I played Cards Against Humanity in my first ever VIP meet and greet

An acquaintance recently paid 2531$ — that’s $3278AUD — for the privilege of meeting Metallica and scoring a front-row seat. I can’t say I’d pay that much to meet my idol, but to each their own I guess.
The concept of the pre-show VIP meet and greet is, when you think about it, an odd one. A disparate group of fans who have never met each other pay a premium to spend a short time with an artist who in all likelihood is hideously sleep-deprived and who almost certainly doesn’t know the first thing about any of the people who paid money for the intimate time together.
What usually occurs in these situations is this: most of the fans are either overwhelmingly polite, shy, or in some way in awe of the person they’ve come to see. While in a few rare cases you do get a boisterous douche mouth fan, it’s a fact that in most scenarios all eyes are on the artist. As a fan you don’t want to inadvertently be a dick by drawing the wrong kind of attention onto yourself by uttering something embarrassing or inappropriate. So you bite your tongue. The result is an almost enforced air of silence inside the room.
The onus, therefore, is on the artist to entice their fans out of their comfort zone.
Given the appalling state of music industry revenue for artists, VIP meet and greets are practically an integral part of touring. Indeed, a good touring artist knows how to talk to giddy or nervous (and quite often, very drunk) fans while maintaining a down-to-earth and fun persona. The artist is essentially a ‘host’ to a group of strangers doing something very far out of their comfort zone.
I imagine it’s hard work. Certainly, it’s something I would struggle to do, if somehow I became an even moderately successful touring act.

VIP meeting Joe Letz from Combichrist

VIP encounter with Combichrist drummer Joe Letz in a meet and greet.

Thus it was that a mate and I paid for a pre-show VIP package to meet and greet Combichrist drummer Joe Letz prior to his Incursion DJ gig in Melbourne.
As it turned out, initially all the observations above about the intricacies and awkwardness of a meet and greet turned out to be true. While I had the security blanket of attending with a familiar buddy, I had never seen Joe perform, so I was curious as to how this close and intimate experience would pan out.
Turns out, part of the ‘experience’ was a stroke of genius. In fact, it’s something I would recommend to anyone considering a meet and greet — a game of Cards Against Humanity.
I’m a huge fan of board games at social occasions for the simple reason that they work wonders in bringing people together. Now apply that to a group of strangers meeting someone ‘famous’ and you’ve given them a genuinely non-awkward reason to interact. And with Cards Against Humanity you get the added bonus that the interaction is replete with unspeakable revelations about people’s true character.
Basically, it’s the ideal ice breaker.
The look of concentration could kill a small rodent.
Pic: Kierra Thorn.

Our game went for an hour, and when our time came to an end and concluded with the mandatory poster signing and photo op, I came away with enough tour stories to write my own EBM industrial draft equivalent to This Is Spinal Tap.
There were glimpses of the tour shenanigans with Rammstein. There was fascinating insight into the causes and consequences of falling asleep in the tour bus toilet cubicle — or at an international airport. And best of all, we learnt about the vital importance of always having your own toilet paper on tour.
Towards the end of the night I realised I’d been telling people about how I’d gotten to VIP meet and greet Joe. Allegedly, he was operating on less than two hours of sleep after he’d flown in the night before from Brisbane (1300km away), he didn’t drink, and he was quite lovely to be around as he hosted a bunch of nervous strangers to a game of Cards Against Humanity.
I waited a decade to finally hear the Scooter remix of Rammstein’s Pussy in a club. Life mission accomplished.
Pic: Kierra Thorn.

And his set was great too. I’ve waited almost a decade to hear the Scooter remix of Rammstein’s Pussy in a club. So that life mission accomplished. The epic cheese glory of that track defies description. You need it in your life.
But yeah.
We also found out that it's vital to keep an eye out on your toilet paper when you're on tour.
“Someone stole my toilet paper!” exclaimed Joe.
I wasn't there. But I know happened...
True story.
True story.
Pic: Kierra Thorn.

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