Emma Dilemma Whammy Bar July 8, 2022 (Concert Review)

Emma Dilemma brought her Spit tour to Auckland’s Whammy Bar, but only just barely.

It seems this past Monday Emma’s drummer, Matt Andrews, revealed that he had contracted Covid and had to drop out of the tour. With shows in Wellington, Auckland and Tauranga looming later in the week, it didn’t look good. But then, fellow Christchurch artist, and friend of Emma, Jed Parsons spoke up and volunteered to give it whirl. Tuesday was spent learning the 11 songs that make up Spit and by Saturday they (Emma, Moses Robbins and Jed Parsons) were a tight little unit.

Even the opening acts had a bit of drama. Auckland trio Violet Highway came out rocking at full force, but Jupita’s Julia Morris was nursing a lost voice and a broken hand. After three hours of pre-gig silence, Julia could sing alright, but the badged hand (from goal keeping) kept her from playing guitar…although she managed to strum a specially tuned guitar for her solo number, I Want You Back.

But the Friday night crowd at Whammy was blissfully unaware of the back stage dramas and when Violet Highway hit the stage just after 9pm, all looked and sounded right with the world…or at least this tiny bit of it.

Violet Highway

Violet Highway is Jacqui Munro (guitars & vocals), Joel Leong (bass) and Sam Boyce-Lewis (drums) and they came out swinging, sounding very much like, what used to call “blues-rock”, reminding me of early ZZ Top, Canned Heat and maybe some AC/DC.

Their cover of Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out was well received and set the tone for Jacqui’s best vocal of the night, the set-closing Sick Of Waiting.


JupitaJupita (Julia Morris & Co) features a lighter, pop-rock sound with a hint of disco thrown in. With a fragile voice, Julia kept it short and sharp, opening with the dancy Keeping Me Up and the crowd-pleasing Anxiety before paying tribute to her fave film, Legally Blonde by performing Perfect Day from the 2001 soundtrack. My favourite was Stop which put me in a Marcy Playground state of mind…their 1997 hit Sex And Candy, to be exact.

The 25 minute set closed with UR So Annoying a new tune that will be released next Friday.

Emma Dilemma

Emma Dilemma released her new album, Spit, July 1st after postponing it for almost a year do to, you know…

Anyway, she and her band (the aforementioned Moses and Jed) finally got to let loose and, most appropriately, Emma announced that she found a “glob of spit” on the mic after opening with Reach Out…surely, a sign from the gods that things were finally going well.

And they did.

Emma & co. rocked through all 11 tracks from Spit in running order, featuring plenty of entertaining banter between songs. The crowd was into it and the sound was perfect. So despite all the odds, rock & roll was the winner on the night.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Leonie Moreland:

Emma Dilemma:


Violet Highway:

Emma Dilemma setlist:

  1. Reach Out
  2. Bounce
  3. Cooperate
  4. New Attraction
  5. Other Girls
  6. We Should Give A Shit
  7. Idiot
  8. I Want It
  9. Breeders
  10. Vulnerability
  11. Temporary You