Good Things Festival Brisbane (Brisbane, QLD)

9 December 2018 at Brisbane Showgrounds

Good Things Festival has emerged bringing forth a new era for Australian alternative music fans, with supports from some of the heaviest, and most alternative bands from around the world. This maiden festival saw shows performed in Melbourne, Sydney and now it’s Brisbane’s turn. The preparation began when the timetables were released. I began the tricky task of organising a flowing itinerary without any major clashes. An easy task with the help of a phone app developed by Good Things. It also came in handy throughout the day to keep track of what was happening and when.  This was a perfectly constructed line up showcasing 24 bands over 10 hours on 4 stages, it was sure to cater for everyone’s tastes.

With most of the bands of interest performing on stages 1 and 2, I was able to find the perfect position and get to it quickly.  Kicking off the day was Stateside. An alternative rock band from Brisbane. This female fronted band was a gentle kick in the guts to get the audience revved up and ready for the festivities ahead. Vocalist Erin Reus gave it all she had and set the audience up for what was to come. Although I’m not normally a fan of female vocalists in metal I was impressed by Reus’s energy and enjoyed the overall sound.

Melbourne’s Void of Vision was next. It’s been on my radar to see for a while now. Since their entrance into the heavy music scene in 2013 they have been creating waves in the music community. By the end of 2014 they had 3 national tours under their belt. They have also supported both heavyweight Australian and International acts touring with I Prevail, Bodycount (Ice T), Northlane, Hand Of Mercy, Hellions, Elegist, Villes (SNG) and The Sweet Apes. Awesome sound, great agro energy and boy they didn’t disappoint the crowd, will see these guys again.

Northlane are one of the most popular metal bands in Australia at the moment and after this performance I see why. High on my must-see list and boy did they put on a great show. Dedicated fans started to fill the pits early, a good sign of a show not worth missing. There was excitement as we eagerly waited for the onslaught about to hit us, we were in for a treat.  Opening with Genesis we were instantly rewarded for our wait. Jon Deiley is defiantly a huge contributor towards the band’s sound and for bringing the band to level that they’re at today. Responsible for most of the writing of the band’s guitar/bass tracks. Deiley’s crushing low toned riffs sent the audience into a frenzy. Vocalist Marcus Bridge and back up/Bassist Brendon Padjasek set the scene and energy level and delivered us a near perfect set. The bands use of Pyro techniques and confetti cannons were appropriate for the show and a huge crowd pleaser. Throughout the whole set circle pits formed while other fans were surfing the crowds.

After Northlane’s hot a sweaty pit it was time for a change of scenery. A small walk over to stages 3 and 4 where we had a huge covered area. For most of us it was a much -needed break from Queensland’s horrid UV rays. Time to get out of the sun and take a breather. It was now The Wonder Years and Make Them Suffer ‘s turn to take to the stages. Both bands had an army of followers and they weren’t disappointed. The audience all jammed in under the shade either took to the pits or for some, the more relaxed option of sitting down up the back enjoying from a distance. Not knowing what to expect I took the more relaxed option and used it to sit back and cool down and recharge. Although the shelter was greatly appreciated I found the tent muffled some of the sound and I’m sure I didn’t get to hear their full potential. But otherwise I enjoyed hearing new music and the shade.    

A massive day like this calls for refreshments, lots of them. Many of the bands were conscious of the heat and reminded us to keep hydrated. A must at any type music festival. Water was also offered at each barrier and water cannons were used to cool us off. This was received well within the crowds.  Bars were managed well and service was one way in and one way out. Only those with 18+ bands were given entry and security were quick to turn away those trying their luck, and there were a few. We were spoilt for choice with the variety of food options. Food vans that satisfied both the meat eaters, the leaf eaters and those needing to soak up the many many cans of Jack Daniels consumed.

Once energy stores were replenished it was time to head back to the main stage. It was all about to get messy again. Running between stages 1 and 2 saw me enjoying Brittan’s longest running metal/punk/pop band, Bullet For My Valentine and American Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphies. Two different styles but both had the crowds gathering.

Bullet For My Valentine’s debut album with their new name and style was released on Valentine’s day 2006. A band with over 10 000 000 albums released worldwide came to the party and proved why they have such a huge international fan base. Their eclectic music style makes them more attractive to a broader music scene. The devoted fans and the newbies all pushed in closer to get a better view of a truly talented band. Getting straight to business they opened with Don’t Need You setting the audience on fire. They played on with other favourites and took time out to appreciate drummer Jason Bowld’s talent and let him loose on the kit. We finished off with our fists pumping the air to Waking the Demon.

A quick stop into the merchandise line before Dropkick Murphies come on. Lines were finally smaller and wait times of minutes rather than hours suited me. One fellow festival goer told me he waited in line earlier for over 2 hours and by the time they got to the front they had sold out of most of the merchandise they were after. Luckily for me I waited for the coolness of the evening avoiding sunburn, heatstroke and disappointment, got my shirt and stubbie cooler and moved on to see the next band.

Dropkick Murphy’s as always was a crowd pleaser. This is a band well known for encouraging everyone to participate, sing along, and hopefully have a good time. And that’s what we did. Almost like being in your local pub they had everyone chanting and singing along to classics including The Boys Are Back and my favourite Rose Tattoo.

After an epic day enjoying a variety of bands covering most aspects of alternative rock, punk, pop and metal it was now time for the main events. Stage 1 and 2 started to get busy early, filling up with eager fans of both American favourites Stone Sour and The Offspring. Most fans had their preferences of which band to favour and had started to fill up front row of each stage. Holding their grounds ready for the onslaught about to hit them.   

Lights went out and the chanting began “Corey! Corey! Corey!” We were after one thing, we wanted Corey Taylor. He walked up on stage and the crowd went mental. Screams, marriage proposals and tears. Fans were in their element and the crowd was theirs. They opened with a favourite of mine Taipei Person/Allah Tea and the screaming began. Stone Sour owned the stage and performed to the hypnotised crowds. While they played some of their newer songs from their latest album Hydrograd they spoilt us with some of the heavier older favourites. Bother was next, and the crowd settled. Singing along in support for a once broken man. A non -stop show was what we wanted, and boy was it was given. When Taylor came out with a streamer and confetti cannon, the crowd lost it, not that we needed anymore encouragement. Although this next song sounds sweet Taylor quotes Through Glass is really a very angry song. It’s me basically calling bullshit on pretty much everyone involved with the American Idol-type shows. Joining in singing, was everyone who has ever had to call bull shit on anything, we’ve all been there. This was a moment and a night to remember. My second time seeing them live and not my last, they are a must- see.

Almost at the end, nearly 10 hours of constant music had transformed the crowds into a hot sweaty mess. There was no space left on the RNA grounds. Music lovers filled from main stage all the way up to the grandstands. Fans of all styles and of varying generations were all here for Good Things. Closing the festival was The Offspring, welcomed on stage like champions. Playing Smash in its entirety, track by track. An album released over 2 decades ago was the most played album I have ever owned and is still in many fans regular playlists. We were also treated to other hits from their career such as You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid and Why Don’t You Get a Job? They even played a cover of ACDC’s Whole Lotta Rosie. Finishing off the epic night with The Kids Aren’t Alright. To see them play live was a bucket list moment. After 24 years since release they still performed like the rock legend’s they are. The energy The Offspring were able to evoke out of an already wasted crowd was brilliant. Almost like a group Karaoke session Dexter didn’t even need to sing, we had his back. Every lyric to every song was heard from pit right up to the grandstands.

What an epic show! Good Things Festival went off with-out a hitch. From the bands, event organisers, staff and the crowd. You are all to be congratulated. Top effort and an awesome experience had by most. My only mention would be that sound seemed to be a little low on both main stages and 3-4. But to give credit, with the number of acts to get through they didn’t have much time for thorough sound checks before the next act was due to play. Besides that very small issue, it was a very professionally organised event. This maiden Good Things Festival has proven that Brisbane is still in high demand for summer music festivals. Hopefully the message was loud and clear to the organisers and even better things are planned for 2019.

Line-up: The Offspring, Stone Sour, All Time Low, Dropkick Murphys, Bullet for My Valentine,The Used,
BABYMETAL, The Smith Street Band, Dashboard Confessional, Mayday Parade, La Dispute, Northlane, The Wonder Years, Waterparks, Tonight Alive, Scarlxrd, Emmure, Palaye Royale, Make Them Suffer, WAAX, Boston Manor, Void Of Vision, Ecca Vandal

Reviewer: Cherie Smith
Photocredits: Just Ignore The Camera