As the clouds rolled over I watched the crowds of people making their way into the place we’d called home for the first time just 12 months before. It’s kind of funny how Festivals such as this one bring such a strong connection, like a family in a closed nit circle, unlike any other genre or style of music in today’s scene. So, thank you Good Things Festival. Thank you.
Making my way through the gates I was once again in awe of the amount of thought and effort that goes into setting up a big event such as the one we were walking into, from the copious amount of food trucks and stations to the stage setups and pyrotechnics. We’re so lucky to be living in a country where we have this right at our fingertips.
With very little time to get my bearings, I headed to stage 2 for what would be one of the most talked-about acts of the day, from her unique personality to a performance that would scare the likes of any metalhead, Poppy came out and delivered a chilling but awe defining performance which left people in this interesting state of disturbed joy.
As the clouds receded and the sun rose from its sleep, it was time to make my way over to the other side of the venue to stage three where Ice Nine Kills took the stage in another form of horror and dress up that they are well known for from their music videos. Playing to quite a big crowd for this smaller section it was hard to fault their energy and stage presence. With a little more volume and higher quality of sound, the set would have been something else, but this wasn’t something that the band had control over, but more by the way these two stages had been set up in that section.
With 15 minutes spare between sets, I ran over to stage 5 to watch the boys in Gravemind and it was the best decision I’d made for the day. Having seen these guys play several times prior to this, it was nice to be at a stage where we could feel the impact that a heavy band has on the local scene. With their gritty breakdowns, the hard mosh pit full of blood, sweat and tears, it felt nice to step away from the feeling of a big festival and step into what Melbourne really has to offer.
Sadly the sound quality and whole set up of stage 5 was probably the only real let down of the day, as mentioned by many people I spoke to throughout the day, which was made clear by the way we could all talk to each other without having to raise our voices only a few meters from the stage. This, however, didn’t inhibit the quality of the bands which performed on it throughout the day and I certainly appreciated the effort that had gone into a stage for the local bands, something which had improved from the previous year.
Making my way back to the main stage I reflected on the diversity of this line-up and how a band such as Skeggs wound up on the list, but after watching their first few songs I understood why they deserved to be here. Aussie/Indie rock has never been my cup of tea, but I can respect the talent of these dudes and just how much fun they must have been having up on the big stage, playing to thousands of their eager fans.
Without a lot of time to spare I made my way over to stage 4 where Dance Gavin Dance came out with their usual poise and self-assurance, delivering all they had with clarity and confidence which has helped get them on lineups like this throughout all the years they’ve toured here.
Now, we all knew that this next set was something that no one really knew what to fully expect but when The Veronica’s walked out onto that stage they were graced with a crowd that was one of the biggest for the day. After playing hit after hit I watched the many climbing on shoulders screaming their lungs out as the girls hit notes and screams that I didn’t know they were even capable of. With the final seconds of their last song, the crowd was forced to split and the wall of death that ensued was something that I think I’d remember for many years to come, because who would have ever thought we’d witness these Aussie legends in this format of heavy festival.
Taking it right back to the metal edge of the day we were graced immediately with Trivium as they opened up with a bang to the thousands, with their progressive approach to their array of tracks over the last 20 years. We witnessed a mixture of hits and that old school sound of metal that has seen them travel around the world with the likes of Iron Maiden and Metallica.
With only 10 minutes of their set left I witnessed the local Melbourne based band Slowly Slowly grace the stage in the way that they always have around this side of town, with their hearts on their sleeves and a sound that deserves to see them flying the globe.
As like any festival you go to there will be a band that people tell you that you must see, a band that over the years you’ve somehow slept on or never taken the time to actually listen to, today that band was Enter Shikari. I was blown away by the energy this band had and the way they could mix so many electronic sounds while still keeping those heavy, rock-based anthems.
As we make our way up the list we are hit with a band that has faced a lot over the past decade, well particularly their frontman Ronnie Radke. Now it’s quite clear that Falling In Reverse have had quite a distinct fan base from day one, but when you see a crowd that big forming at one of the smaller stages of the day you can see how far they’ve come from just being another glam/rap-metal band to the stars that they are still growing to become.
As it became time to head to the next set, I could feel the 12 years old in me coming out as I made my way over to Simple Plan. Here is a band that despite your taste you’re undoubtedly bound to be taken back to those high school days when they were in their emo prime and “Welcome To My Life” was your reckoning. With a crowd of at least 10,000 on their feet, we can see why over the last two decades this band has not shied away from leading festivals such as this one.
With just enough time to catch a few songs, I ran all the way to The Beautiful Monument and the following band Yours Truly where I was able to witness more of what this beautiful country has to offer in the local music scene. Pulling in fans that have followed these bands across the state, I felt a sense of admiration and compassion, as they performed their hearts out to our content.
It was now time for the heaviest band on the line up to put everything on the floor and slaughter the stage. As Thy Art Is Murder blew up with their tightly crafted act, the bar had been raised on performance and crowd participation, leaving hundreds dripping in sweat as they screamed their lungs out to the close of the set.
Now, there really aren’t a lot of words I could put together to express my gratitude for the following band as I got myself ready for the next hour of the day. A Day To Remember delivered everything that I could have wanted in a set, from their heavy break downs to their catchy pop/rock anthems, the thousands of us who had spent the last decade and a half following their journey were blown away by how they have never failed to let us down. A Memorable set which shows how they continue to rise around the globe, gaining fans in all avenues of their unique and creative sound.
In closing the day there was no better way to complete Good Things, than doing so with one of the biggest bands to come out of this country in the last decade of the Australian Metal scene. Parkway Drive arrived in a fashion that could only have unified the performance that was to come, making their way through the crowd with torches and robes that had us all feeling ready for a set that would put all the others to rest. From the first second to the last, it was delivered with absolute class and downright destruction. With the flames burning our bodies alive and the bruises on bruises, I felt lost in the moment and away from any form of reality to feel the pain my body was receiving, but at the end of the day, it was all worth it.
As we made our way back out those gates which welcomed us with open arms only 10 hours before, you can’t help but feel a part of you being left behind in the space that gave us memories for many years to come. We’re lucky to have Good Things here to support us, even if it’s just for one day, I look forward to what next year brings us.
Review by Dylan Clarke
Addition notes by Carl Neumann:
Voyager was joyous as per-usual but the with a mixture from each album including their latest Colours in the Sun had people jumping and bopping along to the electro mixes and rocking out to the prog grooves.
They played on stage 5 which, in all honesty, is akin to a backyard party gig. The volume was too low, the space felt odd and hidden away as if it wasn’t important and the sound carryover from stages 3 and 4 conflicted.
Photography by Mitchell O’Rourke:
Photos below by