Robbie Williams was joined by Delta Goodrem in front of tens of thousands of supporters readying for the 2022 AFL grand final between Geelong and Sydney – the first grand final at the MCG in three years.
Tributes to Shane Warne and John Farnham, bagpipes, and sparkling disco balls have featured in a jam-packed pre-match musical performance by UK artist Robbie Williams.
Williams was locked in as the headlining act back in July, claiming at the time he was “very pleased” to be playing at the ‘G.
There were rumors in the weeks preceding up to the game that he might be joined by Kylie Minogue since he and the AFL had promised a star-studded line-up for the remainder of the final’s entertainment. It was announced on Thursday that fellow Australian pop sensation Delta Goodrem will be joining him on stage.
Robbie Williams puts on a show-stopping performance AFL Grand Final
After a Welcome to Country by Uncle Colin Hunter Jr, the day’s first musical performance was, of course, Mike Brady doing Up There Cazaly. Without him, the championship game at the ‘G wouldn’t be the same.
Robbie Williams, in a flashy pink outfit, began his performance on a gold podium that slid down to the floor.
Surrounded by gold-clad dancers, he made his way to center stage in the ‘G’ and performed his smash single, Let Me Entertain You.
Despite a few small technical issues – some backing vocalists’ mics went out during a call-and-response introduction to Rock DJ — Williams and his spandex-covered dancers controlled the audience.
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Robbie Williams assured the audience that they would all make it through the “obligatory new song” on the album Lost (XXV) before it was played.
After an energetic performance of “Feel,” he paid tribute to the late cricketer Shane Warne by dedicating “Angels.” Warne passed away earlier this year.
According to Robbie Williams, “one of Australia’s finest rockstars” Warney is a close friend of his.
It was the second time this year that performance of the song had echoed throughout the ‘G; Williams had previously dedicated a video version of the song to Warne during his state burial.
Robbie Williams covering John Farnham.
Amazing.#TelstraPreMatch | #AFLGF pic.twitter.com/KaWgOeIHe9
— AFL (@AFL) September 24, 2022
He then sang John Farnham’s You’re the Voice, which he referred to as “the unofficial national anthem of Australia,” as an additional homage to Australia.
As archival photos of Farnsy filled the screen, a piper band joined the chant.
Robbie Williams invited Delta Goodrem to join him onstage for a performance of their 2000 song Kids, a duet he had previously sung with Minogue.
Goodrem sang the song that put an end to the Kylie speculation while wearing a bright pink jumpsuit that outshone Williams’ own outfit.
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G Flip, Goanna, and Temper Trap take to stage at halftime
The Cats’ 36-point halftime lead meant that their fans could relax and listen to a variety of Australian musicians perform covers of songs from throughout the decades.
The Temper Trap played their hit from 2009, “Sweet Disposition,” with a twist for the year 2022 by including young singers Budjerah and Ngaiire.
What a jet @gflipmusic is!#TelstraHalfTime | #AFLGF pic.twitter.com/dhXNG5yFQL
— AFL (@AFL) September 24, 2022
G Flip, an entertainer, followed the flashback by performing a high-energy copy of Jet’s 2003 song Are You Gonna Be My Girl, singing while playing the drums in his trademark way.
The didgeridoo playing of Kalkadunga resident William Barton opened Goanna’s 1982 masterpiece Solid Rock.
The song, which has contributions by First Nations musicians Christine Anu, Emma Donovan, and Tasman Keith, has a message concerning land rights that is still relevant many years after its release.
The Hawthorn Football Club conducted an internal assessment that revealed allegations of prominent officials at the club intimidating and separating young First Nations players from their families, casting a pall over the biggest game of the year.
The claims will be looked examined by an independent party, as promised by the AFL.