Gig Review: Good Things Festival @ RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane - 08/12/19

What: Good Things Festival

Where: RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane

When: Sunday, 8th December 2019

Review by Jay Kleinschmidt

Photos taken by Tam Schilling

The Good Things Festival wraps up another year in the calendar down under. 3 capital cities, 3 days in a row, all fun and excitement. Brisbane had been boasting some pretty scorching days – near 40 degree heat – in the week leading up to the festival. Organisers were ready, with the tents fully stocked with Furphy, the official beer of the festival for Brisbane, along with XXXX Gold. This was promising to be one hell of a festival. Luckily Brisbane’s temperature eased off to a more pleasant 33 degrees and patrons were ready with their sunscreen.

I was bursting to get through the doors in time for The Bennies. Me and my media partner, Tam, were early and near the front of the line but the gates couldn’t open fast enough. I felt patrons could have been let in sooner but nonetheless, I was able to catch most of their set and they did not disappoint. They’re a self-professed party band and they got the party started! Their mesh up of multiple genres welcomes people of all musical tastes.

I stay until the end of The Bennies before I rush over to check out the winner of the local band competition for Brisbane, Joy In Motion. I was impressed with this outfit, with their tight pop-rock riffs and a great lead singer. I was very impressed with lead singer, Jake, considering his musical journey included being a drummer in an extreme hardcore band many years ago and his multi-talents now extend to pop-rock singing. This band will be one to watch in the near future.

Next, I mad-dash over to see what I can from Poppy. I manage to get to their last song, I Disagree. I loved the mash up of hardcore and electronica, and the stage outfit and artistry. I’d never heard of this artist before and I’d have loved to see more. Covering a music festival can have its share of tough decisions when some of the acts you want to see play at the same time.

Next up came Reel Big Fish. At this point I was starting to fry, being out in sunshine for some time. I head to the tent to get myself a refresher – a nice cold can of Furphy. No, wait; make that two. Reel Big Fish hits the stage with a fresh track called Pissed Off. It is so much fun to see a band play music that sounds so upbeat while singing about being pissed off. If any band can pull off something so ironic and comedic, it’s Reel Big Fish. A couple of more tracks in and their front man, Aaron Barrett, is cheerfully singing about how he wants your girlfriend to be his girlfriend!

These guys were so funny and were my favourite band to watch for this festival. Once again, I’m conflicted with a timetable clash. I’m eager to catch Ice Nine Kills, yet I cannot pull myself away from Reel Big Fish. I stay for my favourite tune, the famous Beers song from the movie Basketball before they finish off with a great cover of Take On Me. Well done guys!

I get to the tent with Ice Nine Kills and boy do these guys have so much energy! They had a full tent of punters going off and their horror-inspired stage props was the icing on the cake. They had everything in props from Freddy Kruger, to Pennywise and even Minnie Mouse for a juxtaposition. My only regret is that I couldn’t see even more.

The next band I see is The Veronicas and I couldn’t have been more eager. I had their first album The Secret Life of The Veronicas when I was in my last year of high school and knew most of the words to all their singles. Judging by the enormous crowd that gathered, everybody else did, too! Their pop-punk riffs set the crowd ablaze with plenty of the old hits – Everything I’m Not, 4Ever, Revolution, Mother Mother, Hook Me Up. There was much hype in the lead up to the now-famous wall of death set to happen in Untouched. I must say, my anticipation was not led down as the moshing was about the largest in the whole festival. They did not disappoint. Well done guys!

Next up; Trivium. They get the circle pits happening right off the bat, bringing a combination of heavy, fast riffs and high energy. Constantly reminding the crowd that Sydney moshed better was enough to pull everyone into gear. Right up until the start of the very last song they said Sydney were still a little better. Our sheer contempt for our southern city was enough to push us over the edge and mosh harder than Sydney! Good job, Brisbane!

I devote my next hour between Bad Religion, Voyager, and Enter Shikari. All the old school punk fans gathered en masse for Bad Religion. I see their shirts and logos everywhere – and not just at this festival. Their cult following was well supported at Good Things. Perth outfit, Voyager, have had a big year, playing at numerous festivals including Download and Good Things. Well done guys. Enter Shikari were an entertaining outfit. They kept describing their next song with hilarious jokes such as “This song will make your dad tell you the music was better in his day” and many other jokes. They were quite entertaining.

My most anticipated band, the band I was hoping to see most was Simple Plan. If there was another to add to my favorite's list; this is it. They hit the stage with their opening song from No Pads, No Helmets... Just Balls. They play a number of tracks from that album – I'd Do Anything, Addicted, I’m Just a Kid, Perfect – as well as a few more of their older tracks. Everyone knew all the words and were faithfully chanting along. This was a great trip down memory lane for anybody whose adolescence was in the early 2000s. Their latest track, Where I Belong, a collaboration with State Champs and We the Kings was also very well received. Front man, Pierre, announces a new album coming next year and is confident it will be their best album ever. I can’t wait!

Aussie act, Thy Art is Murder had a full tent of hungry moshers. They were able to split the crowd down the middle and get two crowds to separate to opposing sides of the tent. Then, just when their breakdown comes the two crowds rush at each other – in the style of tackle red rover. Everyone was riding the bumps with a grin. Very entertaining!

Simple Creatures was the final act for the tent stages. This duo of Mark Hopper and Alex Gaskarth was playing a mesh of music born out of their various influences. We had instrument swapping, sampling and keyboard playing to show off the various talents of these two. They’d constantly introduce a song with an unfinished sentence - “Here’s a song...” and then they’d start playing. It was quite funny. I enjoyed their cover of Personal Jesus, a song that has already been covered about a dozen times, but was still refreshing from this duo. Great stuff!

Finally, we come to Parkway Drive. The lads from Byron may not have believed they would headline a major festival when they started their band, but they lived up to all the expectations of a festival headliner and more. They enter the stage through the crowd and surrounded by fire and kick off with fresh tracks – Wishing Wells and Prey - off their latest album Reverence. Any new fans who bought their latest album was in for a treat as they get around to Cemetry Bloom, The Void, and Shadow Boxing. Fans of the old school weren’t disappointed either as they play a few numbers from the older albums.

The pyro was turned up to 11 for their set. There were explosions, fires, and shooting flames, heating up the already-hot day! Drummer, Ben Gordon, was keen to show off his chops with a cool drum solo. He’d play in his drum cage while spinning upside down with the cage on fire. Winston pays thanks to Good Things Festival organisers for running a great festival and for having many Australian acts. He was especially proud for Parkway Drive to have headlined. They finish off with a crowd crushing performance of Bottom Feeder and we say thank you for another year of Good Things Festival.

I really enjoyed this year’s festival. I felt they got the lineup right with a good combination of Australian acts and international acts. The sheer number of patrons was testament to the festival’s success. Everyone was on their best behavior, I didn’t see anyone needing to be escorted out, and there was no violence. We all just had a good time at Good Things and I’m sure we’ll enjoy many more in the future.

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