Good Things Festival
Melbourne Showgrounds, Vic
December 2nd, 2022
Lineup: Bring Me The Horizon, NOFX, TISM, The Amity Affliction, Gojira, Sabaton, Polaris, Millencolin, Blood Command, Chasing Ghosts, Cosmic Psychos, Electric Callboy, Jinjer, Kisschasy, Lacuna Coil, Nova Twins, Ocean Grove, Paledusk, Redhook, Regurgitator, Sleeping With Sirens, Soulfly, Teenage Joans, The Gloom In The Corner, The Story So Far, Thornhill, Those Who Dream, To The Grave, You Am I
We’ve eagerly been anticipating the return of Good Things Festival since the EPIC final run in 2019 and it came back amidst a sea of international and local acts tearing up Australia’s East Coast from December 2-4. Despite sound issues (which GTF addressed on their Facebook page) the event reminded us of the significance of a cultural event that our scene NEEDED in our calendars each year and as we emerge from a post-pandemic world, we hope to see it go bigger and better with every reiteration. Our team on ground in Melbourne captured the first day and the bands they thought dominated their slots…
To The Grave
Storming the stage wearing a balaclava – much like one in the band’s music video for ‘Red Dot Sight’ one of the country’s finest up-and-coming deathcore vocalists had the crowd hanging off his every lyric. The Sydney-based five-piece have come a long way; their performances are world class as they perform like a well-oiled machine. The group thrashed through latest single ‘Axe of Kindness‘ ahead of its release which, as you could imagine, was balls to the wall heavy. Vocalist Dane Evans took the opportunity to express his disdain for the horse racing industry, explaining that many horses have died for no good reason at horse racing tracks just like the one he was playing on. The band went on to finish their set with the song ‘Wastage’ which could be compared in size to the infamous Thy Art Is Murder Wall of Deaths during the 2019 edition of Good Things Festival. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this band is the future of Australian deathcore and I am so excited to see them take over the world. Despite plaguing sound issues, it was a great way to start the day.
Without a moment to spare, Kisschasy took to the stage and began with their popular track ‘Do-Do’s And Whoa-Oh’s’ which reacted well with the crowd who boisterously sang along. The four piece played through their album United Paper People with fan favourites being ‘Face Without a Name’, ‘Black Dress’ and ‘This Bed’. For many, including myself, this nostalgic trip down memory lane was welcomed with open arms. Despite being off the touring circuit since 2015, the group played without skipping a beat. Welcome back Kisschasy! (Catch them on tour in May 2023)
Despite promising fans that Good Things Melbourne would be the final opportunity for fans to say goodbye to guitarist Matt Van Duppen before stepping aside to focus on his role as the band’s manager, he was nowhere to be seen on stage, which was rather disheartening. However, the Melbourne-based globe trotters played both new and old songs which the adoring crowd moshed to from start to finish.
The Gloom In The Corner
After a late start due to technical difficulties, The Gloom In The Corner turned up the heat over on stage five. With a brand new guitarist managing to match the on-stage enthusiasm of Paul Musolino, the theatrics made for a very entertaining observation, however persisting sound issues meant that vocalist Mikey Arthur couldn’t really be heard which tainted the experience a bit.
The chant of “Callboy, Callboy, Callboy” could be heard in the distance as I approached stages three and four. By this time, the festival was filled with punters trying to catch a glimpse of this German metalcore group playing their first-ever Australian music festival. Trying to get close enough to see the group perform with thousands of people swarming the small area was a chaotic mission. From what I could see (as I was standing way back in the distance), the six members put on a fantastic performance which was loved by all who could see. Regular outfit changes took place while deafening singalongs drowned out the struggling sound system.
The Amity Affliction
The huge crowd made it hard for me to get close enough to see TAA (which was one of the acts I was most excited to watch), however, I got as close as I could. I was saddened to discover the sound issues were on the main stages as well, meaning every stage at the festival had audio problems. Despite these issues, I enjoyed Amity‘s set from afar, the pyrotechnics and lighting complimented the group’s great stage presence. Before finishing up, the lads debuted their new track ‘Show Me Your God‘ to the live audience for the very first time.
I headed back to stage five to catch a glimpse of this English rock duo, only to find myself waiting around for an extended period of time. The musicians ended up walking on stage forty minutes late, I assume because of technical issues. Despite the late start, I was astounded at the talent of these two musicians. I found their bass-heavy punk rock sound to be extremely unique and as I looked around the crowd, I knew that I wasn’t the only one thinking this. My connection with this band is only beginning to fuse but I don’t think that calling myself a fan for life is out of the question
I arrive bright and early with the sunshine already threatening to burn the bejesus out of everyone. Considering they were the second band of the day on the main stage, the Ukrainian ambassadors drew a huge crowd that chanted before they even appeared. Opening with a ripping version of ‘Teacher, Teacher’ Jinjer proved why they are a quality main stage act with excellent musicianship and a captivating front person in Tatiana Shmailyuk, who whipped her long ponytail in a circle whenever the band broke into a faster tempo. Many in the crowd were clad in yellow and blue to show their support for the country’s plight. They were rewarded with a crowd-pleasing version of ‘Home Back’ while ‘Pieces’ got a huge cheer and singalong on the clean vocals section. Worthy of the hype with many sporting the band’s merch throughout the day.
Another big merch mover with at least four different t-shirts on sale, there were clearly many who came just to see the Swedish power metal act recap historical battles. They opened with ‘Ghost Division’ then jumped straight into ‘The Great War’, complete with pyro and CO2 in the early afternoon. It was a tight set of ripping riffs and smiling singalongs. Despite the sometimes grim lyrical content, the band looked stoked to be there, smiling and waving during solos. Maybe it was the sunshine. They tailored the set to the audience too, dropping ‘Cliffs of Gallipoli’ to a thunderous applause as singer Joakim Brodén noted they “aren’t just the Village People in camouflage.” The set never let up, covering a range of their discog including newer tracks ‘Stormtroopers’ and ‘The Red Baron’, to which everyone chanted “Higher! Higher!” A thrilling time with an enthusiastic crowd that probably went back for a second tee while stocks lasted.
I had waited more than a decade for this. As mentioned in my Move Up to the Main Stage feature, Gojira now have the song arsenal to mix it with the biggest bands and they certainly threw the gauntlet down early when the countdown hit zero – tearing into ‘Born for One Thing’ off the 10/10 album Fortitude (review here). They worked the fans into a frenzy, an impressive feat considering the technicality of the music, smashing and thrashing through ‘Backbone’ and ‘Stranded’. The moody intro of ‘Flying Whales’ isn’t your typical summer festival fare, but nevertheless saw drummer Mario Duplantier come down from his riser, calling for a circle pit before the main riff saw the crowd erupt. At one point I closed my eyes and let Mario’s double kick hit me in the chest during his drum solo. It was heaven. ‘Silvera’ in particular got a rousing reception before the incredible single ‘Amazonia’ ended the set. They filled their allotted time but I, and many others, could’ve stayed for more.
I was suitably exhausted after Gojira but made my way through the crowd to see the end of Electric Callboy and prep for Soulfly. Damn glad I did as they burst out the gates with ‘Back to the Primitive’ and kept the crowd involved through older tracks ‘No Hope = No Fear’, which I first saw at the Big Day Out in 1999, and ‘Prophecy’. For this sorter festival set, the sole newer tune was the incendiary ‘Filth Upon Filth’, which was a bit of a shame. But having been no stranger to our shores, Max Cavalera knew what the crowd wanted and gave them the works: ‘Bleed’ will be a highlight for many, with the audience filling in for Fred Durst, ‘Downstroy’ and Sepultura’s ‘Refuse/Resist’ (before which Max noted starts with the heartbeat of a then prenatal, now adult Soulfly drummer Zyon Cavalera). It was lit. With Dino Cazares on guitar, they dropped in a jam of Fear Factory’s ‘Body Hammer‘ and half of 90s classic ‘Replica’. The vets were a bit loose but clearly in a great mood and it rubbed off on punters as they closed with ‘Eye For An Eye’ and got everyone to sit down before ‘Jumpdafuckup’. Glad I walked over to catch it.
I was down near the front as Soulfly ended and was not prepared for what Polaris would bring. Frontman Jamie Hails really wanted a circle pit, asking for it repeatedly, and sure as hell got it. These old bones got the hell out of there but enjoyed watching kids thrash around, even the dude with the mouth guard. Shoutout to the dude whose partner made him stand there with her phone as a mirror while she reattached her eyelashes in the middle of the mosh. The crowd were so into it that Jamie and bassist/clean vocalist Jake Steinhauser barely had to sing more than a line before the fans took over. Electric and quite simply, they are done with smaller stages now.
I missed the start and could only stand near the back of the massive crowd. At times the down-tuned, bass-heavy sound was a bit muddy but once people realised they had started ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’ they got down and a bit sexy in the evening heat. Despite the sound, ‘Change (In The House of Flies)’ was brilliant and closer ‘Back to School (Mini Maggit)’ an unexpected banger, given the band’s reluctance to embrace it in the past. A cool headliner for the older people in the crowd.
Bring Me The Horizon
The anticipation after Deftones left the stage was incredible. The intro video added to the drama (check it out here) as the band arrived for ‘Can You Feel My Heart’, the pink confetti cannons hardly heard about the roar of the crowd. Like Soulfly, and despite their comparative youth, BMTH knew what the crowd wanted and played them like puppets. It was entirely drawn from the last few releases (post-Sempiternal) but the crowd sang every word to ‘Happy Song’ and ‘teardrops’. The whole presentation appeared to glitch out and reset and the band left the stage after ‘MANTRA’. Eve appeared on screen to advise proper circle pit construction until the band returned with ‘Dear Diary’, a thrasher if there ever was one. ‘Shadow Moses’ was incredible with the audience singing so loud they drowned out the band. Some fans started chanting to turn it up; not realising what was happening. ‘Kingslayer’ helped as the crowd sang the Babymetal parts but the bass-heavy sound kept the band involved. Songs like ‘Die 4 U’ might be controversial for metal fans but work brilliantly well to break up the tunes with slower-paced singalongs. Oli called for friends to be put on shoulders in preparation for an acoustic rendition of ‘Follow You’. Clearly a moment for the band’s fans, similar to my generation’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’ or ‘Home Sweet Home’. ‘Drown’ followed as Oli jumped down to mix with fans. Yungblud joined on screen for ‘Obey’ to kickstart the encore. Oli acknowledged this was one of the first international festivals they’ve ever headlined and led the band into the climax of ‘Throne’. The whole presentation was slick and well received, a sign that they have arrived as a true top level act with the fanbase and tunes to back it up.
Large-scale touring festivals are back and this is only a taste of what we have in store for fans. Check out our next edition of Wall of Sound‘s Digi-Mag series right here – a BUMPER issue covering every band from the lineup (in each city) alongside interviews, fan contributions and plenty of fun stuff.
Among The Restless
The Gloom In The Corner
The Story So Far
Sleeping With Sirens
The Amity Affliction
Bring Me The Horizon
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