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Live review – Good Things Festival, Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, December 6, 2019

Photos: Jose Sanchez

Words: Jose Zamora and Anthony Thanaxay

The Bennies were a great opening band that seamlessly combined ska, punk and a DJ, performing energetic songs about living life, smoking marijuana, and being happy. They ended their set with their own Party Machine and covered a bit of Sabotage from The Beastie Boys, leaving everyone pumped for the day.

Skegss is a surf and garage rock trio from Byron Bay. You could tell at Good Things this year that people came just to see Skegss play live, showing their true Aussie colours while chanting “Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi” and even chanting “Beery! Beery!” to get Toby “Two Strings” Cregan to chug his beer. You could tell by the smiles on their faces while playing songs like Got On My SkateboardSmogged Out and L.S.D that the band was having fun and loving the festival, so much so that they even played overtime without care for The Veronicas coming up next on stage after them. Now that’s what you call rock!  

Trivium played an outstanding 10-song set starting with The Sin and the Sentence, followed by Beyond Oblivion and Like Light to The Flies. Until The World Goes Cold is a strong, brutal and melodic song and like Down From The Sky, both songs were greatly celebrated by the crowd. The band finished with Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr and In Wave.  Frontman, guitarist and lead singer Matt Heafy apologised for taking a long time to come back to Australia, but surely they made the wait worth it. 

Enter Shikari gave an electric performance which included their classic ‘quickfire round’ – four songs in a record eight minutes. The stage was chock-a-block and far too small for a band with as much energy as Enter Shikari and their fans.

Punk rock legends Bad Religion came Down Under to give us all a lesson in punk. Without pretence or theatrics, they played their set and dominated the festival. With a combination of songs perfectly performed from their latest album ‘Age of Unreason’ and classics like Generator, Fuck You, American Jesus, and You, they reminded us what punk rock initially was about – a way to express our darkest thoughts and feelings. Sorrow seems to become a new classic connecting with the issues of grown-up men still following the band. You begins with a frantic tempo and bass line that draws you into a feeling of a downward spiral and the utopian dream we all have when we were younger and that is always ruined by someone or something. The band is celebrating its 40th anniversary next year and there are no signs of slowing down.

A Day to Remember jumped on stage two for an hour set with 15 songs pretty well known and celebrated, but attendees went crazy when Degenerates was played and the acoustic If It Means A Lot To You made everyone sing out loud with the band. In some way, pop with distorted guitars can still rock up people’s hearts.

Pop-punk Canadian band Simple Plan began their set with Welcome To My Life, which had most festival-goers singing along. Devoted fans identified themselves as the band played more recent songs like Boom. Toilet paper was used as a substitute for streamers and later during Summer Paradise beach balls brought by the band were thrown into the crowds. The band provided relief from the more hardcore music of other bands at the festival with songs like What’s New Scooby-Doo and Perfect. For those who grew up in the 2000s, seeing Simple Plan was a pleasant trip down memory lane.

After a successful year touring Europe, US and Mexico, Parkway Drive return home to headline Good Things Festival. The band made their way through the crowds and onto the stage, led by two men holding torches, as the crowd erupted to their opening song Wishing Wells and the hugely celebrated Prey. Winston McCall greeted the audience and said it was good to be back home.

The band executed their set list immaculately, which was full of monumental riffs and epic choruses proving why they are headlining and one of the most successful Australian metal bands of this century. Death, anger and tragedy are central themes in their songs. The signature of the twin guitars played by Luke Kilpatrick and Jeff Ling in Vice Grip adds to the power and fury to the track.

The crowd was totally captured by the band as songs like Idols And Anchors, Absolute power, Shadow Boxing, Wild Eyes were played. A full-on show included fireworks and a drum solo performed inside a metal cage that kept spinning as the band went on to close the set with Crushed and Bottom Feeder.

Music joins us. Together we are stronger, we are better, we are one and Good Things Festival is here to stay.

FULL GALLERY

A Day To Remember

Bad Religion

Man With A Mission

Dance Gavin Dance

Enter Shikari

Falling In Reverse

Gravemind

Ice Nine Kills

Karnivool

Parkway Drive

Poppy

Coming soon.

Reel Big Fish

Simple Creatures

Simple Plan

Sisters Doll

Skegss

Slowly Slowly

The Beautiful Monument

The Bennies

The Butterfly Effect

The Veronicas

Thy Art Is Murder

Trivium