stranger by Madonna and re-work it in a fashion that could convince you it’s actually off Hills End, whether a Madonna fan or not, it had all of the Enmore gleefully dancing.
Reigning things back in, the extra bandmates quietly made an exit til there were three young men and a room full fans. So We Know was executed with just enough tenderness and dripping with bittersweet nostalgia.
The band are at their best when they’re at their barest. Delete may have been kicking around for a few years now, but the effect is still powerful, that’s the beauty of a truly great song. As things enter anthemic levels, hands shoot up into the air and lyrics are sung with genuine exultation which at times threatens to drown out all else.
Finishing on the high energy of Lay Down served as a reminder that there is life – and great music – after Delete. The playful high energy was back and it felt like a fitting farewell as typically, things were over too soon.