'Gang Of Youths' Set To Bring Aussie Rock Back To NRL Grand Final
When picking the grand final performance, a group of footy fans does make sense.
The NRL has announced Sydney band Gang Of Youths as the pre-game entertainment for the 2018 Grand Final.
The announcement is a return to Australian talent following Macklemore's headlining last year. The US rapper famously ended his set, which included his marriage equality anthem Same Love, by declaring "equality for all" as the crowd around him waved rainbow flags and rainbow fireworks lit up the sky.
One can only imagine former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is taking to the Gang Of Youths announcement better than he did to Macklemore's, on which he took the stance "footy fans shouldn't be subjected to a politicised grand final."
This year, politics doesn't seem to be on the agenda as organisers go "back to a slightly different genre."
“Gang of Youths are relevant, they’re home grown, they’re contemporary, and they are renowned for producing one of the best live shows going around," NRL Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Abdo said in a statement.
“This year’s act will showcase the best in Australian music talent and youth culture, with one of a new breed of local artists making significant headway both here and overseas."
Abdo's comments are pretty spot on.
The band have had an absolutely stellar past couple of years, with their album Go Farther In Lightness debuting at No.1 on the ARIA Albums Chat in 2017 before going on to rack up eight nominations at the ARIA Music Awards -- four of which the band took home including Album Of The Year and Best Group.
They managed to take out three of the top ten spots in Triple J's 2017 Hottest 100 Countdown, making them only the third act to do so, and have garnered a reputation as one of the country's favourite live acts.
Later this year, the group will head off on a tour of the US with rock legends the Foo Fighters before returning home for their own national tour, which will be their biggest to date.
As for their NRL gig, Frontman Dave Le'aupepe said he was a proud footy fan first and foremost.
"We're Sydney boys and footy has always been a significant part of our lives," he said.
“I'm a Souths fan and Samoan. I can't guarantee that the Rabbitohs will be there, but this will be a very proud moment for me and my family."
The history of NRL Grand Final pre-match entertainment is one of highs and lows which has often favoured home-grown acts.
Gang Of Youths will join a list of classic Aussie bands to take the stage including Cold Chisel and Wolfmother.