The wait was finally over and just like that it was there in full colour, the third and final installment of the inaugural Good Things Festival. On a cloudy and somewhat mild summer’s day in Brisbane a sudden feeling of anticipation and excitement came over one self as the reality set in that Australia yet again has a music festival built around the grittier side of the music world. Walking into the center of the Brisbane Showgrounds it was not hard to get lost in gazing at the almighty stage structures as they towered over the swarms of music lovers who were waiting in anticipation or had just enjoyed the opening acts.
Whilst admiring said structures a familiar and satisfying drone of sound suddenly echoed from Stage 1. Sydney metalcore/ progressive metal legends Northlane literally erupted into flames with their set as the ever so charismatic Marcus Bridge (Vocals) delivered his endless range of vocal abilities in front of the wall of what can only be described as a fighter-bomber like sound. New bassist Brendon Padjasek was introduced as he joined founding members Jon Deiley (lead guitar), Josh Smith (rhythm guitar) and long-time drummer Nic Pettersen in thrashing about to every tune delivered burning up every ounce of energy they had left! Closing track “Quantum Flux” sore the stage cannons fire up and leave the crowd in a sea of purple, a fitting end to an intense and at times heartfelt set.
As the large confetti continued to fall from the sky Michigan, U.S.A lads La Dispute kicked straight into gear with their brand of post-hardcore/ emo collection of tunes on Stage 2. It’s hard to take your eyes of the engaging presence of frontman Jordan Dreyer, his array of dance moves and interaction with the front row make for quite a show! With an endless amount of lyrics being projected from the audience, it was hard not to feel every note delivered by the five-piece, as a newer punter it was refreshing to hear emotional heavy music done with a real edge to it, La Dispute knows their sound and they brought it with full force live.
Making the trek over to Stages 3 and 4 the pounding of bass could be felt from afar, but who could deliver such a pulse of sound? Perth Deathcore five-piece Make Them Suffer had it covered in constant waves that crushed and flooded the punter’s ear holes. Only the fittest would have walked out unscathed from that circle pit, was a truly brutal thing to witness from the safety of distance!
Next up is, without doubt, the most intriguing and interesting bands on the Good Things Festival line-up: Babymetal. Proving yet again that heavy metal has a universal language the eight-piece really do sound like no other. Witnessing Babymetal live is a surreal experience, where do I begin? With an absolute onslaught of technical heavy metal which sees time signatures jumbled like a Rubik’s Cube whilst layered with the sweet vocals of the three ultra-rehearsed/ choreographed frontwomen, Su-metal, Moametal and replacement for Yuimetal who’s name seems impossible to find gives a little insight into this live stage show performance. The hit single “Karate” was, without doubt, the standout of the set, its pure strength and catchy vocals made for an electrifying experience as by then us punters had come to terms/ figured out/ accepted what was going on in front of us. A truly unique act but more so Babymetal are straight up unforgettable!
In the early 2000s the world of screamo/ punk rock changed forever, out of Orem, Utah, U.S.A The Used was born. Founding members Bert McCracken (Vocals), Jeph Howard (Bass /Backing vocals), long-time Drummer/ Backing Vocalist Dan Whitesides and newest member Joey Bradford (Guitar/Backing Vocals) delivered an intense set from beginning to end with endless amounts of gusto and passion. Bret’s “Eat Vegan” upside-down cross t-shirt and Palestinian keffiyeh draped over his microphone stand made for some passionate political and life choice stances from the vocalist throughout the set. His address to the audience in regards to violence in Palestine had the crowd unified with fists in the air, it was a pure power to the people moment in time and being a part of it was extra special and something to be cherished. For those brief moments, it really felt like music can save and make actual differences for the better in the world.
One band that particularly sparked immediate interest upon first reading the lineup for Good Things Festival was Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A Celtic Punkers/Oi! the Dropkick Murphys! The band has seen many line-up changes over their 22-year career so the eagerness to see them perform live was set to high! Overall their set was one of the highlights of the festival, is in the front section of the crowd things got a little chaotic but this is to be expected from a Murphy’s show!
Dropkick Murphys Celtic Punk style has enough conviction to make one burst into pieces as they worked their way through back catalogue classics and newer tunes. Stand out track “Johnny I hardly knew ya” had the diehard crowd of sun-soaked skaters and surfers in an absolute frenzy from beginning to end, the current band line-up did the song, all songs in fact with the respect and energy they deserve/ require. This live set will sit in the cranium for a long time to come.
Time to hit Stage 3, I thought I was ready but man I was wrong!
Being a massive fan of dropped tune Metalcore for well over ten years now I thought I’d be prepared for the brown note (constant bowel shacking low notes that cause….. you know what I mean right?) extravaganza that is now Queens, New York-based Emmure. With the addition of entire new band back in 2016, frontman/ powerhouse Frankie Palmeri has managed to keep Emmure at the top of their game sonically. The sheer depth of Joshua Travis (Guitars/Programming) and Phil Lockett (Bass) notation and sound is something that could be easily placed into a present-day Armageddon film that fairly explains such events in all of their gory details. Capping off the megalodon of sound sore Josh Miller (Drums) pound every drum skin into submission and with Frankie’s cool presence and massive roar layered over said prehistoric shark Emmure’s set was spine breaking…..wait spine snapping explains it in better detail.
After nearly having my soul leave the skin and bone suit in which carries it, it was time for some down-right heavy rock and roll. It’s been a while between drinks seeing Stone Sour live and seeing the quintet on an open-air stage was a spectacle. With arguably the best front man in the business Corey Taylor needs no introduction, he brings his A-game every single moment he steps onto a stage and as we all know he spends a lot of time on them! Tonight was no exception and with a healthy Josh Rand (Guitars) who has recently had major back complications, the ever insane Roy Moyorga (Drums), bassist Johny Chow and last but not least Mr Christian Martucci who sported a tribute Dimebag Darrell Dean guitar the set was off the hook! With old heavy rock classics “30/30 150” and “Get Inside” satisfying the hard-nosed fans (including yours truly) whilst keeping the softer angles in check with “Bother”, Through Glass” and the latest offering “Song #3” gave the set a lot of contrast.
It’s no secret Corey addresses the crowd in a direct and simple manner, but as we know he’s hard to ignore and I challenge anyone in the front row to do so. Stone Sour is an avenue to see the lighter side to Corey’s mammoth personality, the quintet had fun tonight and it transpired through their performance and with finisher “Fabulous” and token wiggly men (Watch the film clip if you don’t understand) on stage it hard not to smile whilst headbanging along.
Good Things Festival managed to mix extremely heavy and punk music very well on this lineup. As a final treat for the unbelievably respectful and happy crowd, the headliners The Offspring walked onto Stage 1. I’m not going to name positions in the band here, there just isn’t any need….. Dexter Holland, Noodles and Pete Parada graced us with their individual Punk Rock presences. From the get-go the most noticeable difference, for me a least, was the absence of bassist Greg K. soon after realizing that Greg was not present the 90’s memories quickly flooded back only to discover that the one and only Tony Kanal (of No Doubt fame) would be on bass duties this evening. Smash as we know was an unbelievably successful and important album for so many kids and adults in the mid-’90s and as the seasoned veterans of punk rock played it live from beginning to end, the feeling of being a lot younger again felt really bloody good! Dexter and Noodles small amounts of banter between each other and the audience really displayed pure class and more importantly that these dudes hadn’t lost their way over their now four-decade career!
Hearing The Offspring play every single song live from Smash was just so damn cool to witness/ experience and was a fitting end to a really damn cool Festival, the day ran super smooth and no matter where you looked, punters, were having a really good time, this being a real credit to the organizers! Kudos!
Can’t wait for Good Things Festival 2019!
Photography by Kenan
Void of Vision