Review: Reece Mastin in Wellington

Reece Mastin
TSB Arena
12 April 2012
Reviewed by Michelle Duff

If you haven't heard it, the sound of thousands of pre-teen girls screaming is hard to explain.

A swarm of candy-floss coated bees, maybe. The noise a million lip balms might make being twisted open.

"It's a terror I will live with forever," my overwhelmed partner said, as we left Reece Mastin's Wellington gig last night.

If you haven't heard, Reece Mastin is pretty hot right now. The 17-year-old winner of X-Factor Australia has a massive following down under, with his debut song - the irrefutably catchy Good Night - and ensuing self-titled album topping the charts in New Zealand and Australia.

An appearance in Auckland's Sylvia Park Mall had to be cancelled in February, after waiting girls fainted in the overcrowded conditions. That he's a basically an Australasian version of Justin Bieber is implicit, but I'll say it anyway.

He's almost exactly like Bieber, down to the side-swept fringe - only a little more bad-ass.

Emerging in skinny black jeans with silver chain-links, a pair of cute dimples offset by piercings mum probably wouldn't like, Mastin was a teenage dream.

In fact, his first song was a cover of pop idol Katie Perry's I kissed a girl, setting cellphone cameras flashing.

There is no denying the boy can sing, and well. According to his Wikipedia page he was afflicted by glue ear syndrome at 11, endangering his hearing - a black hole in the path of any rising star. He pushed through, and began writing songs a year later.

A pity not too many originals were on display last night - but then, he shook hands with Sony mere months ago.

There were a lot of very good rock covers, from the BeeGees Stayin' Alive to Aerosmith's Dream On and fellow Aussies Wolfmother's Joker and the Thief.

The last was performed sans shirt, which moved the crowd into fever pitch. The roar grew. "I love you Reece!" a girl yelled, as he broke into the first few bars of his song, Shut up and kiss me.

A kind of one-armed fist pump was going into overdrive, as a massive close-up of Mastin's face was beamed across the arena. He poured water over himself. Someone threw a teddy bear on stage.

It had to be hoped the poor owner of the proffered soft toy wasn't watching moments later, when Mastin punted it off the stage during a particularly emotional lyric.

The night ended with Mastin belting out an impassioned version of Guns N Roses Paradise City. While the surrealism of watching a stadium full of young girls rocking out to a song at least three decades before their era is hard to put into words, there was something about it I liked.

It was music, after all. And judging by Mastin's fan-base, there'll be plenty more of his to hear in future. 

The Dominion Post