ONE LOUD, raspy scream signalled what everyone had been waiting to hear.
The man himself needed no introduction.
This was Jimmy Barnes, headlining the Red Hot Summer Tour in Ballarat.
A boisterous crowd within the Kryal Castle walls united in a screaming reply, hands raised high in the air.
Had this been medieval times, the hysteria in the jousting yard could have been prompted by a public execution with the common folk at fever pitch.
But this was Jimmy Barnes, Australian rock royalty, and his awesomely executed vocals were in full force.
The build-up was impressive – Dragon, Chocolate Starfish, Ian Moss and Baby Animals – all firing up Castle Arena.
Aussie rock fan Jodie Spencer trekked from Healesville to stake her front row spot.
“I got here at 3pm, gates opened at 4, but it was pretty easy to get through. Most people went and set up their seats – I went straight to this spot,” Ms Spencer said.
And she refused to give it up, surviving on just a bag of lollies with new-found friend Joanne Stoios, from Werribee, who left her husband (in the picnic area) to rock.
The pair said they had the best photos. That was before Jimmy even took to the stage.
Baby Animals’ leading lady Suze DeMarchi won over a string of young, new generation fans.
Twelve-year-old Bacchus Marsh girl Brylee Stephens and her friends said they had no idea who Baby Animals were – until last night.
Brylee was allowed a special, brief visit to the media pit for a photo of the band and maybe to feel the sweat of the guitarists.
Those in the know came from far and wide across the state to cheer for their favourites.
Warrnambool duo Dee Crow and Amanda Leske were even happy to picnic behind a large screen to save energy for the Baby Animals set.
But Jimmy was the main man.
When he walked on stage, lighting flaring up, the crowd had a near-mythical vibe suiting the medieval backdrop, as people sprawled across the lawns, up hills and atop the Castle, cheering for their rock champion.