Live Review: DMA's @ Black Cat, 3/31/16

I was ridiculously excited to see DMA's. I had listened to not much other than their long player Hill's End for the entire month of March, and was impatiently awaiting the last day of the month so I could see just what these Aussies were made of. How would their 90s Northwest of England revivalism sound in the flesh? Mighty fine, as it so happens. 

The first few songs experienced some growing pains with the sound in the Black Cat's backstage, the small space having some trouble with the sheer expansiveness of the band's noise. They kicked things off with a fantastic rendition of "Timeless," the song bursting with melody and polish. A slightly slowed version of "Too Soon" followed, but towards the middle of the set things really started to perk up. 

"Melbourne" was initially a bit slower than on record, but the gents really let loose with the thunderous fuzz of the closing outro. "Lay Down" was a triumph, and I had visions dance before me of the band playing this on a big stage at one of those big Euro summer festivals while tens of thousands of happy fans pogo in abandon. They've absolutely got the sound to fill those vast fields and then some. 

During the lazy, hazy sounds of the deliriously wonderful "In The Moment," I was compelled to write that I expect to see them at a bigger venue the next time they come through DC. And I'd be shocked if that didn't come to pass. My favorite song (of the moment), "So We Know," was simply dreamy. The strumming and the vocals were totally on point, and was followed by an equally dandy version of "Delete" that featured a heady cloud of energy at the death. A strong "Play It Out" closed the set, as it closes the record. The jangle was undeniable, and I wrote that "I'm such a fool for these dudes." I am unabashedly and unashamedly drinking the DMA's Kool Aid. 

The band lived up to my expectations, and exceeded them to boot. Their sound is a living tribute to those heady days of the early 90s in places like Liverpool and Manchester, when bands like The Las, Stone Roses, and Inspiral Carpets were making music that got the kids dancing and having a good time. And these Down Under dudes channel that carefree, effortlessly exuberant spirit to perfection. A must-see, unless for some reason you don't like fun.        

[posted 4.24.16]

[photo by Paul Vodra]


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