AFL Grand Final 2021: WA musicians Birds of Tokyo and Eskimo Joe send crowd wild during Optus Stadium show

Staff writersThe West Australian
Birds of Tokyo during the half-time show.
Camera IconBirds of Tokyo during the half-time show. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

All eyes were on Optus Stadium’s light show during the AFL grand final’s half-time entertainment, but it appears some of the lights didn't come to the party.

Around half of the group of about 60 performers with glow sticks were unable to get their sticks to light up during Birds of Tokyo's final song Unbreakable at Optus Stadium.

It didn’t dampen spirits, however, as fans using their phone lights sung along as the group performed Lanterns and Silverchair’s Straight Lines.

“Those lights look beautiful my friends,” frontman Ian Kenny said.

The WA-raised act shared the stage with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra eight years after first performing at the AFL grand final.

The band closed with their song Unbreakable, dedicated to front line workers.

Birds of Tokyo during the half-time show.
Camera IconBirds of Tokyo during the half-time show. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

The tempo decidedly slower than during the pre-match entertainment, which saw Eskimo Joe, Abbe May and Baker Boy belt out Aussie pop and rock anthems.

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra shared the stage with Birds of Tokyo.
Camera IconThe West Australian Symphony Orchestra shared the stage with Birds of Tokyo. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Eskimo Joe was by far the most talked about entertainment of the grand final with fans dealt a blast of nostalgia as they rocked out to their 2006 hit Black Fingernails, Red wine.

Kav Temperley owned the stadium as he strutted up to fans and drew screams from the crowd as he bust out INXS hit Kick.

“Eskimo joe superb, probably best pre-game for a long time,” gushed one fan.

Kav Temperley from Eskimo Joe owned the stadium during his set.
Camera IconKav Temperley from Eskimo Joe owned the stadium during his set. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The Sunday Times

He was accompanied by a saxophonist, who herself was a hit with fans.

Abbe May, who is scared of heights, rocked his guitar on the top of the stadium.

Eskimo Joe rock out during the pre-game show.
Camera IconEskimo Joe rock out during the pre-game show. Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian

May’s sister Noni told how she shed tears of joy as she heard the rendition of ACDC’s classic Thunderstruck.

Baker Boy, sporting a blue satin tracksuit, upped the tempo surrounded by energetic backup dancers as he bust out Kylie Minogue’s pop anthem Can’t Get You Out of My Head.

“Baker Boy alone would have been the best GF entertainment ever, so this is by FAR the best grand final entertainment ever,” wrote one footy fan.

Entertainment at the AFL Grand Final, 2021, at Optus Stadium, Perth.
Camera IconEntertainment at the AFL Grand Final, 2021, at Optus Stadium, Perth. Credit: The West Australian

Veteran muso John Butler was popular as he bust out Ocean while Men at Work singer Colin Hay rounded off the pre-match entertainment with Aussie classic Down Under.

Hay was beamed into the stadium from an idyllic beach to perform in a pretty special scarf with both teams’ colours.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails