Words by Harry Connell
Death, taxes, and Mike Brady performing at the Grand Final
After two years, the AFL Grand Final returns to Melbourne, and with that comes the highly anticipated pre-match and half-time entertainment.
This year, we’ll see a variety of international and local talent set to perform on the hallowed turf of the MCG, for what is undeniably the biggest game of the year.
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When it comes to performing sold-out stadium shows, there aren’t many better suited than global pop phenomenon Robbie Williams.
Williams has built quite the reputation over the years, and in 2003 – following his record-breaking Knebworth shows over three nights in front of 375 thousand people – he cemented himself as one of the most acclaimed and charismatic live performers of his time.
He also broke the record for the most tickets sold in one day – 1.6 million – for his 2006 ‘Close Encounters’ tour.
Williams will headline Saturday’s pre match entertainment, before touring our shores for the first time since 2018.
He stated that he’s looking forward to performing with a cast of local Australian musicians on Saturday, and this, along with the announcement of a ‘surprise act’ has led many to believe we could be seeing a special appearance from Aussie golden girl Kylie Minogue.
Of course, the two have sung together before, their duet ‘Kids’, released in October of 2000 and reached 14 on the ARIA charts, and last year Williams revealed that they’d recorded another track together, but COVID had delayed its release.
Despite the anticipation, it was revealed on Thursday that Delta Goodrem would be the surprise performer following her rendition of the national anthem during semi-finals week.
Fans should be in for a real treat when Williams takes center stage in front of 100 thousand eager footy fans on Saturday.
The Temper Trap featuring Budjerah & Ngaiire
Australian indie rock outfit The Temper Trap are no strangers to Grand Final performances having graced the stage back in 2012, for the decider between Sydney and Hawthorn.
The group formed in Melbourne in 2005, before relocating to London in 2008, and in 2009 they released their debut album Conditionswhich peaked at number nine in the ARIA Charts and reached the top 30 on the UK Album Chart.
Lead single ‘Sweet Disposition’ earned them an ARIA Award for Most Popular Australian Single and has amassed over 400 million Spotify streams and is showing no signs of slowing down, after a recent resurgence on social media platform TikTok.
They will also be joined by Aboriginal singer-songwriter Budjerah, and Papua New Guinea born R&B and future soul artist Ngaiire.
Melbourne-born, LA-based G Flip has been a footy fanatic since they were a kid, and said in an interview that performing at the AFL Grand Final is “literally a dream”.
The multi-instrumentalist is an MCC member and even has a Collingwood tattoo – need we say more?
Originally a session drummer by trade, G Flip won the hearts of many in Australia and abroad, following the release of 2019 debut album About Uswhich debuted at number 1 on the vinyl charts and number 6 on the overall charts.
They’ve also seen a lot of success during Triple J’s Hottest 100 over the years – the biggest listener voted music poll in the world.
Polling three times in 2019’s Hottest 100 alone, ‘Drink Too Much’ came in at number 6, ‘Lover’ at 58, and ‘I Am Not Afraid’ at number 77.
G Flip performed at the AFLW decider in 2021 but will be making their first appearance at the men’s grand final on Saturday.
Death, taxes, and Mike Brady performing at the Grand Final.
Aussie icon Mike Brady will return to perform ‘Up There Cazaly’; a tradition that is being continued for the tenth year in a row.
Brady performed in front of an empty MCG in 2020 and 2021 and is looking forward to being back in front of a full house.
The song has become a staple and is synonymous with grand final entertainment. It was originally written as a promotional song for Channel 7’s football program in the early 1980s and has gone on to become one of the biggest selling local singles of its time.
While the performing acts change from year to year, there’s one non-negotiable on grand final day: and that’s Mike Brady singing ‘Up There Cazaly.’
Goanna featuring Christine Anu, Emma Donovan, Tasman Keith & William Barton
Iconic Aussie rock band Goanna will take the stage on Saturday, alongside a supergroup of First Nations musicians.
Formed in Geelong in 1977 by guitarist Shane Howard, their 1982 hit single ‘Solid Rock’ gave Goanna national prominence.
Their debut album Spirit of Place peaked at number two in the same year and was the first charting rock record to feature a didgeridoo.
They’ll be joined by Christine Anu, an Aussie singer-songwriter of Torres Straight Islander descent who rose to popularity in 1994, with the cover song release of the Warumpi Band’s ‘My Island Home’, and has been nominated for 17 ARIA awards.
Naaguja and Yamatji vocalist and bandleader Emma Donovan will also be joining Goanna – a member of the renowned musical Donovan family, she began her singing career at the age of seven in her uncle’s band.
Gumbaynggirr rapper Tasman Keith and renowned didgeridoo player and composer William Barton round out the supergroup.
Tasman Keith has seen recent success with his debut LP A Color Undonewhich released earlier this year and features the likes of Genesis Owusu and Jessica Mauboy.
Five-time ARIA winning artist Katie Noonan will sing the Australian Nation Anthem.
Over the years, Katie Noonan has cemented her place as one of Australia’s best home-grown acts, producing 21 studio albums, seven platinum record sales and 27 ARIA nominations.
Noonan has helped pave the way for young female artists and has performed for royalty in the Danish and British Royal families, as well as His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama.
Check out Beat’s guide to a dickhead-proof Grand Final day.