JUNNY: [BLANC] Tour, Therapy Nightclub, Crown Casino, Melbourne, September 15th 2023 – K-Pop Live Review

Humble and confident. These are two words that I normally wouldn’t put together, yet they describe JUNNY perfectly.

Born Kim Hyeong-Jun, Korean Canadian K-Pop singer-songwriter JUNNY (주니) made his big break around six years ago, upon learning that EXO’s Luhan wanted to buy one of his songs. After selling his song, the talented artist eventually decided to pack up his bags and move to South Korea to excel his career. Signed with MAUVE Company, this multi-talented musician made his mark in K-Pop not only as a singer, songwriter, and composer but as a personality, and this is how I discovered JUNNY.

Through JUNNY’s work with Dive Studios on podcast ‘Get Real’, I found myself enjoying how open and honest he was with his thoughts and feelings, and my curiosity piqued to see if this rawness correlated with his music. In his first visit to Australia as part of his [BLANC] Tour, brought down under by Box Live, I had the opportunity and pleasure to witness JUNNY’s music firsthand during his Melbourne show on Friday September 15th at Crown Casino’s Therapy venue. Supported by artist KN and JUNNY’s own DJ, DJ Minjeong, when JUNNY finally took to the Melbourne stage, the audience were ready to party.

Whether you were a long-time JUNNY fan, a new one, or were only listening to his music for the first time that night, JUNNY commented almost in disbelief that the Melbourne concert was a sold-out show and thanked everyone in the room for making this achievement possible, from the bottom of his heart. He even admitted that he was so moved, he could cry.

Endearing from the get-go, throughout JUNNY’s concert there was a constant positive energy exchange between the happy artist and his loving fans. It was fun to watch JUNNY interacting with patrons that filled every inch of the room, making sure that everyone was doing okay, and received his love and attention.

With his irresistible charm, JUNNY hyped up the crowd in an instant, encouraging singalongs while consistently spreading positive vibes along the way, even heartfully complimenting the Melbourne audience for their singing with, “That was beautiful! You guys were so good!”.

Although JUNNY has no bad songs, there were some that were crowd favourites which had the audience singing even louder than they already were. These included JUNNY’s song with Chungha ‘Colour Me’ and ‘Obvious’, both from JUNNY’s first studio album ‘BLANC’, ‘FAME’ normally sung with Jay B, and viral sensation ‘Invitation’, a song that fans have been begging JUNNY to release for 3 years after a snippet was revealed on TikTok. JUNNY pointed out that this song single-handedly contributed to him coming down to Australia this year.

Showcasing a captivating stage presence, his smooth dance moves especially during ‘Say’, a surprising skill for impressive raps with ‘Feel That’, while displaying sublime vocal runs with songs such as ‘OH!!’ and ‘By My Side’, JUNNY shined the most when he sung acapella. Performing ‘Mmmh’, a song he penned for EXO’s Kai, JUNNY’s vocals were only accompanied by the voices in Melbourne venue, combining to make a beautiful but brief unrehearsed choir in a moment that felt intimate and finite.

With every song a hit and insatiably catchy, my personal favourites of the night were ‘Not About You’ which was so fun to sing along to, ‘solo’ which felt personal, and the gorgeous ‘Movie’, the latter of which inspired me to see JUNNY live.

With the abundance of hand waves, taking phones from fans to take selfies with them or film videos with the crowd, attempts to master the Aussie accent when saying “I know”, conjuring cheers with staple chant “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, oi, oi!”, and regularly completing hand-shaped hearts with the lucky ones that nabbed the front row, JUNNY exuded a sweet sincerity.

In a hilarious moment, JUNNY even joyfully accepted a fan-made t-shirt with his face on a kangaroo and the words “WELCOME TO MELBOURNE” on them. However, the sweetest moment of the night was when JUNNY and the Melbourne venue took the time to sing in unison ‘Happy Birthday’ and cheer “Hip-hip hooray!” to a mum who decided to attend JUNNY’s concert and accompany her daughter on her own birthday. It was evident that JUNNY was just as happy to see his Melbourne fans as they were to see him, and it was all bliss.

As quickly as it started, soon enough the concert was almost over and JUNNY admitted, “I just don’t want for this night to end”. Making sure to reinstate his gratitude, JUNNY fittingly ended with his song ‘Thank You’ while happy wrapped in Australian flag that fan had gifted to him. JUNNY shouted “FINALLY!” upon receiving it and shared to the audience that he collects flags.

I, and I’m sure many others would agree, JUNNY needs to return to Australia sooner than later. Hopefully this visit isn’t the first and last time he visits our shores. We need more JUNNY time! JUNNY’s performance was so excellent, I can only imagine just how much better he would be in a bigger venue. Upon leaving the venue, a fan confessed to me that they wanted to see JUNNY again and while slowly exiting the venue, proceeded to buy a ticket and book flights on their phone to JUNNY’s final Australian show.

JUNNY’s kindness and honesty clearly flows through everything he does but especially in his music. Aware of where he came from to be in the position he is now, JUNNY appeared humble and confident, grateful to be performing in a sold-out show on the ‘other side of the world’. I loved seeing JUNNY in his element, sharing his music, performing, interacting with fans, converting new ones while doing so, and being exactly where he belongs – on the stage.

JUNNY’s Melbourne concert was performed on Friday the 15th of September at Crown Casino’s Therapy Nightclub as part of his [BLANC] Tour, proudly presented by Box Live. He has one more Australian show at Sydney’s Home The Venue this Sunday the 17th of September.

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Photography by Grant Alexander.

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