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Live Reviews : Good Things Festival @ Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne 06/12/2019

By on December 7, 2019

Images: Clinton Hatfield
Words: Matt Barton

After a successful inaugural festival in 2018, Good Things returns for a second year with another massive line up of local and international talent. Nearly 30 bands are on this year’s bill which is the perfect number across the five stages as it means most bands got between 45 minutes to an hour to showcase their stuff.

First up on the main stage is Poppy who, like Babymetal at last year’s event, brings the pop-infused-metal, and do so very well to a decent early crowd. The mix between the heaviness of the music (performed by musicians in long blonde wigs and masks) and Poppy’s pop style vocals, this music isn’t for everyone but is catchy enough and is a solid way to start the day.

Local band Sisters Doll won their spot onto the lineup recently via Triple J Unearthed and quickly show why they deserve it. Between covering Queen classics and performing a bunch of originals, this is a band with a lot of talent and are definitely worth checking out if you get the chance. I certainly joined the Doll army (their name for the fanbase) at the conclusion of their set.

Horror inspired band Ice Nine Kills make their long-awaited debut to Australia and the size of the crowd shows fans have been waiting for some time and they certainly don’t leave disappointed. Between the catchy songs, the theatrics of their performance and frontman Spencer Charnas dressing up as everything from a clown, to Michael Michaels, to Ghostface from Scream; it was a very solid performance.

Melbourne’s own deathcore/metalcore Gravemind pack out the area dedicated as the “local” stage, stage 5, and it’s not hard to see why. This is a band quickly on the rise and one to keep an eye on for the future.

When the Good Things lineup was announced, many were somewhat surprised by the left of centre choice to add The Veronicas to the lineup however it absolutely paid off. Between arguably having the biggest crowd of the day, to the huge singalongs, circle pits and, yes, that wall of death during Untouched, not many left disappointed after their set. They even threw in a cover of Blink 182’s I Miss You for good measure.

Not having seen Trivium live for a while, it’s fantastic to see frontman Matt Heafy screaming again. And as they power through such classics like Like Light To Flies and In Waves, it’s a quick reminder of how great their older material is and, while it would’ve been good to hear more of that, their newer songs went down well enough to please the fans who were there.

Having never listened to Perth’s Voyager before I was unsure what to expect but was definitely pleasantly surprised. While the crowd was small, the crowd involvement was great and they’re a band I’d love to check out more.

It’s hard to believe punk icons Bad Religion will be celebrating 40 years as a band next year, but judging by their set, they’re showing absolutely no signs of slowing down, especially after promising to return to Australia next year.

Many were excited for the return of A Day To Remember to Australia, it was long overdue but as soon as they kick things off with The Downfall of Us All all of that is forgotten as the headbanging and singalong begin. Between the pyrotechnics, streamers, and Jeremy McKinnon’s seamless transition from pop-punk to metalcore vocals, they put on a hell of a set. Right Back At It Again and All Signs Point To Lauderdale just a couple of highlights.

It’s a great (albeit rare) sight to see an Australian band headlining a festival like this in Australia and Parkway Drive is definitely a fitting choice to do so. And, while I’m not their biggest fan, it’s not hard to see why they’ve become as huge as they are. Between their classics like Carrion and Karma to their newer material, the crowd soaks up every minute until it all comes to an end with a pyrotechnic flame spectacular.

After over nine hours and nearly a dozen bands, it’s a long day but absolutely worth the exhaustion. There were many highlights, but at the end of the day, it’s just great to see a festival like this succeeding in Australia again and many (myself included) are very keen to see where Good Things goes in the future and hope it continues on in this fashion.

About

Matt Barton loves all things rock and metal. Everyone from Slipknot to The Living End. He enjoys going to gigs and discovering new music. Matt also writes for Heavy Mag and is currently attempting to write his debut novel.