It’s about time Australia had a rock festival return- a comment echoed by Dexter of The Offspring, Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low and Bert McCracken of The Used during each of their mammoth sets. Good thing Good Things Festival came to the rescue delivering a stellar line up.
Summer festival season can be unbearable with the sweltering heat but the 38 degree day did not deter the festival goers from getting right into the Good Things spirit, especially as the event were well prepared for the heat wave with sprinkler mist walkways (the real hero of the day), plentiful drinking stations and security armed with hoses to cool down the barrier sitters. In fact, the Good Things organisers seemed on the ball with the majority of operations- queues for toilets were acceptable, the layout of the grounds was accessible and stage viewing achievable for this 5ft1 punter. The only real dilemma was selecting which bands to go see.
Waax with Violent Soho’s Matthew Richard on drums teaming up for a cover of Soho’s ‘In The Aisle’.
Baby Metal- the most exciting set of the day with their intricate outfits and karate based dance choreography.
The Used making a world first coordinating a circle pit to Australian classic, the Playschool Theme Song.
‘Tears Don’t Fall’ performed by My Bloody Valentine: does this former emo kid need to elaborate?
Jack Barakat’s sweaty bra collection hanging off his mic stand. This crowd was thirsty AF.
Confetti and streamer cannons and pyrotechnics for Corey Taylors return down under for Stone Sour.
Hearing one of the greatest punk rock albums in full, Smash by The Offspring, but the echoing ‘la, la, la la la, la, la, la la la’ from the crowd as they launched into ‘Self Esteem’ was deafening.
Only five female inclusive acts for the entire day, Baby Metal the only one on the main stage with Ecca Vandal and Waax in opening slots.
The clashes- Dashboard Confessional were never going to stand a chance up against The Offspring
Here is a breakdown of my carefully curated schedule:
12.15 – 12.45: Ecca Vandal
The pint sized pocket rocket was one ball of energy on the stage, barely looking like she was breaking a sweat jumping around in the 38 degree heat. Her Gwen Stefani ringing vocals were full of bite and edginess, a well suited start to a big day ahead.
12.45 – 1.15: Waax
Featuring Michael Richard of Violent Soho on drums, the outfit did not miss a beat. Frontwoman Maz is a forced to be reckoned with proving that she can rock harder than most of the acts to follow. As her light grey tee became stained with sweat, she went all in, launching into a cover of Soho’s ‘In The Aisle’ and giving Luke Boerdam a serious run for his money. In just the first hour of the day both Maz and Ecca Vandal showed that females deserve representative and respect on punk rock driven line ups and deserve to be billed higher!!
2.00 – 2.45: The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years came out swinging and ended on the same note. The Pennsylvania bred rockers opened with Sister Cities, begging for energy from the already riled up audience. Vocalist, Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell is a born performer, waving the mic stand above his head, getting some serious air off of the speakers and holding the crowd in the palm of his hand.
3.15 – 4.00: Baby Metal
The most exciting act of the day. Even though I didn’t understand a word of their music, I spent the entire 45 minutes glued to the stage, captivated by the attention to detail. The intricate costumes paired with the fluid movements of the dance choreography, Baby Metal’s live performance is best described as K-Pop meets Norwegian black metal, with the most intense crowd of the day. Their cult following has definitely made its way down under.
4.00 – 4.45: The Used
Between Bert McCracken reciting Shakespeare sonnets between songs and delivering an Australian first- no, world first- in starting a circle pit to the most recognised song Australia has to offer, the Playschool theme song, The Used set was a cross between being poetic, and wacky but nothing shy of entertaining.
4.45 – 5.45: Bullet For My Valentine
Bullet For My Valentine hit the bullseye with their highly engaging set. The Welsh rockers went hard with their larger than life vocal performances, drum and guitar solos. You’re a liar if say you didn’t reach your hands to the sky screaming along with ‘Tears Don’t Fall’, remembering how hard life was at 14.
5.45 – 6.45: Dropkick Murphys
Three words: Irish River Dancing. Toes were pointed and arms were swinging for these gents who looked like they had the most fun of their lives on stage, which translated directly into the crowd.
6.45 – 7.45: All Time Low
Ladies to the front and sweaty bras flying as the dreamy lads took to the stage. Jack Barakat gave the ladies what they wanted, delving into the front barrier as a collections officer, wrapping one of the bras over his head and making a nice collection on his mic stand and even flashing a nipple at times. But this set wasn’t just about the thirsty. With people on shoulders, devils horns and pointers pumping and circle pits in full swing, All Time Low were the life of the party. And just like that everyone went back to their teenage years as they finished on Dear Maria: Count Me In.
7.45 – 8.45: Stone Sour
‘I told you f**kers to bring me back didn’t I Melbourne’ yells Corey Taylor to the crowd eager to be back on our shores. This set had it all from the get go with streamers and confetti launchers to pyrotechnics and massive blow up props. Crowd favourite: the highly emotional ‘Bother’.
8.45- 10.00: The Offspring
The day turns to night just moments before The Offspring take to the stage. ‘Time to Relax’ plays over the speakers as Noodles, Pete Parada, Greg K and Dexter Holland take to the stage to play Smash in full and in order, leaving a gaping hole where ‘Self Esteem’ normally sits, which finished up their main set with an ear piercing ‘la, la, la la la, la, la, la la la’. But it wasn’t finished with Smash, the encore was huge with ‘You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid’, ‘All I Want’, ‘Why Don’t You Go Get a Job’, ‘(Can’t Get My) Head Around You’, an ACDC cover of ‘Whole Lot of Rosie’, ‘Pretty Fly For a White Guy’ and finishing a huge day with ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’.
Friday 7 December 2018
Flemington Racecourse Melbourne
Reviewed by Tammy Walters
Photos by Kane Hibberd