Good Things Festival @ Showgrounds, Brisbane 4/12/2022

As the final lights go down after Bring Me The Horizon’s triumphant set, and the last note of this weekends Good Things Festival still reverberates in the Brisbane air, the mood is one of a great party and well, the night is still young.

For Good Things is about all that and more. You want to see a tattooed unicorn rock out to NoFX? It’s here. You want to see German dudes in 1990’s shell suits play possibly the greatest set on a day of great sets, it’s here too. And much much more.

My first port of call was a small room under one of the main stands called the Garage, which had local punk acts throwing down in a tight space. This was next to one of the two main food areas in the venue that is easy to get around.

A short detour later and we have Ukrainian powerhouses Jinjer on one of the main stages. Tatiana’s vocals are on point as the band run through their own arsenal of weapons to an already swarming crowd.

Good Things is a finely tuned machine and within seconds of Jinjer finishing then the next stage has American punk legends Millencolin start immediately.

With five stages, and the garage, there is plenty to go and watch. Getting around the venue, which at points is a one way system, is easy even if bands overlap, you don’t miss much. Merch stands are generously dotted around as are toilets.

Over under the canopy Melbourne’s Thornhill are having a great time and the dark setting works for them as vocalist Jacob Charlton’s fantastic range mesmerises the crowd.

The Gloom In The Corner recently dropped a storming new album Trinity and their set list weighs heavily on it with vocalist Taylor Barber singing through the pain barrier, however the performance does not suffer one jot.

Back on the main stage and Sabaton burst onto the stage to smoke bombs and pyrotechnics as their songs of war have the crowd rabid and singing. Frontman Joakim Broden runs from side to side, urging the crowd to fist pump and chant. It would be fair to say a number of people here today had Sabaton down as their first choice based on the way the audience responds.

There is every chance the organisers underestimated what crowd Electric Callboy bring. The Germans arrive on stage in shell suits and wigs and start with 80’s dance music in Pump It. Everyone literally jumps and claps, singing every word back and when the guitars drops it’s one of the sights of the day. It’s rapid and enjoyable, it’s a heavy metal rave.

How do Lacuna Coil follow that? With their own intense and hectic sonic array of metal. Opening with tracks of Reckless and Layers Of Time, and a reimagined version of Heavens A Lie, the twin vocal attack of Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia pummels the adoring audience throughout.

Ocean Grove are a band you need to see live. Fun energetic and all inclusive, they are a good time, every time and the crowd feels this as they chant through songs like Sex Dope Gold with joyful glee.

Amity Affliction meanwhile over on the main stage have a set list that is all killer, dropping Drag The Lake which gets the crowd bouncing and Don’t Lean On Me has hands clapping to the back of massive Showgrounds. Finishing in a burst of flames during Soak Me In Bleach the band deliver on the big stage once again.

I caught the end of Sleeping With Sirens in turn to hear their version of Goo Goo Dolls classic Iris, In this case an acoustic version, with the crowds response spine tingling. Everything they did after that was charged with electricity.

Soulfly, led by the legendary Max Cavalera , take the stage next in a furious rage of metal. Cavalera is like a circus ringmaster and he leads the circle pits through Back To The Primitive and No Hope No Fear. Throw in a Sepultura cover of Refuse/Resist and, with Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares on board, a Fear Factory classic in Replica and every metal fan worth their salt walks away from this ecstatic.

Polaris tear onto the stage with Landmine a battering ram of fury and flames, and Vagabond keeps the pace up and as crowd surfers come crashing down over the barrier with like a gushing g waterfall. These boys are a well oiled machine of talent right now.

It’s NoFX’s last show in Australia and no expense is spared with arguably the funniest backdrop of a tiny hard to see sign with the NoFX painted on. The show is equally chaotic as drumsticks are thrown around, guitars not played, guest vocalists and the trademark banter that Fat Mike is renowned for all added to the mix. It’s anarchy and it’s a lot of fun.

Deftones iconic brand of melancholy and metal are in full display tonight. Drive and Summer are out early to huge cheers as Moreno jumps around the stage like an cat on a hot tin roof. A special moment arrives when Max Cavalera of Soulfly joins the stage to sing Head Up in what is arguably a world first and a crowning moment.

Which brings us back to Bring Me The Horizon. Opening with Can You Feel My Heart the confetti goes off just as much as the girls screams as Oli Sykes announces himself to the Brisbane crowd.

Following that with Happy Song and literally every person to a man is singing along as a the now famous wall of death is implemented during the song. It’s a quality set list with Mantra and Die4U included as the bands energy gives everyone another shot of adrenaline this late in the day.

And with that, Good Things was done for another year. A triumphant return for a festival to cater for all alternative genres and judging by the smiles on the faces, Good Things did good.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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