AFL Grand Final

Sometimes the sort of gigs I get asked to do just blows my mind….!

Earlier this year I was contacted by Chong Lim AM to collaborate with several famous Australian musicians for the pre-game entertainment at the AFL Grand Final. The performance featured Aussie music royalty including John Butler, Eskimo Joe, Baker Boy, Abbe May, Stella Donnelly, Colin Hay and more.

My role was to closely with Chong Lim to compose and arrange drumline parts for a reimagining of the classic Aussie song, Thunderstruck by ACDC. The performance would feature an 8-piece drumline and an 8-piece horn section for maximum impact.

The most challenging aspect of the performance was the possibility of the game being moved from Melbourne to Perth at the last minute. I had to work with D² to have a team of performers prepared to do the show in either Melbourne or Perth – depending on COVID restrictions – which required extensive additional logistics and coordination.

The performance was a resounding success, receiving widespread praise on social media and in reviews of the entertainment with The Age’s Karl Quinn saying “AFL grand final redefines stadium rock”.

The opening performance featuring D² was a highlight of the event, with Thunderstruck receiving a thunderous reception from the crowd. It was an absolute joy to have the opportunity to work with Chong and a true honour to collaborate with so many famous Australian musicians at the 2021 AFL Grand Final.

Special thanks also to James Chong for his work on the ground in Perth.