Angry fans throw beers at ZZ Top star Billy Gibbons

RIP-OFF: Newcastle music fans were left seething when ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, right, only performed three songs and failed to appear at a $200 VIP meet and greet.
RIP-OFF: Newcastle music fans were left seething when ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, right, only performed three songs and failed to appear at a $200 VIP meet and greet.

OUTRAGED Newcastle fans hurled beers and abuse at ZZ Top legend Billy Gibbons on Wednesday night following his shambolic Newcastle show at the Civic Theatre.

About 300 people, who paid between $100 and $200 for tickets and travelled from as far as Melbourne and Perth, attended the show promoted as “Up Close and Personal.”

Many left angry after the veteran rocker performed just three songs, appeared disinterested while answering audience questions and then failed to appear at the VIP meet and greet session. 

Bizarrely, former Voice contestant Jacob Lee also appeared on stage to perform three songs in the middle of the show without Gibbons.

When the show ended some fans threw plastic cups of beer at the stage, while others shouted “rip-off.” 

Some audience members refused to leave until it was announced that the “meet and greet”  would be held in the Civic Theatre bar area. However, once VIP ticket-holders moved to the bar area they were told Gibbons would not be attending.

NSW Police confirmed officers were called to the venue just before 10pm for “unorderly behaviour.”

Many took to social media to express anger and Gibbons’ Australian tour promoters The Brewer Brothers announced in a statement that the 68-year-old had cancelled his final Australian show in Brisbane on Thursday night.

Newcastle music fan Grant Mears has attended hundreds of concerts and said the “shambolic” show was easily his worst. He described seeing a “hail of beers” thrown at the stage.

“I personally feel for the Civic Theatre because certainly security and staff shouldn’t have had to deal with that kind of rowdiness, I don’t like to see that at any event,” Mears said.

“Having said that, when it’s such a blatant rip-off and so shambolic and so badly organised I can understand why people reacted the way they did.” 

Newcastle’s Andrew Dowey spent $200 on tickets, but left disgusted.

“I’m not the only one disappointed, I’d say the majority, if not all the audience, is disappointed,” Dowey said. “The show was almost comical.”

Dowey has been a ZZ Top fan for 20 years but said, “one day I might play their music again, it’ll take a while to get over.”

The Herald contacted promoter Rodney Brewer on Thursday for comment, but he failed to return calls. 

The latest Australian tour has been an disaster for Gibbons, who has carved out a legacy over almost 50 years with ZZ Top classics like LegsLa Grange and Sharp Dressed Man.

Gibbons’ first two shows in Wollongong last weekend also attracted criticism and demands for refunds.

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