Gig Review: Good Things Festival @ Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne - 06/12/2019

Show: Good Things Festival 2019

Venue: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne

Date: Friday, December 6th 2019

Review by Wojtek Tomczyk

Photos taken by Bree Wallace

Festival season is finally upon us in Australia. The music, the atmosphere and the sheer energy of a heavy music festival has been lacking in all of us since Download in March, and Good Things is absolutely no exception. The organizational factor and the punctuality alone made everything run smoothly, with nothing but beautiful weather to start of the day.

Beginning the day with Poppy on the Main Stage, the American based act burst on stage with ‘Concrete’ and continued through her set with crowd favourites such as ‘Play Destroy’ and ‘X’. The backing members of the band had their own “Poppy Aesthetic”, boasting an interesting array of wigs and clothing, which really helped create a darker atmosphere for her set. Finishing off with “I Disagree”, the performance was nothing but sheer power and intensity.

Next up was Ice Nine Kills, also hailing from America and performing on Australian soil for the first time in the band’s career. The 5 piece metalcore act delivered an eccentric performance, and treated their set as a very theatrical, lightly choreographed act, with vocalist Spencer Charnas jumping off stage in between songs to change into various horror character suits, including, but not limited to Pennywise, Jason, Freddy, and Ghostface.

Dance Gavin Dance have always been a band that I’ve held to a high regard. The sheer musicianship from guitarist William Swan alone is objectively incredible, but that’s not to say the rest of the band don’t have their own talents either. Opening with ‘The Jiggler’ and performing fan favourite tracks such as ‘Chucky vs the Giant Tortoise’, ‘Frozen One’ and ‘Count Bassy’, the 5 piece exhibited the right amount of groove and funk, with vocalist Tilian Pearson heavily portraying how we all felt in our hearts during the performance.

Let’s be honest, most of the crowd at Good Things were aching to finally catch The Veronicas, live in action and performing songs from all our childhoods. Featuring hit singles such as ‘4ever’ and ‘Hook Me Up’, nothing lived up to what was the prime memory of the night, ‘Untouched’. Nothing comes close to experiencing solidarity within yourself, than to hear Lisa exclaim “please stand for the national anthem”, and just have nothing but that (let’s be honest, heart-wrenchingly gorgeous) violin riff. I also never thought I’d hear Jessica scream in my life, and they were the last band I’d ever thought I’d see in my life, but I think I speak for all of us there, we wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

After nothing but classic hits from the mid 2000’s, the crowd was treated to a good injection of riffs, chugs and blast beats by 4-piece metal titans, Trivium. It was surreal to see The Veronicas essentially open for Trivium, due to such a major contrast in musical styles, yet somehow it fit perfectly. Bursting on stage with the title track of their latest release, ‘The Sin and the Sentence’, and ploughing through other crowd favourites such as ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr’, ‘Until the World Goes Cold’, ‘In Waves’ and ‘Beyond Oblivion’, we all knew we were in for a fantastic performance. Whilst all the members were fantastic live, the set was just amplified in strength and accuracy by (now the not-so-new) drummer Alex Bent. I haven’t been this excited to watch a drummer since Jalomah of Dark Funeral, but his performance was stellar and played with such ease, that it truly can make any musician hurt in their soul.

One of Australia's greatest deathcore acts Thy Art is Murder were up next on my list, and they always put on a fantastic, tight performance that always gets the Australian crowds riled up like nothing else. Performing fan favourite tracks such as ‘Death Squad Anthem’, ‘New Gods’ and ‘Reign of Darkness’, it’s hard to be disappointed in the musicianship that each member exhibits.

Parkway Drive have constantly been rising to new heights, and as if they haven’t already proved themselves as Australia’s biggest heavy act, last night’s headlining slot solidified it. Opening with ‘Wishing Wells’ and ‘Prey’, the crowd singalongs and pure participation in the show was such a key factor to the success and atmosphere of the bands performance. With the now-definite inclusion of pyro in their set, Parkway have created such a monumental presence in the music industry, and seeing them have as positive of a reception in their home country as they do at a festival like Wacken Open Air, it’s hard not to be proud and watch them with nothing but love and appreciation.

Good Things Festival was very much a good thing, and as the festival has been such a huge success, we cannot wait to see what they come up with in 2020!

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