If I hear one more person say Good Things was a ‘good thing’, I might scream. But I can’t help but agree. The breezy December day brought perfect weather, and the lineup brought some serious old school emo vibes. In only it’s second year running, Good Things has made a massive mark on the Aussie festival calendar due to their insane ability to pull huge names to perform. Here are some things we learnt from Good Things 2019.
Y’all are metal as fuck
Like I’ve said before: supporting local bands is metal as fuck and the crowd at Good Things absolutely exceeded my expectations. The smaller bands pulled mega crowds – Gravemind packed out the Narnia-esque Stage 5 straight off the bat, while bands like Windwaker and The Beautiful Monument left a huge mark on the stage with their insane performances. As incredible as it is to see a huge band perform to a crowd of thousands of people, there’s something a lot more special about seeing bands perform to smaller and more intimate crowds.
Never underestimate the power of the internet
When The Veronicas were added to the Good Things lineup, the internet was understandably shook. The mixed opinions of this addition to the bill had everyone talking, and the publicity gained by doing this even had people speculating whether it was done purely as a publicity stunt. But the real meme came when a couple of blokes decided to make a Facebook event “Wall of death when The Veronicas play Untouched at Good Things.” The girls hyped the crowd throughout their whole set, and almost every person at the festival was there to see history being made – they even had dedicated ‘I survived the wall of death 2019’ merch.
Let your mates drag you to bands you wouldn’t otherwise see
One thing I loved about this year’s lineup was the mix of heavy bands like Thy Art is Murder and Trivium alongside indie-rock faves Skeggs, The Bennies and Violent Soho. This brought a super diverse crowd, and it was nice to see the surf rock hipsters getting coaxed into heavier moshpits and becoming accustomed to the emo lifestyle.
For a lot of people, heavy music is easier to get into seeing it performed live, and Good Things did a great job making it accessible for people who might not otherwise experience it. Everyone needs breakdowns in their life, whether they’re a full-time mosh lord or just like to dabble in the pit.
It takes a lot to engage a massive crowd
My heart is BREAKING as I type this... A Day To Remember missed the mark for me. This had nothing to do with how they performed their songs, but as a band that hasn’t released music for a while, the boys needed to step up their audience engagement to hype their performance more, since they seemed to be just repeating the same things they’ve been doing for years. In saying that, their most recent single, ‘Degenerates’, went off. The crowd was belting out the lyrics and the band seemed like they were genuinely stoked to be performing it. Their older songs were delivered without much enthusiasm and Jeremy McKinnon’s commentary between songs was super flat and uninspiring.
On the flipside, Simple Plan was a perfect example of an old school band who can still mesmerise a crowd. Seeing that many people captivated and singing along to every lyric was a delight to be a part of. Maybe it’s their Canadian charm, but Simple Plan seemed super humble and truly excited about their performance, connecting with the crowd authentically and making their set a lot more special.
Parkway Drive are just so damn good
Every time I hear Parkway Drive I’m stoked I grew up with them as such a massive part of my Scene Queen upbringing. Seeing them at Good Things made me almost forget that they’re an Aussie band from humble Byron beginnings. Their set was musically incredible, and the performance aspects of their stage show were insane. Before The Veronicas played ‘Untouched’, they asked punters to “please rise for the Australian national anthem”, but any real Australian knows the true anthem is ‘Carrion’ by Parkway Drive. Facts.
Here’s some bonus takeaways:
Wear your damn sunscreen. I have a vivid memory of my teachers in primary school constantly telling us how we can still get burnt if it’s cloudy. No one at Good Things Melbourne seemed to pay attention and by the end of the day, everyone’s pale emo skin was glowing red.
The sideshows are worth going to – I was so torn between seeing Enter Shikari again and watching all of Bad Religion’s set, and since I'd gone to the Enter Shikari sideshow I wasn’t too fussed about missing them. I ended up catching the second half of their set, but it didn't even compare to the intimate performance from the night before.
Mad props to the festival organisers for their focus on wheelchair accessibility. Wide entry lanes at the festival entrance and accessible viewing platforms at the stages seemed to make it convenient and inclusive for all festival goers.
Good Things was the perfect way to wrap up twenty-nine-scene and get us spiced up for the Summer. The heavy breakdowns soothed my emo soul while the wholesome metal crowd once again reminded me why I love this music scene so much.
All photos via the homie Ben Gunzburg - follow him over at benshootspeople on Instagram.