Rock Stars, Up Close


Rock Stars, Up Close

by Shona Husk

Something amazing happened last week. I usually win my money back on a scratchy, but I don’t win big. So when @TweetPerth ran a competition to win tickets and a meet and greet with Def Leppard, I retweeted without holding my breath.

When I was told I’d won, I was astounded.

I texted hubby—apparently his work colleagues had never seen him so excited. Hubby is just a bit of a Def Leppard fan.

After a mad dash for babysitting, hubby and I trekked off to Red Hill Amphitheatre (I have no idea how we would have found the venue pre-smart phone days).

Red Hill

We had to be there super early for the meet and greet, so we got the bonus of seeing all the sound checks. 

Live (yay!) and Baby Animals (also yay!) were the support acts. I may have let out a whoop at the end of Live’s sound check song and I got a fist pump in return.


The venue was really nice and serene as we and the other lucky few had the venue to ourselves, then we watched the gates open, and I swear it was like the zombie apocalypse as people rushed in to get a good spot near the stage. Being there super early we had that sorted.

Baby Animals and Live were great. I loved Baby Animals when I was in high school and hadn’t seen Live in years, so I was pretty excited to be there.

baby animals

Def Leppard were awesome—I was surprised how many words I remembered. Can’t remember what I did last week, songs from 20 years ago, no worries….


But what about the meet and greet you ask?

Well that is an interesting story.

The meet and greet was before the concert and we all lined up (at a rough guess about 40 of us, including 9 competition winners). The competition winners were quickly culled from the herd and moved to the back. Why? So we didn’t accidentally get given a VIP tote bag with exclusive Def Leppard VIP merchandise (autographed photo, drum sticks and guitar picks), and a commemorative Def Leppard VIP laminate & lanyard. When someone asked why we weren’t getting the gift, the straight up answer from the host was because we hadn’t paid for the ticket. As you can imagine there was grumblings about being second class citizens and not being worthy.

Although it was disappointing to be treated differently, meeting the band was still super exciting (hubby can cross that off his bucket list). They were charming and we got a picture taken with them. I’m sure they didn’t know a competition winner from a paying fan. And after talking with the other winners, most of them were fans who couldn’t afford the price of the meet and greet.

Here’s the sad part. Afterward as we all grabbed a drink and our good spot close to the stage, you know what the winners were talking about—how they hadn’t received the gift bag and had no memento of the meet and greet except the photo with the band.

That was a lesson in public relations. You don’t want your fans talking like that. You want them hyped about meeting the band and talking about how awesome it was. And it was awesome, one of things that hubby and I could have never done if not for the win. It would have left a sweeter taste if they had poured the same sugar on the winners (too much of a pun?) You all smiled. I know you did 😉

So a big thank you to @TweetPerthfor the tickets!

For Baby Animals for opening a rocking night.

Live for being awesome—and the new singer, Chris Shinn who was super friendly with the crowd.

Def Leppard for taking to time to meet the fans before the show and for rounding out a great night out.


Real rock stars are awesome – but fictional rock bands need your love too. For some fantastic Australian rock stories, check out Shona’s Face the Music series. The series kicks off with Out of Rhythm.


They might be one of the hottest up-and-coming bands in Australia, but the members of Selling the Sun have a lot to learn about life, love, sex, and each other.

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