The AFL has revealed that American rock band The Killers will headline the pre-match entertainment ahead of this year’s Grand Final.
The international stars will be joined by pop singer Dami Im and iconic Australian voice Mike Brady.
Im – who flew the flag for Australia at last year’s Eurovision song contest and came second – will sing the national anthem, while Brady will perform his seminal classic, Up There Cazaly.
But it is The Killers who will be the main attraction, with the band to perform not only before the match, but also put on a free concert following the premiership celebrations.
World-famous for classics like Mr Brightside and Somebody Told Me, The Killers said they were excited about the prospect of performing in front of up to 100,000 fans at the MCG.
“People of the great country of Australia – let us inject our American rock and roll tunes into your sporting event, please,” they said in a statement.
“AFL here we come.”
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said he was delighted the band had agreed to perform.
“I’m so pleased that The Killers have agreed to play on that one day in September as fans of all ages enjoy their music,” Mr McLachlan said.
“The Killers will bring their music to the Virgin Australia Pre-Game Show, but more importantly to the Virgin Australia Premiership Party, a free concert post the match, where all fans can join and celebrate this year’s premiers.”
The Killers had long been rumoured to perform at the Grand Final but the announcement will still be seen as something of a coup for the AFL, given the pre-match entertainment options of recent years.
Last year, Sting along with Aussie groups Vance Joy and Living End performed, while in 2015, the AFL secured trio Bryan Adams, Ellie Goulding and Chris Isaac.
But few of the AFL’s pre-match entertainment options live long in the memory for good reasons, with Meatloaf’s shambolic 2011 performance perhaps the most notable.
The American rocker, who slammed the AFL as “jerks” in the aftermath, was reportedly paid $500,000 to perform before what was a thrilling Grand Final between Collingwood and Geelong.
In a 2015 interview on 3AW, McLachlan said that Meatloaf was lucky the AFL was the “most generous group in the world”.
“He probably got, I don’t know, half a million bucks or something, and it was probably about $499,000 too much.”
Other performers in recent years have included Tom Jones, Lionel Richie, Powderfinger and INXS, while Angry Anderson’s 1991 performance from a ‘Batmobile’ at Waverley Park has attracted cult-figure status.
Last week, the NRL announced that American rap artist Macklemore would headline their pre-game entertainment before the 2017 Grand Final, a decision met with some bemusement.
Some American rapper called "Macklemore" will perform at the NRL Grand Final. How much is he being paid? Is this a wise allocation of funds?
— Alan Jones (@AlanJones) August 31, 2017