On Saturday 25th September WASO performed alongside Birds of Tokyo for the 2021 AFL Grand Final Half Time Show.
The historic event marked the first time the AFL Grand Final has been held in Perth, and we couldn’t have been prouder to have performed to the full capacity crowd of over 60,000 people at Optus Stadium.
WASO has a long history with Birds of Tokyo, going all the way back to 2009 when the band embarked on their first tour featuring orchestral musicians. Three of the four orchestral players who joined the Broken Strings tour are permanent players with WASO; violist Benjamin Caddy and violinists Rebecca Glorie and Cerys Tooby.
In April 2020, while Australia was in it’s first major COVID-19 lockdown, 50 WASO players and each member of the band performed individual pieces of single ‘Unbreakable’, which was recorded for broadcast on ANZAC Day as part of Music for the Home Front. The broadcast was so popular that the recording was produced as an album, with the performance fees donated directly to Support Act to deliver crisis relief funding to artists and music workers.
Then in January 2021, the band joined forces with the full orchestra for the first time. Birds of Tokyo and WASO performed the world premiere of full orchestral arrangements of the band’s new and classic songs. The arrangements were initially commissioned in 2019, so it was a long wait to bring these to the stage, after initially having to reschedule due to COVID-19.
The four live shows sold out Perth Concert Hall, before the performance toured to Melbourne and Brisbane.
It was great to be able to perform with the band once again in our biggest gig of the year alongside an amazing line-up of West Australian musicians.
This was an incredible opportunity to be part of an iconic Australian event that shone a spotlight on Australian anthems and showcased a fantastic display of local music talent.
A big thank you to both the AFL and Birds of Tokyo for having us, and thank you to the wonderful WA crowd that cheered us on! Relive the magic here.