Since the Good Things Festival debuted in 2018, it has received majestic acclaims from the punk, rock and metal music lovers across Australia. And here we are, after the long-awaited heavy music carnival held in Brisbane on Sunday 8th December 2019, it definitely surpassed every festival-goers’ expectations.
Compared to some of the signature names from the scenes like The Offspring, Stone Sour and Bullet Of My Valentine from last year, the billing this year kept up the hype of both familiarities and varieties and it did not disappoint us. This time, we got bands with multi-millions of followers like Parkway Drives, A Day to Remember and Trivium; Some of the youngsters’ spirit like Ice Nine Kills and Falling in Reverse; female fronted bands like Poppy and The Veronicas; and a newer stage deliberately for younger bands fresh into the scene like Voyager and Gravemind. While I would love to enjoy all these amazing bands in one single day, my body could only take so much before I completely was left drained from exhaustion. Here is what I got on the festival.
I would laugh my nose off if you told me 3 years ago that there would be a mosh pit during Poppy’s concert and now that I had seen it, it might not necessarily be a bad thing. By changing her sound significantly to embrace a heavier side of the genres in the late 2018, Poppy did not lose her touch on the shock factors and one of a kind stage persona, and it was no doubt that she put on a mind-blowing show.
Songs like “Concrete” and “I Disagree” sounded massive live and it was definitely a treat as a festival starter.
This was my first time seeing Ice Nine Kills live and to be honest I was a little skeptical over their theatricality and the horror-themed portrayals. Turned out that their customs, stand-up acting and stage décor were just no more than a touch of entertainment, it was how they sounded live that totally changed my mind. This post-hardcore powerhouse’s set leant predominantly on promoting their latest album “The Silver Scream”. Songs such as “The American Nightmare”, “Stabbing in the Dark” and “Thank God It’s Friday” played flawlessly like a hot knife slicing through butter and it was a solid evidence to prove that they are more than just a gimmick band.
Back to the main stage, it was about time for the pop lovers to welcome their mid-day’s favorite: The Veronicas. Technically speaking, their sound was not really my typ, but you are in denial if you did not think they were one of the most vibrant and energetic performers at the festival. The twin sisters Jess and Lisa put on an exceptional vocal performance from clean singing to high-end screaming. Songs like “Take me on the Floor” and “Everything I’m Not” were definitely the crowd pleasers.
The atmosphere peaked when they played “Untouched” and called for a wall of death whose size would put most of the bands to shame.
There was no surprise that the festival veteran Trivium once again conquered the stage and the crowd went absolutely mental throughout their set. The band’s front-man Matt Heafy kept calling out the crowd with their passion of enjoyment while relentlessly thrashing his guitar. Drummer Alex Bent was truly having his moment with his impeccable drumming skills. Trivium played some of the greatest hits like “The Sin and The Sentence”, “Beyond Oblivion” and “Sever the Hand”. They also gave their fans a tip of a treat when they announced to play “Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr”.
They ended their set with the crowds’ all time favorite “In Waves” where everyone just bounced from top to bottom. That’s how you can tell when metal is done right.
The deathcore giant Thy Art is Murder who is probably also the heaviest act from the festival’s lineups once again returned to Brisbane and swept the whole venue into havoc. There had been some critiques after the release of the album ”Human Target” about how Thy Art did not innovate their sound and became dull and repetitive. But one thing that we can all agree is that they will never go soft, and they will always put on a show with 120% efforts. They played through their set with songs like “Death Squad Anthem”, “Holy Wars” and “Puppet Masters” as skull-crushing as they could. All hell broke loose when “Reign of Darkness” started and the band’s vocalist CJ asked for probably the biggest wall of death at the festival. You had to also appreciate the involvement of their fans where you won’t see a single living soul that was standing still from start to finish.
You could not get any better than having a native band that is Parkway Drive to close this festival. Needless to say that their followings are huge. You can find their fans from old school grumpy metal-lers to 9 year old younglings, almost all of them were wearing their Band’s Shirts, and chanting their name ecstatically that it could be heard from the entire South Brisbane. Parkway Drive went all out in response with their menacing tones such as “Wishing Well”, “Prey” and “Vice Grip”. Another thing that impressed me is their budget devoted to stage production. From stage lights, pyrotechnics and flamethrowers, explosions, a string quartet, to a spinning drum cage with fires, they just put all the theatricality that they could possibly have into a package and it was truly an unbelievable moment that any festival-goers would die for.
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