AFL: “We narrowed in on Temper Trap pretty quickly”

Meat Loaf’s atonal performance of his own songs at the 2011 AFL Grand Final had no bearing on this year’s revitalised format, says the league’s GM of strategy and marketing Andrew Catterall.

The expired star stank up the MCG last year, playing a medley of hits that AFL chief operating officer Gillon McLachlan likened to Angry Anderson’s infamous performance at VFL Park in 1991 (see below). But speaking to FL this week, Catterall defended the decision to bring out the ageing singer, who commanded a reported $500,000 appearance fee, saying he just had a “bad day”.

”[Meat Loaf] was definitely a talking point from last year’s Grand Final day but didn’t really influence how we structured this year’s event or which artists we approached,” he told FL. “The format has been fairly similar for the past decade, so it is part of the normal process to look at the structure.”

As part of the revamped format, The Temper Trap will headline a new halftime show in the middle of the MCG next Saturday (September 29). They’ll also take part in a new post-match event called “The Premiership Party” – a free concert following the conclusion of the Grand Final – alongside Australian rock legend Paul Kelly. You Am I frontman Tim Rogers, the face of the AFL finals campaign, will also perform as part of the pre-match Aussie program.

Asked if the AFL had considered Melbourne chart-topper Gotye for the gig, Catterall said the trio was drawn from a wide pool. “We always start with a long list and work our way through availabilities etc which thins the field a bit,” he says. “We narrowed in on Paul Kelly and Temper Trap pretty quickly as we felt they provided a terrific combination for the day.”

He said having three homegrown artists on the bill was a “natural extension” of the AFL’s recent commitment to Australian music. AC/DC’s ‘Long Way to the Top’ has soundtracked games all year, while the “Live at the Footy” initiative has seen the likes of Little Red, Airbourne, Stonefield, Spiderbait and Children Collide perform at the MCG and Ethihad Stadium. However, Catterall didn’t rule out the appearance of another international performer at a future Grand Final.

“It’s not necessarily set in stone that every Grand Final from 2012 onwards will include exclusively Australian music, but it makes sense that it will be right at the forefront.”

Muse for 2013?

For more information on the AFL’s free non-ticketed “Premiership Party” featuring Paul Kelly and The Temper Trap click here.