I miss live music. I really do. It’s been close to a year since we’ve been able to have a proper gig experience– there have been socially distanced festivals like Norwich’s Wild Fields, and some similarly safe concerts– and it’s completely changed how we consume music. We’ve had to make do with performances from home, gigs live streamed from empty venues, and reliving older events via streaming services. As well as these, we have live albums: albums made up of recordings from live performances.
DMA’S’ Live at Brixton is one such live album, made up of recordings from the Australian rock band’s sold-out show at O2 Academy Brixton from a little under a year ago, on the 6th of March 2020. As well as being one of the highlights of the band’s career, it was the last live performance many fans would see as live music events were cancelled shortly afterwards.
Due to the audience’s presence on the album, and the incredible mixing throughout, I highly recommend listening to this as loud as possible with the best headphones you can find. If done correctly, you’ll find yourself transported back to when live music was still a thing, and begin to sob uncontrollably.
The album opens with a particularly strong performance of the track ‘Feels Like 37,’ which originally released as a single for their self-titled EP. As well as holding the same energy as the original recording, lead singer Tommy O’Dell resembles Liam Gallagher in the best way, and the chorus’ intensity– already explosive on the original track– is multiplied with the crowd’s contribution.
Later comes ‘Silver,’ the most successful track from the band’s 2020 release The Glow. The live performance of the track was also released as a single for Live at Brixton. As a dreamier cut, I was a little sceptical of the track’s suitedness to such a crowd, but I was quickly blown away. The ambience of the O2 Academy melds perfectly with the band’s instrumentation, with O’Dell’s vocals echoing powerfully despite how soft they seem.
The rendition of their debut single ‘Delete’ was another highlight, with the audience’s presence being felt most strongly here, even more so than on ‘Feels Like 37.’
‘Lay Down’ was another track released as a single for the live album, with its explosion of guitar, drumming, and bass towards its conclusion– combined with the ambient cheering of the crowd– creating a stunning highlight.
On the whole, DMA’S Live at Brixton is an excellent showcase of the Australian band’s diverse sound and talent, with its surrounding context– the placement of its release, and its original recording– only serving to strengthen it.
Be sure to check out the live album on the 5th of March, as well as videos of the performance available on YouTube.