Good Things Festival 2019
Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne VIC
December 6th, 2019
The second Good Things Festival finally arrived after a highly anticipated hype campaign (no seriously the hype for this event was fucking insane compared to other festivals) and we just HAD to be at the first event to kick off the East Coast run which might I add, turned the weather on for us following last year’s apocalyptic heatwave conditions! The Wall of Sound crew consisting of Browny (me), Tam, Carys and Luke hit the ground running from the second the gates opened to cover as much of the festival as possible (whilst also conducting interviews for a special Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall podcast out here) and this is what we saw…
The weirdest and most intriguing member of the 2019 lineup kick off the festivities on the main stage and pulled quite a decent crowd who turned up to catch their blend of pop/metal and wacky antics on stage. Poppy herself, despite seeming out of place, strolled across the stage with her awkwardly quiet persona belting out tracks like ‘Play Destroy‘, ‘Scary Mask‘, Concrete‘, ‘Am I A Girl‘ and more while her two mask-wearing band members played as hard as they could. If you saw her debut Australian show at Stay Gold (our coverage here) it was fairly similar in style to that gig, except in a festival setting. It’s safe to say she raised a few eyebrows and gained a few new fans from her performance.
On my way back to the main stage area, I caught my fav new deathcore outfit Gravemind bashing out a couple of their tracks to a healthy and fattening amount of people who made their way to the Aussie stage and goddamn frontman Dylan Gillies-Parsons has realllly defined his guttural screams this year, hasn’t he! The played ‘The Deathgate‘ which sent machine gun bullet bass vibrations through everyone’s chests which was bloody awesome to hear/feel. Special shout out goes to the bloke in the mosh/circle pit who was running about the place with a cigarette in mouth. You’re the real multitasker here dude!
Oh my fucking god. The hype surrounding The Veronicas‘ performance was insane, mainly due to the fact a few thousand people were keen to take part in the EPIC Wall of Death which caused so much mayhem for everyone involved (but more on that soon). Jess and Lisa fiercely took to the stage and wasted no time in getting straight into ‘Take Me On The Floor‘ which awesomely showed off Jess’ incredibly scream I’ve been telling you all about for months now. Fan favs like ‘Everything I’m Not‘, ‘Hook Me Up‘ and new single ‘Ugly‘ got everyone singing along and there was even an epic rowboat and several circle pits opening up during their set, which is fucking unheard of for a Veronicas show!!! They even slipped in a cheeky cover of ‘I Miss You‘ by blink-182 and OHMYGOD, my two loves together in one place… I was in fucking heaven! The swaying of the crowd was so hard to watch, so many people swaying about, so packed in tight together, you could tell this wasn’t going to end well for anyone haha ‘4ever‘ caused a semi-riot with fans singing along in unison, phones in hand for the gram but the big moment everyone had been waiting for came right at the end when the girls declared “please stand up for the Australian national anthem” before the cellos played out through the speakers and we were into the end game with ‘Untouched‘.
The Veronicas Wall Of DeathThe Veronicas are goddamn amazing! Two of the most watched sets so far, including a cover of blink-182 yesterday and The Used (with GUEST Bert McCracken) today! The much publicised wall of death DID HAPPEN!
Check out the view from the stage in Melbourne yesterday!
📷 : @heyitshicham
Posted by Good Things Festival on Friday, December 6, 2019
There was literally bodies flying all over the place, so many moshers getting into it, guys from their 20’s to late 40’s singing along to every word which was so weird, yet fuckin awesome to be part of. The moment arrived and the girls told us all to split the mosh in half… IT WAS FUCKING TIME TO DIE!!!! After a small breakdown, the girls counted out 3-2-1 and it was FUCKING ON LIKE DONKEY KONG for the final chorus. I, as I told you, was right in the middle of it and can I just tell you, it’s a fucking frightening experience seeing hundreds upon hundreds of people running straight for you. The impact hit, the bodies, once again, were flung all over the place, we all started falling on each other, there was screaming, people were still singing and there were so many smiles on people’s faces (either that or they were about to cry) as we clambered about on and off each other trying to get back on our feet. At one moment my vision went completely white and I thought to myself “ok, this is it, this is how I go out” but luckily for me (and the three blokes I was crushing with two guys on top of me) we all regained our footing, stood up and cheered as loud as we could for what just happened. The medical tent afterwards looked like a warzone with so many people being carried into it, I even saw one poor guy being carried with what looked like his foot twisted the wrong way. Complete insanity, but fuck I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Following the biggest mosh of the day (until Parkway came on later) I hobbled over to see Trivium hit the stage again for the first time in years and they opened with ‘The Sin and The Sentence‘ which went off as loud and fast as you’d expect for the album I gave my first ever 10/10 to! I only managed to catch a couple of their songs but frontman Matt Heafy is the ultimate showman. He engaged with the audience and encouraged everyone from all of the place in front of him to get involved, signalling his hands to jump up ad scream and everyone obliged. These guys are always great fun and I hope we get to see them back here for a headline tour sooner than later
Falling In Reverse
After running a good couple of hundred metres back from the media centre, I arrived at FIR to hear Ronnie Radke and co. bashing out ‘Rolling Stone‘ which was well received by those in attendance. A sound issue meant their whole performance sounded a lot softer than usual, but the still blasted through songs like ‘Drugs‘, ‘The Drug In Me Is You‘ and ‘Just Like You‘. I wasn’t stoked with their performance this time because of the sound issues, but they put on a show for the mass amount of keen festival goers who were there for them.
The Beautiful Monument
On my way to catch Soho, I stopped into the Aussie stage again to see my girls in The Beautiful Monument owning the stage and enjoying every single second of it. Frontwoman Lizi Blanco‘s on-stage persona was more cheerful than ever before (maybe having something to do with the fact she was performing on the same festival as one of her fav bands, ADTR) and she owned the stage. Shredmaster Andrea Scoumbri, bassist Amy McIntosh and guitarist Alex Henderson along with their new drummer Adam Pinzone all looked like they were having a ball and it was bloody beautiful to witness. Highlights (that I caught) included ‘Ida‘ and ‘Deceiver‘… plus their beautiful smiles throughout the set.
Brisbane’s finest hit the stage in the middle of the afternoon and opened with “We’re Violent Soho and we’re also sorry we can’t be perfect” nodding to Simple Plan who just wrapped up their set with that track. The Mansfield lads bashed out a set of nostalgic Aussie rock anthems which sent the crowd into a frenzy… well the ones that weren’t toking on contraband cigarettes that is, and it was great to see them on stage for the first time in 3 years in Melbourne. They ripped through songs like ‘Viceroy’, ‘In The Aisle, ‘Neighbour Neighbour’, ‘Like Soda’, ‘Jesus Stole My Girlfriend‘ and the always amazing ‘Covered In Chrome‘ before wrapping it up with a cover of ‘My Pal‘ by 80’s Aussie punk rockers GOD. There was blood, sweat and tears of joy that SOHO were back and there’s more to come…
One of the most highly anticipated sets of the day came from blink-182‘s Mark Hoppus and All Time Low‘s Alex Gaskarth who debuted their new project for eager fans who skipped on A Day To Remember‘s set and those of us who got there early were treated to an uplifting, fun gig full of jokes reminiscent of the early blink days and the band’s two EPs they debuted this year. Hoppus bounced around the stage like a limber toddler while Gaskarth provided the swooning for the ladies in attendance.
They opened with ‘Adrenaline‘ before hitting fav tracks like ‘Thanks, I Hate It‘, ‘Drug‘, ‘One Little Lie‘ and even a cover of Depeche Mode‘s ‘Personal Jesus‘. By the time the guys left the stage, the mass of people who ran over to check them out was vast and we all had a great time just enjoying this new, upbeat offering from two of pop punk’s most recognised and respected faces.
Simple Creatures playing their debut show in Australia at Good Things Festival. Here’s ‘Adrenaline’ brb swooning Mark Hoppus 😍😍😍
Posted by Wall Of Sound on Friday, December 6, 2019
By the time I ran back over to Parkway they were well and truly into their firey set (don’t worry, I caught their full performance in Brisbane so I didn’t cook it haha) but we were treated to a fucking spectacle. This performance was so surreal to see from a band who were only playing RSLs a decade ago and to see how far they’ve come and how much fun they were all having in the process was the most wholehearted thing anyone could have witnessed.
Highlights from my viewing were the string section during ‘Writings on the Wall‘ and ‘Shadow Boxing‘ as well as Ben Gordon‘s revolving drum kit and the throwback to ‘Idols and Anchors‘. ‘Wild Eyes‘ had everyone singing along and the flames they had on the stage and a crane back behind the sound tent really heated things up (no seriously it was fucking freezing without those flames) for the epic closer ‘Bottom Feeder‘.
This band is next level now…
There’s a resurgence happening in Australia right now channelling the mid 2000’s pop punk/rock era that was once dominated by Kisschasy. Melbourne lads Slowly Slowly are part of that revolution, and oh boy, I was pretty keen to see what they had to offer. The highlight was singing along to ‘Creature of Habit Pt.2’, and although I didn’t catch the rest of their set in Melbourne due to hunger pains (festivals take a lot outta ya!) and getting a good spot for my favourite band Simple Plan, I did manage to stick around for the full thing in Brisbane. These guys need an album out ASAP though, then they’ll dominate hard.
Between the hours of 5:30 to 8:30 it was all about the pop punk for me (and everyone else!) and the first stop was my all time favourites, Simple Plan. I didn’t plan on going for the barrier for them like the old days, but the excitement kicked in while listening to Bad Religion and I thought “fuck it, I’m going for it!” because this would be their first Australian performance featuring the return of bassist David Desrosiers. I also gotta give props and thanks to Good Things for scheduling Bad Religion and Simple Plan back-to-back because hearing ‘American Jesus’ live was the perfect segue (if you’re a longtime fan like me, you’ll know that SP once covered ‘American Jesus’ way back in 2002!). The signature SP sirens went off and out came the Canadian five-piece, launching straight into ‘I’d Do Anything’ and everyone went fucking nuts, especially when frontman Pierre Bouvier jumped off the stage and into the crowd.
I’m not just saying this because they were my #1 reason for attending GTF this year, but Simple Plan hands down had the most energetic, fun, high-energy set of the entire day. These guys have fucking perfected the pop punk style both on and off stage, with tracks like ‘Jump’, ‘Summer Paradise’ and ‘I’m Just A Kid’ scoring major brownie points from the crowd. I’ll also never ever get over hearing ‘Perfect’ live whether it’s the first time or the billionth time, and ‘Thank You’ made its long awaited return to the setlist for the first time in forever (I think, in honor of David returning). The guys even revisited elements from their last Australian tour by inviting Stateside frontwoman Erin Reus back on stage to sing ‘Jet Lag’, and drummer Chuck Comeau crowdsurfing during ‘I’m Just A Kid’ is surefire proof that Simple Plan absolutely love interacting with the crowd and giving back to their fans as much as possible. From the beach balls during ‘Summer Paradise’ to the random toilet paper rolls flying everywhere (so that’s why there’s never any toilet paper in festival portaloo’s!), it was hard not to enjoy watching Simple Plan. If there had to be a theme song to sum up Good Things 2019 though, it’d be the boys’ latest single ‘Where I Belong’ which hearing live for the first time, hit way too close to home for me (especially in Brisbane!). Whether you feel at home with Simple Plan, Parkway Drive, A Day To Remember or even The Veronicas, there is a place for all musical styles at this festival.
In a Simple Plan mosh pit is where we belong! Revisit their first Australian performance of ‘Where I Belong’ from Good Things Festival Melbourne now!
📹: Tamara May
Posted by Wall Of Sound on Friday, December 6, 2019
Next up on the 3 hours of pop punk was upcomers Yours Truly. It was an absolute thrill to see these guys headline the smallest stage of the festival, and having a set time inbetween the two biggest pop punk bands kind of worked in their favour. Excited fans from Simple Plan‘s set just before made the trek over from the main stage, while those waiting for A Day To Remember squeezed in one more band to catch. Opening with their hit single ‘Circles’, playing their short collection of tunes new and old, the young four-piece proved why they’re Australia’s next best thing in pop punk. Frontwoman Mikaila Delgado has that fiery spark in her stage presence that makes the entire show that much more exciting to watch. These kids will be playing the main stage of festivals in no time, that’s for sure!
A Day To Remember
Well, fuck. The hype for A Day To Remember was real, alright. As soon as the intro to ‘The Downfall of Us All’ played out, the mayhem began. It was hard not to get involved with everything that goes on in an ADTR pit. From circle pits to crowdsurfers on top of one another, A Day To Remember was the non-stop action we were waiting for. Being their first Australian tour for the longest time possible, their return was welcomed with open arms. Hearing ‘Sticks and Bricks’ live for the first time ever went down a fucking treat, followed by ‘Better Off This Way’ and the crowdsurfers surfing on top of other crowdsurfers, which looked pretty fucking awesome but frontman Jeremy McKinnon advised against (or was he insinuating it? I’m really not too sure…)
Hearing ‘2nd Sucks’ and ‘Right Back At It Again’ back-to-back was my favourite aspects of ADTR, being the right balance of heavy and pop punk, turning down the opportunity to run through the circle pit was not an option! While the ADTR x Marshmello collab ‘Rescue Me’ made the setlist (to my surprise!), it was ‘Degenerates’ and newest track ‘Resentment’ that had everyone going before the band turned things down a notch for ‘If It Means Alot To You’ where you could hear every single voice in Flemington getting amongst it, smartphones included. ADTR also gave Simple Plan a run for their money by getting in on the toilet paper action during ‘All Signs Point to Lauderdale’ (hey, at least TP is environmentally friendly) and I’m not lying when I say that A Day To Remember rounds out my top two from Good Things 2019.
A Day To Remember was on fiiire at Good Things Festival Melbourne today! Their new single “Degenerates” makes us so fucking keen for the new album!!!
📹: Tamara May
Posted by Wall Of Sound on Friday, December 6, 2019
Hitting Stage 3 at 12.10pm, The Bennies, did what they do best, play songs about parting and weed, and chatting about partying and weed. As the first band to play for the day, the crowd was on the smaller side, but thoroughly enjoyed clapping, singing and bopping along to tunes like ‘My Bike’, and ‘Legalise (But Don’t Tax)’. Finishing with favourite ‘Party Machine’, a song that encapsulates The Bennies whole ethos perfectly, the band blended in a chorus or so of ‘Sabotage’ by The Beastie Boys, with frontman Anty going for bit of a crowd surf. A great, albeit stinky (so much pot going around- but that is to be expected at The Bennies) start to the festival.
Man With a Mission
Making their Australian debut, Japanese band Man With A Mission, came out with a mission, to entertain, and that they did. Wearing their signature wolves masks, the band’s pop/ rock/ rap/ punk/ DJ fusion makes for one hell of a ride. It’s weird and eclectic and not for everyone, but it is god damn fun! Not having much of a following in Australia, the crowd was the smallest I saw for the day, but everyone who was there to see them was super enthusiastic and excited to see them, and that was infectious. Having previously only heard of them due to the split EP they did with Zebrahead a few years ago, I am now officially on the Man With A Mission bandwagon.
Reel Big Fish
Cutting Man With A Mission short, I headed to Stage 1 for ska kings Reel Big Fish. Opening to the moon landing music, they came on and launched into ‘Pissed Off’ from 2018’s Life Sucks… Let’s Dance, which saw some dancing from the crowd. But it was their older stuff that got the biggest response, with people going nuts for ‘Sell Out’. Doesn’t matter how many times you see Reel Big Fish (and I’ve seen them about half a dozen now), the tunes and the energy from the band, particularly from the horn section always plaster a smile on your face. Special mention to Johnny Christmas for running from one end of the stage to another, pumping the crowd up during the set. Unfortunately, due to the worst clash of all, for this reviewer at least, Reel Big Fish was cut short as I ran to Stage 3.
Ice Nine Kills
I love this band! And I have loved this band for a long time, so it was a fucking awesome to see them play Stay Gold the previous night, and Good Things, and it seems as many, many other people agreed. Catching them 10-15 minutes into their set, the crowd was pumping. So much so there was an engagement proposal! Ice Nine Kills are very theatrical, using props, costumes and makeup to tell the story of the songs. Pumping through a set of songs from The Silver Scream, their album based on horror movies, and adding ‘Communication of The Cursed’ into the mix, in which frontman Spencer Charnas did a bit of crowd surfing. Ending with ‘IT is the End’, Charnas donning full Pennywise regalia, the crowd was in awe of what they just saw. I overheard many exclaim their surprise and delight at what they just witnessed. Seriously, if you missed Ice Nine Kills, you missed out! There was even a marriage proposal during their set too which we captured below. Huge congrats again to James and Cassandra!
What’s this? A marriage proposal during Ice Nine Kills set at Good Things Festival? Wholesome AF from the metal community 🤘🤘🤘
📽: Kelsey Trevan
Posted by Wall Of Sound on Thursday, December 5, 2019
After doing some interviews I headed back with plenty of time to see Bad Religion. Opening with ‘21st Century Digital Boy’, the punk fans were out in force. By the third track ‘Chaos From Within’ from the newest album Age of Unreason, a decent sized circle pit had formed, letting the hardcore punks expend their energy. One of the many great things about Bad Religion is the fact that Greg Graffin’s voice sounds exactly like their albums, the man is consistently a great vocalist. Tearing thorough old and new tracks, the older ones getting a better reception than the more recent ones, as noted by Graffin, the only downfall was the toilet rolls being thrown at the stage over and over and over again. At first it was a nice effect, looking like streamers floating in the air, and when the first roll went up on the stage Graffin jokingly responded “thanks for the shit tickets.” But when it kept happening and drummer Jamie Miller had to duck several times, it just got annoying. Can we please let the performers do their thing without having to dodge flying missiles Australia? That would be great! Despite that annoyance, the band continued their energetic run through their extensive back catalogue ending with the classic ‘American Jesus’.
After checking out a couple of other bands for a song or two and a dinner break it was time for Karnivool, who walked on the stage with no fuss, no drama, Ian Kenny saying “Hello everybody”, before launching into ‘Shutter Speed’. The crowd joined in singing throughout their set, which was a masterclass in how to let your music do the talking for you. The interaction with the crowd, was polite, friendly yet brief, as Karnivool gave the fans what they want, the tunes. The only exception was when they brought up the importance of supporting local music, after the announcement that Arts spending and funding was being axed by the Morrison government. Playing hits such as ‘We Are’, ‘Roquefort’, ‘Themata’ and ending with ‘New Day’ the set was one in which everyone was feeling the love and singing together in unison.
Listen to our Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall Good Things 2019 podcast right here
Reel Big Fish
Ice Nine Kills
Falling In Reverse
A Day To Remember