2016.09.27 - Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph

Date: 27th September 2016
Author: Cameron Adams
Featuring: Chris Cheney, Scott Owen

 

Archived from: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/...

The Living End support imported rocker Sting playing at the Grand Final despite online backlash

Cameron Adams, National music writer, News Corp Australia Network
September 27, 2016 12:00am

THE Living End have thrown their support behind Sting playing this year’s AFL Grand Final.

Online grumps were angry Sting was a last-minute addition to the previous Australian-only line-up of Vance Joy and the Living End.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” the Living End’s bassist Scott Owen said.

“If you can be entertained by Sting at half time at the Grand Final what are you whinging about?”

Frontman Chris Cheney agreed Australian bands must be represented at the event.

“There’s two Aussie acts and an overseas act this year, that’s cool. People want it to be an all Aussie line-up if possible, and I agree, but I think it’s OK if the ratio is balanced out.”

The Living End will perform two songs in the pre-show entertainment this Saturday — “an oldie and a newie”.

“There’s two songs and we’ve got seven minutes to get it done,” Cheney said. “It’s not your average gig. It’s going to be spectacular.”

Owen: “It might be your average gig if you’re the Rolling Stones or Bruce Springsteen, but for the humble Living End from Wheelers Hill in Melbourne it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Since they were announced the band have been overwhelmed by the feedback that it was long overdue — they’d already played an NRL grand final but never at the MCG.

“Our songs have that anthemic feel to a lot of the choruses,” Owen said. “It fits. Mike Brady could have written some of those choruses, some of them sound like footy club songs. That’s a compliment.”

Cheney: “Paul Kelly only did (the AFL Grand Final) the first time the other year. He should probably play every year. I do feel honoured and chuffed. We’ve now got seven albums but I never expected we’d get this at this point, I feel like maybe you’ve got to have been around longer, if that’s at all possible.”

The trio will also play the free show after the game, along with Vance Joy, which anyone can attend, not just Grand Final ticket holders.

Aside from the prestige, especially for a Melbourne band and football fans, playing the AFL Grand Final is a savvy business move.

The AFL and NRL Grand Final entertainment is hotly debated each year.

Each performer is paid handsomely (Meat Loaf was reported to have taken home $500,000 for his unforgettable medley in 2011) and it is invaluable exposure.

Aside from the 100,000 people in the arena for the AFL match, there’s several million more watching at home — here and overseas.

Channel 7 have also chosen the Living End’s latest single Keep on Running to soundtrack various football ads leading up to the game

“It’s great timing on the back of us having this new record out,” Cheney said.

The trio will also perform Keep on Running on Thursday’s Grand Final Footy Show from Rod Laver Arena.

This year’s NRL performer Keith Urban is flying in from his US tour for a Deniliquin show on Saturday then the NRL’s big game on Sunday night.

As well as a healthy six-figure payday it’s excellent publicity for his latest album, Ripcord, and an Australian tour that starts in December. That tour has already sold well, but will get a post Grand Final spike.

Richie Sambora and Orianthi will have almost finished their Australian tour when they play the NRL Grand Final on Sunday, but it’s good promotion for their forthcoming RSO album — even if you’d expect they play a Bon Jovi hit rather than unfamiliar new material.

Jessica Mauboy will also perform at the NRL Grand Final on Sunday — a rare free-kick by Channel 9 with Mauboy’s new Channel 7 vehicle The Secret Daughter launching on Monday night.

There are very few spots on TV where artists can perform several songs to a captive audience.

Sting will perform his new single I Can’t Stop Thinking About You at the AFL Grand Final, from a new album, 57th and 9th, which is released shortly.

It’s stupid not to use the event to promote something — be it a tour or an album. Last year’s performers Chris Isaak and Ellie Goulding both had new albums out, in 2013 Hunters and Collectors launched a comeback summer tour by performing unofficial footy anthem Holy Grail at the AFL Grand Final.

Ed Sheeran’s album X jumped from No. 6 to No. 1 on the ARIA chart the week after he performed at the AFL Grand Final in 2014, which also proceeded him touring both arenas and stadiums in 2015.

A great performance cannot only see an album (either new or a Greatest Hits — or both) race up the chart, but can create enough buzz to keep touring.

Lionel Richie is still remembered for his 2010 performance and was last seen here with John Farnham two years ago.

However Meat Loaf has still struggled to overcome his diabolic 2011 performance — and no promoter has been brave enough to book him for a return tour since.

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