Good Things Festival @ Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne 6/12/2019

Good Things Festival is back for a second instalment and like any good monster, it’s back, bigger and better than before. Spread over three more-tightly-packed-than-a-can-of-sardines days in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, this year has a line up that dabbles into all genres of the rock world with the odd eyebrow raising choice to boot.

In Melbourne, by midday the queues are already winding as people look to get their spot on the barrier for their favourite artist. Starting the day off in the right way is Melbourne’s The Bennies, who have pulled quite the crowd to watch their electric brand of punk, metal, reggae.

The festival had an overwhelming 450 volunteer requests to fit into 150 spots and those volunteers are on hand at the bar, first aid, information and water stations aplenty. Each one to make sure all you needs are catered for and you can enjoy the day without anxiety.

Moving between stages to check out the hype around Poppy, who is one part bubblegum pop from the 80’s mixed with deranged metal breakdowns the next. It may be only 12:30 however Australians getting their first look at the artist were left in awe by a memorable and dazzling performance.

Red Bull reps are on hand to give punters a free cold drink, while the festival atmosphere is in full swing with a fairground ride emanating screams straight from a horror movie.

Which leads us to schlock horror band Ice Nine Kills, who bring their own scares dressed as Freddy Kruger, Brandon Lee’s The Crow and even IT’s Georgie Boy, as they regal us with nightmares about Elm Street and Texas Chainsaws, delivering on the promise of the noise around them in the scene.

The culturally beautiful (Good) thing about this festival, is it reaches out to all demographics. Whereas the standard uniform of a metalhead is black, the full spectrum of the rainbow is on display and gloriously honoured. There are fairies, superheroes, topless ladies, goths and everyone is enjoying the day and freedom this festival represents.

You want vocals from the depths of hell, there is Gravemind and Thy Art Is Murder, who, fresh from touring in the US, create ferocious pits aplenty. You want pop punk, we have Skeggs and Yours Truly, whose infectiousness from the stage spreads across the crowd.

If you want to shock and rebel, which is what the heavier and alternative scene has always been about, you go and see The Veronicas. Many an observer raised their eyebrows at this and took to social media to create a mock ‘wall of death’ during their song Untouched.

Well the jokes on them. Waves upon waves of crowd goers flooded the stage to see the Aussie twins, Jess and Lisa, as they sang along with every word, dancing with care free abandonment.

Then came the moment where the girls took the gold medal honours of the day. As Untouched started, they themselves implored the crowd to get ready for the Wall Of Death, which was huge and triumphantly delivered.

That attitude is a perfect example of the vibe around the festival. Come down, enjoy yourself, respect others and have a good time, which everyone does.

For the metalheads amongst us, we flocked to see Trivium, who deliver a set with such precision you would think it was cut by laser. Dual solos, mosh pits, chanting and clapping, Matt Heafy and the boys pulverise the audience with metal the right way. With Slayer moving on, there is an opening at the top and Trivium are primed to step in.

As the sun sets, the big guns start to come out. Old school political punks Bad Religion still driver the message with venom and the song We’re Gonna Die From Our Own Arrogance rings more true today than ever before.

The tiniest detail at the festival is looked after, there is plenty of shade for the sun weary while the tireless workers make their way around the crowd picking up rubbish. The goodwill vibe of this festival extending as often the crowd assist the cleaners. Even the sound doesn’t get lost within the winds such is detail to make sure everyone enjoys themselves.

Canada’s Simple Plan seem to have the whole audience in attendance, as each and every person sings back their emotions to vocalist Pierre Bouvier. There are people on shoulders, others crying and a special moment when Erin from Stateside joins onstage for a vocal duet too.

Headliners Parkway Drive have come with the intent to show their home country just what a powerful entity the have become worldwide and they don’t disappoint. Flames, pyros, a revolving drum kit and a enigmatic frontman in Winston McCall, who leads the crowd into hysteria like a ringmaster after a circus, the show is as breathtaking as those flames were hot!

Good Things Festival is a festival for all comers. It doesn’t matter what bands you are here to see. If you’re cool and not uptight, if you want to have fun, this is the place to be. This wasn’t a day of good things, it was a day of outstanding things.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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