After weeks of hype, discussion, and criticism for their touring lineup, The Killers performed at the AFL Grand Final yesterday. Much to the delight of those who witnessed Meat Loaf’s performance back in 2011, The Killers’ set has already started to be considered as one of the greatest AFL performances in recent years.

Taking to the stage prior to the match between the Adelaide Crows and the Richmond Tigers, Brandon Flowers and co. treated fans to a six-song set full of new and old favourites, including ‘Somebody Told Me’, ‘The Man’, and a timely cover of Midnight Oil’s ‘Forgotten Years’.

The group’s cover of the Midnight Oil cover has been seen by some as The Killers taking a political stance about the current same-sex marriage debate. Considering that the last week has seen plenty of criticism directed towards US rapper Macklemore, and his decision to perform ‘Same Love’, The Killers’ decision to perform a track such as this could have very easily been considered a controversial move.

Noise11 drew parallels between the track’s original message, of the atrocities carried out against Australia’s Indigenous people by Britain, and the current climate of political debate. While it seems like it may have been innocuous enough to not be considered overtly political, it was certainly a nice touch by the Las Vegas rockers.

Of course, The Killers’ presence at the AFL Grand Final didn’t stop there, with the group also taking to the stage after the main event to perform as the entertainment for the Virgin Australia Premiership Party.

Consisting of eleven tracks, the group continued their earlier set, bringing out plenty of brilliant singalongs for new and old fans, including an astonishing performance of the classic ‘Mr. Brightside’, which saw Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt take to the stage to perform the hit alongside Brandon Flowers.

Spending the majority of the track drinking up the crowd’s affection for him, Riewoldt fist-pumped his way through the track, remarking to 7mate after the performance that he had just become a “Premiership player and a rock star in one day.”

The two sets performed by the group have drawn a huge positive response online, with fans from all over praising not only the band for their sublime performance, but also the AFL for their choice of musical guest, after years of fierce debate about which bands should play the event.

Of course, The Killers also treated a select group of fans to a unique secret show in Melbourne on Friday night, much to the dismay of everyone who wasn’t lucky enough to score tickets to the exclusive event. Hopefully the group will decide to perform another guerrilla gig when they’re in the country for a headline tour next year, but we’re not holding our breath.

Check out footage of The Killers’ performance of Midnight Oil’s ‘Forgotten Years’, along with their setlists from the AFL Grand Final yesterday, below.

YouTube VideoPlay

The Killers’ AFL Grand Final performance setlist


‘When You Were Young’
‘Somebody Told Me’
‘The Man’
‘Forgotten Years’ (Midnight Oil cover)
‘Read My Mind’
‘Mr. Brightside’


‘Smile Like You Mean It’
‘The Way It Was’
‘Run For Cover’
‘Bad Moon Rising’ (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
‘For Reasons Unknown’
‘All These Things That I’ve Done’
‘When You Were Young’
‘Mr. Brightside’

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