DMA’s // The Florentinas // Live Review // The Mandela Hall // Belfast

The bright nights are here, Belfast is cloaked in the sunshine and all is good, actually, all is better than good as Aussie upstarts DMA’s are in town tonight baptising the newly opened Mandela Hall, the venue attached to Queens University’s Students Union and it is my first time back here since it has reopened. Gone are the upper tiers surrounding the old square-shaped room, the dingy basement vibe is gone and now we have a wood-clad room with a big ass bar running the length inside the venue and a sizeable room that will pack a hefty number should it be required to do so.

 DMA’s have in tow Bangor, Northern Irelands own, The Florentinas who are just off the back of a headline performance at Belfast’s Empire Music Hall and with another Irish date lined up in Dublin the future is indeed bright for these indie-rockers. A band who have been making waves on the local scene and further afield for a few years now are gathering serious momentum and it’ll be great to catch them in the flesh at a venue of this stature. Roll on 8 pm to see what they’re all about!

Right from the start these guys bring a high-intensity energy, banging out highly addictive tunes that immediately capture the imagination of the Belfast crowd. Frontman Paddy body, playing a Kithara Shell Pink Tele with P90’s (a fine local luthier) looks all the part the rockstar as he kills the role of angst frontman thrashing that guitar as he takes. A breath once in a while from the spitfire lyrics. The guys get the opportunity to stretch their proverbial legs testing their latest single ‘Miami’ which was only released yesterday I believe and it fills the room with its huge anthemic chorus, the crowd bobbing along in unison with approval. You can tell by the quality of the songwriting that these guys will go far, the northern Irish charm and that indie rock sound that the local bands produce which seems to resonate so well with audiences far and wide, The Florentinas are indeed ones to keep an eye on, carrying the ‘Fleg’ loud and proud for Norn Iron!



Time to catch my breath while the roadies turn around the stage for tonight’s headliners, I am looking forward to finally experiencing DMA’s in the flesh.

The Australian music scene has consistently been a breeding ground for remarkable talent, and one band that has been making waves in recent years is none other than DMA’s. With their infectious indie-rock sound and undeniable stage presence, DMA’s have been captivating audiences around the world. On their recent UK tour, the band made a triumphant stop at Belfast’s newly rebuilt Mandela Hall, delivering a performance that left fans craving for more.

A Legendary Venue Reborn:

Mandela Hall, located within Queen’s University Belfast, has long been a cherished institution in the city’s live music scene. After undergoing an extensive renovation, the iconic venue reopened its doors to host The DMA’S, marking a momentous occasion for both the band and their loyal fans. The revitalized Mandela Hall promised an unforgettable experience, blending its historical significance with modern amenities to create a space perfectly suited for live music.

As anticipation filled the air, DMA’S took the stage, greeted by an eruption of cheers and applause. Opening with a barrage of crowd-pleasing anthems, the band immediately set the tone for the evening, their energetic presence filling every corner of the room. Tommy O’Dell’s distinctive vocals soared through the venue, encapsulating the essence of their studio recordings while adding a raw and unfiltered edge that can only be experienced live.

With a setlist that seamlessly blended their hits from new and old,  DMA’S transported the Belfast crowd into a realm of indie-rock euphoria.  Laying down fan-favourites they Ignited a frenetic energy, with the crowd passionately singing along to every word. The band’s ability to strike a delicate balance between anthemic choruses and introspective, heartfelt ballads was a testament to their versatility and songwriting prowess.

 DMA’S, comprising Tommy O’Dell, Matt Mason, and Johnny Took, exhibited an undeniable camaraderie on stage, feeding off each other’s energy and effortlessly connecting with the audience. Their infectious enthusiasm was contagious, leaving no one in the venue untouched by the band’s magnetic aura. The chemistry between band members was palpable, as they seamlessly transitioned from one song to the next, maintaining an unwavering momentum that had the crowd in a state of perpetual euphoria.

Beyond the music, DMA’S forged a profound connection with their Belfast fans, creating an intimate atmosphere in the newly rebuilt Mandela Hall. Tommy O’Dell, the band’s frontman, took moments between songs to express his gratitude for the unwavering support and the warm reception they received. These interactions brought the band closer to their audience, transforming the concert into a shared experience, with fans feeling seen and appreciated.

 DMA’S commitment to delivering an unforgettable live experience was evident in every aspect of the performance. The staging, lighting, and visuals complemented the band’s sound, elevating the overall atmosphere and amplifying the emotional impact of their music. Each element of the production was thoughtfully crafted to create a multisensory journey that left a lasting impression on everyone in attendance.

DMA’S live performance at Belfast’s newly rebuilt Mandela Hall was a night to remember. The band’s unique blend of indie-rock sensibilities and unbridled passion filled the venue, leaving their devoted fans yearning for more. Through their captivating stage presence, DMA’S showcased their ability to create an electric atmosphere, forging a deep connection with their audience. As they continue to conquer stages around the world, one thing is certain: DMA’S are a force to be reckoned with, and their live shows are an experience that no music lover should miss.


Photography: Mark McGrogan

@flashartmark #flashartmark


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