Concert Review: Ones To Watch Showcase – Everybodys, Imperial House May 5, 2021

It was a convivial atmosphere at Everybody’s on Fort Lane in downtown Auckland as invited guests ate and drank while waiting for the music to begin. Sponsored by Live Nation and Vodafone, this is the third artist showcase in their Ones To Watch series.

On display: Daily J, Juno Is and Balu Brigada.

Juno Is

Ones to Watch - Juno IsThings got underway just after 6pm as Dunedin-based Juno Is took the stage. This Mackenzie Hollebon led act was a last minute replacement for Molly Payton, who I was particularly keen to see.

Mackenzie and her band sounded good, but not spectacular. Good sounds, but minimal stage presence and interaction with the audience, despite her cross-dressing guitarist.

The musical highlight of their 25 minute set was It’s No Groover, followed by a new song that seemed punchier than the others.

Daily J

Ones to Watch - Daily JNext up… Daily J. We know these guys as three of the four visited The 13th Floor for a video session last November when releasing their album Venus Ate Mars. (You can watch that here.)

The quartet began with a dreamy Left Me Like Summer, followed by Sunshine Hides, then Rocket and Finally Free Holiday, all from the album.

There was time for one more tune but they were asked to re-play Left Me Like Summer as there had been technical issues with the sound. A shame as I would have liked  to have heard more.

Again, the band needs to work on their stage presence and talk to the audience from time to time.

Balu Brigada

Ones to Watch - Balu BrigadaFinally we heard from Balu Brigada, who are brothers Henry and Pierre Beasley. That’s Henry on lead vocals and guitar and Pierre on bass and backing vocals. There was also “Jimmy” on drums.

The trio immediately raised the energy level of the room with their breezy, good timey songs. I was impressed with Pierre’s strong bass lines.

Their 20 minute set zipped right along and before you know it, it was all over.

Thanks Live Nation and Vodafone… now when can I see Molly Payton?

Marty Duda

Check out Ones to Watch HERE.

Click an icon to view a full size gallery of each band.

Juno Is
Daily J
Balu Brigada