LIVE REVIEW: Good Things Festival – Brisbane Showgrounds 

Ever since the conclusion of Soundwave in 2015, rock, metal, punk and every thing in between has needed a new home in the Australian festival scene. The annual events Unify and Download have filled the void in the meantime but Good Things Festival have launched a very exciting three city tour over one crazy weekend. Boasting a massive line up of your favourite rock, punk & metal bands like The Offspring, Stone Sour, All Time Low, Mayday Parade, Bullet For My Valentine, The Used and Baby Metal, this was always going to be a massive and memorable event. 

As the clouds filled the sky on the early Sunday morning, punters were a little hesitant to just how the weather was going to hold up for the final Good Things Festival date in Brisbane. Luckily the very hot and humid summers day didn’t hold back from the clouds and kept the summer vibes flowing and the sunburn shining. The early crowd flowed through the gates and ran down to the main stages as they secured a spot on the barrier for some of their favourites later in the day. Some strolled down to the long merchandise line whilst others cheekily headed straight to the bar. 

With the sun cracking through the clouds, Brisbane locals Stateside ran onto Stage 2 with a strong crowd in presence ready to jump around for their small set. “Good Things, you ready?!’ lead singer Erin Reus screamed as the drums kicked in for ‘Livingstone Road’. With ‘This Is War’ and new unreleased track ‘Low’ following, she jumped onto the drum kit and started to hit the crash cymbal with great enthusiasm. “Holy shit, we are Stateside! And this is our first festival” she excitingly confessed. Over the years this local four piece have grown so much as performers, songwriters and as a band in general. Reus’ vocals are a lot stronger and even with a little bit of nerves showing she was able to control them and deliver a captivating and fun set. 

One thing I loved about the Good Things Festival line up was the diversity of acts and cross-genres, so over on Stage 4 I was pretty excited to see Ecca Vandal hit the stage. But as the Melbourne singer-songwriter started her set it became quickly apparent that she was going to play it a little safe. Excluding some of her fan favourites and singles from her setlist she relied on her heavier rock influenced tracks and left her more hip-hop and electronic infused numbers out which was a little disappointing. “Let’s have a little dance Brisbane” she yelled as she jumped into ‘Cassette, Lies And Videotapes’ but the crowd was ready to dance harder. Album favourites ‘Price Of Living’, ‘Closing Ceremony’ and ‘Broke Days Party Nights’ made a later appearance but songs like ‘Future Heroine’, ‘End Of Time’ and ‘Dead Wait’ were noticeably missing. 

Keeping the strong female presence coming, Brisbane favourites WAAX gathered a massive crowd on Stage 3 as they launched into the massive singalong ‘This Everything’. With a lot of crowd members sporting their classic logo tee’s, they continued to singalong to ‘I For An Eye’, ‘Nothing Is Always’ and ‘Wild & Weak’. But the band surprised the crowd with a couple of new songs from their forthcoming debut including the energetic ‘Fate’ and ‘Fuck You’. These new tracks showed a massive growth in their songwriting with some massive hooks and a bigger rock sound that is going to captivate even more listeners next year. 

Back on Stage 2, Waterparks were one of the first international acts to grace the festival and they didn’t hold anything back with a fun, energetic and quirky set. Spotting the long merchandise line next to the stage lead singer Awsten Knight took a moment to pitch them their “eat ass” shirts that were on sale while they were waiting. Winning the crowd over early with ‘Rare’, ‘Not Warriors’, ‘Dizzy’ and ‘Sleep Alone’ they ran around the stage, jumped a lot and interacted with the die hard fans who were screaming all the lyrics from the front and one even threw flowers at them. Album favourite ‘Royal’ and the old singalong favourite ‘Crave’ kept the good vibes coming whilst it uncannily started to rain a little during a Waterparks set (geddit?). Confessing that he loves pop bullshit, Knight introduced ‘Take Her To The Moon’ as his favourite song before wrapping up their punchy set with ‘Stupid For You’ and ‘Tantrum’. 

With the humid summer weather in full gear I could hear The Wonder Years take to Stage 4 with a massive roar as I took solace in some shade under a tree nearby. With the massive singalong coming in strong I crept closer as they got everyone to sit down and rest during ‘The Devil In My Bloodstream’ before opening the pitt up for ‘Washington Square Park’. Spraying the crowd with water they wrapped up their high energy set with fan favourites ‘I Don’t Like Who I Was Then’ and ‘Came Out Swinging’.

One of the festivals biggest drawcards unexpectedly came from Japanese metal band, Babymetal. The all-female trio has a massive legion of fans who excitedly packed in stage 1 for their opening tracks ‘Megitsune’ and ‘Gimme Chocolate!!’. Combining J-pop influences with metal music they delivered a fully choreographed set with a lot of dancing, costumes and masks. The crowd were eating every minute up and they created circle pits during ‘Meta! Meta Taro’ and ‘Distortion’ and moshed like crazy during ‘Karate’ and ‘Road Of Resistance’. With the obvious language barrier, there wasn’t much crowd interaction other than the respectful “Hey Brisbane!”. But the crowd didn’t mind as they honestly did feel like they were witnessing something special and unique. And they were. It was one of the strangest and most brilliant sets of the day and even in the peak humidity of the day they still had one very energetic crowd. 

As the crowd ran from Babymetal over to The Used, lead singer Bert McCracken had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. Running through favourites like ‘Take It Away’, ‘The Bird And The Worm’, ‘I Caught Fire’ and ‘Blood On My Hands’, this set was very much so for the fans. Wrapping it up with ‘Pretty Handsome Awkward’ and ‘A Box Full Of Sharp Objects’, Bullet For My Valentine kept the nostalgia going with ‘Don’t Need You’, ‘Over It’ and ‘Your Betrayl’. 

But with so many great bands playing throughout the day, the clashes were bound to happen. And they did. So as we ran from Bullet For my Valentine to Tonight Alive who were kicking off their fiery set with ‘The Other’ it was cool to see such a diversity in acts. “Are you doing good, Good Things” lead singer Jenna McDougall screamed. Promising this to be a set for the long term fans they jumped straight into ‘Lonely Girl’, ‘The Ocean’ and ‘In My Dreams’ before getting a little emotional with ‘How Does It Feel?’ and ‘Crack My Heart’. Treating the fans to some very early songs they surprised them with ‘What Are You So Scared Of’ and Wasting Away’ which are some rare faves. Getting the crowd to do a unison “I love you” they closed their set with ‘The Edge’ and the anthemic ‘Temple’ which was just a giant singalong. This Sydney based band has come a long way from the PCYC shows they used to play 8 years ago with their stage presence becoming so captivating. 

“Alright Brisbane, What’s up? You ready for this?!” lead vocalist from Mayday Parade, Derek Sanders yelled as they took to Stage 4. Following the trends of the other bands they launched into a greatest hits styled setlist that covered all bases. From the early moments of ‘Never Sure’ and ‘Jersey’ they kept the vibes rolling with ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ and ‘Jamie All Over’. But one of the coolest moments was when they did their Gotye cover of ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ that had everyone ecstatically dancing. With ‘Miserable At Best’ and ‘Stay’ wrapping up their set, on Stage 1 All Time Low catapulted with a lot of energy with opener ‘Damned If I Do Ya’. This band is no stranger to Australia after playing countless festivals and shows across the country so they didn’t hold back from playing all the fan favourites as well as a couple of new tracks. ‘Everything Is Fine’, ‘Stella’, ‘Weightless’, ‘Backseat Serenade’ and ‘Life Of The Party’ made early appearances whilst lead guitarist Jack Barakat played up to the photographers and the fans in the front row. Lead vocalist Alex Gaskarth was noticeably holding back a little compared to his usual crass talk in between songs. But he kept powering through the bangers with ‘Something’s Gotta Give’, ‘Lost In Stereo’ and ‘Dear Maria (Count Me In).

Over on Stage 2, Stone Sour lit up the main amphitheatre with some pyrotechnics. Frontman Corey Taylor (also the lead singer of Slipknot) had the crowd screaming the whole set as the hits continued to roll. They had an epic light show that complimented the pyrotechnics and inflatable men that you see outside car dealerships that graced the stage.

Closing the inaugural festival was the legendary The Offspring who was joined by special guest guitarist Tony Kanal from No Doubt. Opening with ‘Nitro’ they powered their way through ‘Bad Habit’, ‘Genocide’, ‘Not The One’ and ‘You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid’. Their high energy was electric and full of nostalgia and kept the massive crowd singing along until 10pm.

Australia has been needing a new rock music festival and Good Things is the perfect replacement to Soundwave. With a smooth onsite experience with minor little hiccups there is a massive promise for next year being only bigger and better. 

Check out the full gallery captured by Claudia Bill Photography HERE;

Photos By Claudia Bill


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