Hold on to your hats. A decision on the 2019 AFL Grand Final pre-game entertainment is coming. Meanwhile, let’s take a trip down memory lane while asking…
Who’s your preference for this year’s AFL Grand Final pre-game entertainment?
The AFL has established a reputation for Grand Final entertainment, but all too often for the wrong reasons. Every year brings the big stage, big crowd, the anticipation and atmosphere. And then… Meatloaf. #WTF2011. Let’s move on.
Who could ever forget Angry Anderson‘s rousing performance of ‘Bound for Glory’ in 1991 on the back of a 1970 Valiant a.k.a. fake Batmobile? Rob de Castella, an unfortunate passenger at the time, has tried to forget it ever since.
Prior to that, the biggest names were those of the players themselves. Especially DiPierdomenico – that’s a mouthful. Pre-game entertainment often played second fiddle to an actual reserves game and certainly didn’t extend to international top-selling acts. For example, in 1987 it was Daryl Somers. In 1982 – Rolf Harris. And in 1977, Barry Crocker was our first chosen to get this whole pre-game ball rolling, although we had to start somewhere.
Good times were delivered by acts such as Powderfinger in 2008, INXS (with J.D. Fortune) in 2010 and of course The Killers (with ‘J.D. Riewoldt’) in 2017.
Which brings us to 2019 in the hopes we’ll get this thing right. Or maybe 2020. Fingers crossed.
Who would you want to see / hear / dance to, before ‘the big dance’ takes place?
First, it might be worth noting who the selectors are. On our left, we have AFL commercial manager Kylie Rogers. On our right, Michael Gudinski, Chairman of Mushroom Records. So, not surprisingly, many commercially friendly Mushroom artists have played the AFL GF stage.
These include Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, Hunters & Collectors and Brian Mannix, amongst others. That’s not to say the artists are restricted draft picks – we’ve also seen The Black Eyed Peas, Ed Sheeran, Tom Jones, Sting, Chris Isaak, Bryan Adams, Lionel Richie, The Living End, Jet, and even Kath & Kim. Another aspect to consider is that the support act should never trump the headliners, which is of course the game itself.
Rumours have it Guy Sebastian might be this year’s main draw card, while AFL CEO Gill McLachlan has told The Herald Sun he’s ‘very keen on Bruce Springsteen to play at the Grand Final,” but added, “he’s very expensive.” Yes, Gill. So are Grand Final tickets.
US band Garbage form part of the Mushroom stables, but would they polarise a predominantly sports-loving audience? For instance, how many of you just thought, ‘who’s Garbage?’
Kylie Minogue is also part of the Mushroom roster and is presumably, as Gill would say, “very expensive”.
One surefire popularity winner – at least locally – would be Midnight Oil, but the AFL might prefer treading carefully around socio-political rock bands. Conversely, Olivia Newton-John would be a sentimental crowd favourite if she could successfully deliver her third AFL GF national anthem and make everyone go “aww”.
Finally, one colossal act currently touring Australia is Fleetwood Mac. Whilst they’d be without their former captain Lindsay Buckingham (OUT: Buckingham, IN: Neil Finn), it’s not beyond their realm of possibility to appear on that one day in September. Could they be the ones to bring superior match-winning form to AFL pre-game entertainment? Feel free to ‘Go Your Own Way’ and enter our poll below.