Joining throngs of screaming tweens is not normally my idea of fun, but recently I was swept up in the mild hysteria of almost 500 Reece Mastin fans who gathered en masse to see his show at Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre (DRTCC). It was a sell-out performance, and although tickets didn’t sell quite at the record rate of the Peppa Pig show, given the fickleness of the music industry it is somewhat surprising he still has such a strong fan base after a lifetime of three long years. For those who have never followed the TV reality program The X Factor (myself included) the now almost 20-year-old Reece Mastin won the third series of the program in 2011.
Having been at the DRTCC for only nine months, I’m able to count on none of my fingers the numbers of purported heartthrobs we have had perform during this time. The urban dictionary defines heartthrob as: Heartthrob (n): One who is considered pleasing to the senses, often resulting in increased respiration, increased circulation to the face, and a noticeable “pounding” in the chest.
And it seems Reece Mastin’s gap-tooth also works in his favour – Gap Tooth: A space between the two front teeth on the upper row of teeth in a male or females mouth. Having a gap is considered a sex symbol (like beauty marks) and attractive.
So when some extremely devoted fans arrived as early as mid-morning, and others an hour before we opened the doors to the venue, many sporting I love you Reece posters, I figured Reece Mastin was a fairly popular heartthrob. So popular that all 20 VIP packs, complete with a “meet and greet” after the show, and at a cost of $100, sold within 10 minutes of the merchandise stand opening. I also figured I’m pretty lucky my daughter is now in her late teens and there was never a must-see, cannot-miss pop artist who toured here during her childhood. Although we did see the original Hi-5 perform at Apex Oval (now Dubbo Apex Club’s Caltex Park) and I vaguely recall being persuaded to purchase a souvenir t-shirt. The cost is probably relative and Pester Power never goes out of style.
I have seen my fair share of concerts at venues like Allphones Arena, Sydney Entertainment Centre (now Qantas Credit Union Arena) and Wembley Arena and am disappointed to report my own experience as a screaming, dedicated placard wielding fan is limited. I wondered what I had missed out on as the DRTCC foyer filled with a demographic of Reece devotees ranging from seven-17 years (not including supervising parents) who took their seats in record time after the doors opened.
Joining the audience for support act The Kin I needn’t have been concerned their enthusiasm would wane or their voices would give out from screaming. When it comes to pop idols, tweens and teens alike have plenty of stamina – just like the fans of Justin Bieber who camped out for 50 days (that’s correct 50 days!) so they could get a front-row spot at his Rio de Janeiro concert.
Reece Mastin’s popularity is not on that supernova scale, however the electric atmosphere prior to him coming on stage was reminiscent of many concerts I’ve been to. There’s something about the venue shaking boom-boom music louder- than-the-speakers-in-the-souped-up-V8-Commodore hooning along Macquarie Street that gets everyone excited for the performer’s appearance on stage.
The same can be said about proximity. In the instance of this concert, management for the artist allowed the first four rows of fans to vacate their seats to be closer to the stage and potentially touch the hand of Reece Mastin. Whether they ever wash those hands again is their business, but with cameras also allowed fans most certainly now have a stream of footage and photographs to remember their evening.
Without launching into a review of the performance, gauging by the audience’s screaming, cheering, mad clapping and requests for Reece to take his shirt off, I’m confident a good time was had by all, myself included.
Slowly but surely I am adding to my list and experiencing the diversity of shows the DRTCC presents. From popular heartthrobs to Indie quirky pop-folk, to Opera, to plays, to comedy, to tribute artists, to children’s theatre, to excellent local drama we have it all in our own backyard.
My only slight regret to date was had I actually thought Reece Mastin would take his shirt off I may have stayed until the final encore.
Calendar of Events at the DRTCC
October 10 – Goldilocks Rocks! By A J Bailey
October 11 – James Reyne – Acoustic Anthology Tour
October 15 – Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase
October 18 – Little DREAMers
October 18 – DREAM Dance Challenge
October 23 – Both Sides starring David Hobson and Rachael Beck
October 24 – Reception: The Musical
October 31 – Wayne Scott Kermond in Candy Man