Review : Benjamin Coe
Photos : JD Garrahy and Dan Maynard
It’s been damn near 3 years since this country has had a large-scale rock festival such as Good Things and by golly is it a welcome return! Despite the looming cloud cover threatening rain at any moment, punters are lined up for miles to gain entrance to the first Good Things festival since the plague took away our precious live music. And as soon as those gates are opened, they are flooding in in absolute droves!
A small yet adoring crowd gathers at Stage 1 to catch Adelaide’s energetic 2-piece Teenage Joans as they put on an outstanding show of passion and charm all the while being exceptionally grateful to be added to such an amazing bill.
Meanwhile, over on Stage 5, another small crowd is gathering for the Good Things Battle Of The Band Brisbane winners, Apate. The local quintet blast through a solid set of equal parts aggression and atmosphere while the Good Things crowd drizzles in from outside, most of who stop to give the lads their time of day.
Kisschasy have been gone for a while, but that has not stopped them from putting on a hell of a show for their loyal fanbase over on Stage 3. Playing their breakthrough smash album United Paper People from front to back, you know what to expect from the Melbourne foursome but still can’t look away, with hits like Do-Do’s & Whoa-Oh’s and Face Without a Name garnering some of the biggest crowd responses of the day so far.
While the emo crowd is being satiated over on Stage 3, the metalheads all race to Stage 2 to from a huge crowd for Ukrainian band Jinjer. In such a desperate time for their country, it’s so great to see them out here performing and spreading awareness of the tragedies in their homeland. It’s a wild, energetic from both the band and crowd alike as vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk dances around the stage roaring like a banshee. As the rain starts to come down, Shmailyuk addresses the situation back home screaming “WE WANT OUR HOME BACK!” but not too much time is spent on the doom and gloom other than the heavy ass riffs!
Thornhill have become quite the live tour-de-force and it’s easy to see why as they take to Stage 4 to rapturous applause. Opening with fan favourite Where We Go When We Die from their seminal album The Dark Pool, frontman Jacob Charlton is absolutely on fire with his soaring vocal style as he calls for Brisbane to “Wake the fuck up!” and get moving. It’s a short but sweet set featuring cuts from both The Dark Pool and their phenomenal latest release Heroine, such as The Hellfire Club and recent single Raw.
It’s the punk’s turn over on Stage 1 and time for the mighty Swedes in Millencolin to delight us with their brand of fast-paced punk rock tunage. The longer they play their infectious tunes, the larger the crowd grows and it’s no surprise. They are a tight-knit unit and they put on a hell of a show with their set spanning their whole career from 1995’s Life on A Plate all the way to 2019’s SOS album and everything in between. Penguins & Polarbears from their smash hit album Pennybridge Pioneers is an easy stand out and really gets the crowd jumping.
As the weather continues to hold out in its overcast state, the aptly named Gloom In The Corner begin to tear Stage 5 apart with their unique brand of metalcore madness and the crowd is definitely here for it! Vocalist Mikey Arthur works the crowd, magnificently presented in his tactical vest and trucker cap. The set is heavily reliant on their freshly released Trinity album and tracks like Obliteration Imminent and the ever-crushing Ronin drag the audience down to the pits of hell before spitting them back out all bloodied and bruised (figuratively, of course).
Proving age is a just a number, classically revered Melbourne punks Cosmic Psychos smash through a short but sweet set of true Aussie punk over on Stage 3; their off-kilter tunes pleasing the amassed crowd while the power metal enthusiasts are standing gob smacked over at Stage 2 as Sabaton set fire to the sky with their pyrotechnic display.
If you haven’t seen or heard the name Electric Callboy in the past year, chances are you’ve still been in lockdown. The German electro-core sextet have been blowing up in recent years and it’s easy to see why when they take over Stage 4 and get the crowd pumping with their eclectic stage show and even more eclectic musical offerings, most of which are torn straight from the pages of their latest album Tekkno. Classic favourites such as Hate/Love and Hypa Hypa from 2020’s MMXX EP aren’t forgotten and are two of the best received before the uber-energetic close out their proceedings with We Got The Moves, ending in an a-cappella call and answer session between the band and crowd while promising they’ll be back before you know it for a much-deserved headline tour.
Next up and right next door on Stage 3 is the Italian goth metal titans Lacuna Coil. Donning white jumpsuits and decades of experience under their belts, the dual vocal team of the ever-alluring Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro lead their band through a tight set, including a few reimagined versions of Comalies songs off their recent Comalies XX release, including Heaven’s A Lie XX and Swamped XX. They even manage a Depeche Mode cover before bidding the adoring crowd farewell until next time, leaving them wanting more.
Queensland’s premier metalcore outfit The Amity Affliction have certainly come a long way in their years as a band and the massive crowd that have gathered in front of Stage 2 to witness their fiery set (excuse the pun) is a testament to their enduring tenacity and talent. Lead vocalist Joel Birch and bassist/clean vocalist Ahren Stringer are in fine form as they masterfully work the crowd amidst a flurry of flame and crushing tunes from 2014’s Let The Ocean Take Me to 2020’s Everyone Loves You…Once You Leave Them album. A far cry from playing dingy clubs such as Rosie’s Bar in Brisbane to a couple of hundred punters, the future certainly looks bright for the boys from Gympie.
Following on from such an epic performance is certainly no mean feat but if anyone was up for the challenge it would certainly be France’s powerhouse metallers, Gojira. A 3-minute countdown on the main stage’s big screens marks their imminent arrival to Stage 1 as the crowd steadily shifts from one side to the other and as the countdown reaches 0 the band burst into Born For One Thing from this year’s Fortitude release. Technically proficient and absolute masters of their craft, Gojira plow their way through a career spanning set that includes cuts from their classic From Mars to Sirius album such as Backbone and Flying Whales. Closing out with hit single Amazonia played to an absolutely mental mosh pit, here’s to hoping they don’t wait too long between visits.
Out the back on Stage 5, London electro-rock duo Nova Twins are putting on a hell of a show belting out tunes from their latest release Supernova. It’s a total dance party and the crowd absolutely loves the energy and funky style that the girls bring to the Good Things stages.
There is mid-afternoon mayhem of the bounciest kind over Stage 3 when Sleeping With Sirens come out to play to an absolutely massive crowd. Honestly, the whole undercover area at the side stages are singing along to every word vocalist Kellin Quinn throws at them as hardcore metal fans are struggling their way through the thick of it to get front and center at Stage 4 for the return of Soulfly to Australian stages.
And a welcome return it is! The crowd goes apeshit as the intro to Back To The Primitive plays over the PA before leading man of the hour Max Cavalera roars into the microphone “Get the fuck up!” and proceeds to smash through a stunning set of tracks from their rather illustrious career to the delight of their legions of fans.
TISM make their “official” triumphant return to the stage after some not-so-sneaky, pre-Good Things sideshows. Dressed to the nines in hooded silver jumpsuits with what can only be described as giant, inflatable butt-plugs tied to their heads, the band thrash about the stage in their own eccentric style whilst “construction” (complete with a mic’ed-up cement mixer) takes place at the rear of the stage to assemble their backdrop, which to be honest is a bloody show within itself! Dropping their hit single Greg! The Stop Sign!! around mid-set the crowd is in absolute awe and amusement for the duration of their hour-long set before they get up and dance/surf the crowd on giant foam platforms delivered from the stage by the band themselves. As they finish up with their debut single Defecate On My Face, it’s a much needed reminder that music doesn’t have to always be so serious and heartfelt.
Playing at the same time that veteran punk rockers NOFX are bellowing out their pop-punk classic Punk In Drublic and entertaining the crowd with their hilarious between song banter about frontman Fat Mike’s “overly large” nipples was never going to be an easy task, but alas, Norwegian rock band Blood Command, led by ex-Pagan pocket rocket Nikki Brumen are subjected to doing just that. But the criminally small crowd does nothing to falter these guys energy and they proceed to absolutely slay Stage 5 and it’s crowd and in return the crowd sends the energy right back!
As night falls over the festival grounds and things start to go dark, the light shows become that much more incredible and now is Deftones time to shine. After being mocked by Fat Mike and his cohorts in NOFX, the Deftones fanbase have their work cut out for them and boy, oh boy do they deliver! As Chino Moreno and co. take to the cloudy stage draped in dazzling colours the crowd erupts and it is game as the band leap headfirst into Genesis from 2020’s Ohms.
Wasting no time keeping proceedings rolling on, the opening riff to Be Quiet & Drive permeates the air much to the audiences delight before they go ballistic for the intro to My Own Summer. It’s a classics-heavy set taking a lot from the Around The Fur and White Pony albums before diving into some newer material with Swerve City, Rosemary, and Rocket Skates rounding out the newer material. “We’ve got one more song…” Chino declares, “and a very special guest…” he adds as Soulfly’s Max Cavalera joins the band on stage for a blistering rendition of Headup, a collaboration I’m sure everyone was hoping for.
Then it’s time. Time for the headliners. It’s been a long and winding road for Bring Me The Horizon from their early days as a deathcore band to the stunning rock powerhouse that they’ve become in recent years and it’s no wonder they’ve reached the status of festival headliners. Their show is flawless, not only in the way they perform but right down the production and themed visuals. From the first notes of Can You Feel My Heart? All the way through to the closing of Throne in a hail of confetti, Oli Sykes and his band of merry men have the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands.
“How long were you in lockdown for?” Sykes asks the rather timid crowd. “That’s not a mosh pit!” he spends his time riling the crowd up, getting them moving and shaking to their frenetic brand of rock/metalcore. He even brings back a few of the deathcore growls to the delight of fans of the older material. At one point during the set, we’re treated to a stripped back acoustic version of Follow You before Sykes and co. close out the main set with Drown.
It’s not long before they’re ripping back onto the stage for an exciting encore of hit single Obey and the aforementioned closer of Throne, bringing to an end an absolute ripper of a day for everyone involved, punters and bands alike. Good Things indeed! Bring on next year…