Gig Review: DMA'S at The Crescent

04/07/2023

Niamh Kitson (she/her) reviews DMA'S gig at The Crescent as part of the band's How Many Dreams? UK Record Store Tour

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By Niamh Kitson

When DMA’S announce an intimate tour, it is not an opportunity to be missed. After playing a range of huge iconic venues, from the 10,250 capacity Alexandra Palace to the 12,500 capacity OVO Arena Wembley, this was the chance for fans to be up close and personal with the band. I was lucky enough to catch their sell out gig at the Crescent Community Venue in York on the 4th  June 2023. Shortly after doors opened, I, alongside the other excited 300 ticket holders, filed into the small room, eager to get close to the stage.

The first song was ‘Feels Like 37’, a tune from the band’s first EP, released in 2015. This was testament to the band’s determination to play songs from across the years during this intimate Record Store Tour, despite now having four LPs to choose from. It was fitting, then, that the next song was ‘Olympia’, from DMA’S recent release How Many Dreams?  Despite only being released in December 2022, the audience were in fine voice for this song, singing along to the band.

An obvious perk to an intimate gig is the increased audience interaction. After DMA’S played the anthemic ‘Silver’, the crowd erupted into chants of “Yorkshire”. Guitarist Johnny Took shared an anecdote of thinking that the audience was chanting “You’re sh*t” the first time that the band heard the chant, which the audience responded to by chanting “Yorkshire” more and more throughout the gig. Lead singer Tommy O’Dell also signed CDs between songs and gave out setlists at the end of the show.

Before playing the iconic ‘Delete’, O’Dell told the audience “This one’s a real special one for us. You probably know why”. The audience’s reaction to the introduction to the song made it clear it was special for them too. In fact, the audience reacted so well to the song, that he then remarked after that it was “pretty rowdy for a Sunday”. The audience then lifted to another level for ‘Believe’, the band’s famous Cher cover, which amassed 12 million views on Triple J’s ‘Like a Version’. It sounds beautiful live: the mellow rhythm highlighting the sadness that lingers behind the lyrics of the original upbeat pop tune.

Finally, it was time for the encore. The first song was ‘The Switch’.  This was a treat for the crowd; ‘The Switch’ is not usually on the setlist, emphasising the band’s increased freedom to play whatever they seemed fit on the Record Store Tour. Next, came another song from Hills End: ‘Lay Down’. It is impossible not to sing along to ‘Lay Down’, as the song bursts into the chorus. The audience were deafeningly loud, despite their small numbers.

The gig finished with ‘Everybody’s Saying Thursday’s The Weekend’, a song which encapsulates the spirit of How Many Dreams?, but still sounds amazing when played in a ‘stripped back’ way. The short but sweet set showcased DMA’S versatility, appealing to old fans and new fans alike. After the gig, the crowd erupted into applause, excited by what they had seen. As we filed out of the venue, there was a real feel-good atmosphere: DMA’S were mega and The Crescent is a great venue for intimate gigs like this one.