The sun was scorching hot, the beer was ice cold and the tunes were pumping. Good Things Festival was playing host to some of the best bands around with the likes of Parkway Drive and A Day To Remember headlining the bill. Brisbane was the last stop on the tour and with so many amazing reviews and videos already circulating the excitement was at an all time high.
Kicking off the day was American singer songwriter, YouTuber and religious leader Poppy. I didn’t get to watch her entire set as the lines were long to get into the festival but I did make it just in time for her single and my personal favourite I Disagree. Poppy and her band brought their mix of chaos and dance worthy tunes to the masses early making it a really great vibe to walk into. I did however wonder how her guitarist and drummer were coping wearing rubber masks and pleather but they all look fantastic and sounded amazing.
After a quick refreshment I found sanctuary in the shade of the grand stand to catch American ska band Reel Big Fish. These boys have such a funky vibe and they definitely brought up the spirits of everyone in the arena. I barely know any of their songs but its impossible not to dance the beat especially when tracks like Sell Out kick off. Reel Big Fish had some of the best outfits of the day as well especially the bright yellow suit worn by the saxophone player. Gearing up for Skeggs I made my way to the mosh just in time for Reel Big Fish to finish off their set with their classic rendition of track Take On Me by a-ha. Joining in with the mass sing along of high pitch “twooooos’ and all, Reel Big Fish finished their set on a high!
Once in the mosh for Skegss the heat was unbelievable. The barrier security were trying to help by spraying the crowd with hoses but it only made it steamier. But all those thoughts about the heat flew out the window when Skegss kicked off their set. Playing tracks such as Infinity and My Skateboard fans were loosing their minds starting circle pits and singing at the top of their lungs. Although there wasn’t much happening on stage it didn’t stop the good vibes flowing as the boys smashed out catchy surf tunes New York California and LSD. I’ve seen Skegss on multiple occasions and the boys have become more and more confident every time they take the stage and it was nice to see just how big they have become over the years because it is well deserved.
Next up was iconic female duo The Veronicas. Starting their set with single Take Me On The Floor the crowd was instantly hooked singing every word. The hype surrounding The Veronicas performance started the minute they were announced as part of the lineup, and it was clear fans stayed true to their word as thousands of people surrounded the stage. Lisa and Jess wasted no time bringing out all the big guns with tracks Everything I’m Not, Hook Me Up and In My Blood. Jess even showed off her incredible scream which to the crowds surprise was actually really good. They even slipped in a cheeky cover of Blink 182’s Miss You which was well received as well as their new single Ugly. Dressed to the nine’s in their festival attire, The Veronicas and their band put on a killer performance. The girls connected with the crowd like seasoned pros and they finished off their set with hit single Untouched.
Simple Plan is not my cup of tea but when your mate is performing on stage with them you have to go and watch. In saying that I know almost every word to everyone of their songs (shame) and despite wanting to be moshing to Falling In Reverse instead I still had a killer time. Playing tracks such as I’d Do Anything and Jump the crowd started to migrate closer to the stage, jumping on shoulders and singing their heart out. 4 songs in and it was the moment I had been waiting for. Simple Plan kicked off their single Jet Lag featuring Erin Reus the front woman of Brisbane outfit Stateside. Not only is Jet Lag one of Simple Plan’s biggest songs but the merging or both Pierre and Erin’s vocals made for a beautiful harmonious live showcase of the track. Energy was at an all time high and their set just kept getting better. Singles that even your mum knows the words to like Addicted and Summer Paradise had the crowd leaping off the ground and with the addition of a bunch of extra large beach balls thrown into the pit they couldn’t go wrong. After chucking in their track What’s New Scooby Doo from the original tv series and finishing up with the classic Perfect, it was an all round feel good performance and the boys smashed it.
If you haven’t seen Violent Soho live before then where have you been hiding? Over the past 3 years Violent Soho have been on almost every festival announced from Splendour In The Grass to The Big Pineapple Festival. Personally I’ve seen them perform live more times than I can remember but they really do get better every time. Soho kicked off their set with single Like Soda before ripping through tracks Evergreen and Viceroy. The boys then debuted live for the first time in Brisbane their new single Vacation Forever which was well received by the whole crowd. Soho then rolled out all the old classics such as Neighbour Neighbour, Jesus Stole My Girlfriend and So Sentimental. The boys were rocking out on stage like crazy, they had so much energy and their set like always was exciting and rock worthy.
When it was time for A Day To Remember to take the stage the crowd had noticeably increased around the main two stages. It was almost impossible to move through the masses of people to find a spot where I could still see the stage and as soon as I did the unmistakable starting beats of single Downfall Of Us All started. From then on it was one big sing along. Everyone around me seemed to know every word of every song and with their mixture of up beat and dance worthy tracks the party never stopped. A Day To Remember’s set list was the perfect mixture of old classics and new favourites and there wasn’t a single song I wanted to hear that was missed. The whole band was super energetic on the stage and lead vocalist Jeremy sounded fantastic as always. Singles All I Want, Right Back At It Again, Degenerates and Have Faith In Me all sounded just as amazing as they do on recording but with the added bonus of the live vibe. Near the end of their set Jeremy brought the intensity down by performing If It Means A Lot To You acoustically. Half way through the single he was joined by the rest of the band and the whole crowd joined forces and sang along. During All Signs Point To Lauderdale A Day To Remember started throwing toilet paper and t-shirts into the crowd and as their closing single The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle came to an end, smoke canyons and confetti filled the sky as the crowd let off one last applause.
Let me just start by saying… HOLY F***ING HELL! Parkway Drive and their pyrotechnics put on one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. First of all I was lucky enough to be on the left hand side of the stage and was in touching distance of the full band as they were escorted to the stage by guards and masked fire torch bearers. I knew from that moment that Parkway had some serious tricks and treats up their sleeve. Performing their only Australian show of 2019 in the headline slot for Good Things, the local Byron Bay outfit had a stage and production set up worthy of their legendary status.
Starting their set with spoken word single Wishing Well it was all up from there. The crowd was then hit with gut wrenching tracks Carrion, Vice Grip and Cemetery Bloom. I also got to hear live the very first hardcore song I ever listened to at 14, 2008 single Idols And Anchors. By now the arena was packed from the grand stands to the mosh, there wasn’t a section of free space anywhere and everyone was having the time of their lives.
Lead guitarist Jeff Ling is a god damn music genius. I couldn’t believe how good he was and how quick his hands were moving. All the riffs that you sing when listening to a Parkway Drive song all come from this guys fingertips and I found my eyes glued to him for majority of their performance. That was of course until drummer Ben Gordon ended up doing a 360 in a rotating cage while still playing the drums, upside down! And just when you thought their set couldn’t get anymore exciting the cage, floor and roof of the stage all caught fire (it was meant to). There was also a string quartet during single Writings On The Wall and Shadow Boxing which brought a more moody and delicate approach to Parkway’s high intensity set. Front man and vocalist Winston did an incredible job lasting their entire set with the same fury in the first song as he did in the last and I think its the best I’ve ever heard him sound.
As their performance came to a close Parkway still had a few tricks up their sleeve. Finishing with singles Crushed and Bottom Feeder Parkway Drive lit up the whole arena grounds. Literal fire canyons attached to the top of the stage and the sound desk blew fire into the sky sending smoke and heat throughout the crowd. Everyone was loosing their shit while they still moshed to the beat and they didn’t stop until the last firework explosion hit as Winston dropped his mic stand to the ground.
Good Things 2019 was proof that heavy music is still alive and thriving and the day was a major success. The crowd was insanely well behaved and the bands were at the top of their game giving some of the best performances of their lives so far. I have zero complaints about they day except for the ridiculous heat but other that it was a bloody fantastic day and I can’t wait for 2020!