Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer
Photos by Sam Townsend – Melting Wax Photography – Full gallery to come!
Sunday, December 8 2019 will go down in history for Brisbane’s music scene. Good Things Festival 2019 saw Brisbane music fans packing into the Brisbane Showgrounds for a long, hot day and night of live music brought to you by Destroy All Lines and sponsored by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, Captain Morgan, Deathwish Barber & Coffee Co., Dominos, Furphy, Gordons’ Premium Pink Gin, Nintendo Switch, Smirnoff and Vans.
Mother nature gave us the goods, with a day that was sunny and warm but not too over the top hot like it has been for days prior to the event. A gently cool breeze picking up throughout the day and relieving those who’d been sharing sweat in the pits. From early on, security guards were enjoying sprinkling the crowds with hoses to cool us down and providing punters with cups of water throughout the day. The festival organisers also making sure we stayed hydrated with water stations set up throughout the showgrounds. Because we all know that staying hydrated in the Brisbane summer is priority number one!
Arriving early but taking a little while to get through the gates, I sadly missed some of the set from one of my all-time favourites, The Bennies who kicked things off Party Machine style on stage 3.
Once I was let through the gates I bounded like some kind of very ungraceful gazelle, straight for stage 3 to wrap my ears and eyes around the sweet party sounds and performance from The Bennies. As with any Bennies show, I was greeted with a crowd full of fans bouncing around to the upbeat, feel good tunes delivered from the gorgeous and talented Bennies boys. I managed to arrive in time for their final song and of course they’d saved one of their biggest hits for last, Party Machine went off like a frog in a sock on a hot summer’s day. It also included a brief cover of part of The Beastie Boys song, Sabotage which was, as always, well received from their fans.
Next it was time for some pop metal as I headed to stage 2 to catch some of one of the most adorable yet sexy artists on the bill. Poppy had a good crowd there to capture her set delivered in a bubble of pop/rock/metal goodness and blonde wigs that had crowds bopping around and rocking out in the warm sun. If there is such a thing as ‘cute metal,’ Poppy is the epitome of this. I really enjoyed her set.
Directly across to stage 1 for Reel Big Fish, this was a super fun performance. Opening with Pissed Off and with a horns section dressed in style (the pastel yellow suit was amazing but oh man, it would have been hot up on that stage wearing a full suit!) Life Sucks…Let’s Dance was lots of fun and a bit of an anthem for everyone “Life sucks, so let’s dance. Yeah, maybe if we have some fun, we won’t feel so bad…”
Time for a change of pace with some metalcore to really get my heart pumping, delivered by Melbourne’s Gravemind. Part of the Greyscale Records family, these guys had a mini circle pit happening over at stage 5 and it was only early in the day! I am a big fan of Gravemind but not so much of a fan of fight dancers (or whatever you want to call them) who were there making it hard for punters who just wanted to enjoy the performance without getting kicked or punched, but it is what it is I guess. Live and let live. Just don’t punch me when I am innocently trying to enjoy a band play live, yeah? Anyway, their set was brutally brilliant, the standout track for me for this performance was definitely, Lifelike. I also noticed guitarist, Michael Petritsch was repping local Brissy post-hardcore legends, Deadlights. I do love seeing bands on stage repping other bands. Metal fam is strong between Brisbane and Melbourne.
Time for a quick reprieve with a pizza and a delicious Gordon’s pink gin in an oh-so-cute tiny pink tinnie before heading to what was to be undoubtably the most popular moment of the day for many. The Veronicas. Before they started though, I caught the last couple of songs from Skegss which happened to include a favourite of mine, one of their best bangers, Spring Has Sprung. Frontman, Ben Ben Bograil bantering with the crowd and saying “We’re gonna’ play one more song and then we’re gonna’ fuck off…” Then shouting, “Hey you, Veronicas people over there!” (on the stage next to theirs) and then saying “You guys know The Veronicas?” Before breaking into a quick rendition of Untouched, sung a little tongue in cheek like to a crowd that lapped it up.
Now, unless you’ve been hiding under a large rock for the last few months, you would know that there were mixed feelings about The Veronicas even landing a spot on the line up for Good Things 2019. But with the hype surrounding the plans for a wall of death and a circle pit during their sweetly pop rock filled performance, they suddenly became the talk of the town. The Veronicas are of course originally from Brisbane, announcing, “It’s so good to be home Brisbane!” and hence they certainly have their loyal fans, but honestly, the crowd they pulled at 2:45 in the afternoon was impressive. Playing all their ‘sing a long’ hits like Everything I’m Not, Hook Me Up, 4Ever and throwing in some perfectly delivered covers, Blink 182’s, I Miss You and Tracey Bonham’s, Mother Mother. Then of course, the big moment everyone was waiting for. As they announced, “Please stand for the national anthem!” and gave us Untouched. Que the wall of death and circle pits as the crowd went wild for the moment they’d been hanging for for months! I enjoyed every moment of their set, Jessica and Lisa were clearly born to perform and I am not ashamed to say I am a BIG fan.
Next up on my list of ‘must see’ bands for the day was metal lords, Trivium. By this point of the day the sun seemed to be relentlessly and aggressively beaming down onto the main stages with so much aggression that my heart really went out to the performers. Especially for a metal band dressed all in black! But Trivium did not seem overly phased by the gloriously brutal heat as they pelted out a set that really got the ‘heavy’ going for Good Things. A standout song for me during the performance was Like Light To The Flies, but the whole set was as blazingly hot as the sun itself.
I have wanted to see Bad Religion live for many moons and I am so happy they were on the Good Things line up! Punk fans rallied to the front of stage 1. This was where I witnessed some injuries here and there, crowd surfers being pulled from the pit with bleeding shins and sweat dripping from their bodies, shirts so wet they hung loose and limp as they clambered over or were pulled over the rail to high five those still against the rail only to go full circle and end up back where they started. I also must point out how good security were, they handled it well and were on top of everything. Not pushy or rude, but very much aware of their job to take care of everyone whilst still letting them have a good time. Anyone who goes to a lot of live gigs knows, this is not always the case, so it is so good to see when it is done this way. With Bad Religion even acknowledging the security by saying things like “We’d like to thank the rainmakers out here for adding some fun to our show” referring to the security guards with the hoses showering the hot sweaty crowds with water as they tackled the mosh. Bad Religion played such a sublime set, opening with 21st Century Digital Boy and ending with two of my all-time favourites, Affected and American Jesus. Affected is one of my favourite songs ever and seeing it played live has made my year.
Time for another break to rejuvenate body and mind before I was on to the next big act I was so eager to see. Making our way to the Boost Juice van for a juice full of mango goodness and stopping to chat to two of our local lovable pirates, Mother Junkst and The Majestic Beast from Lagerstein. In fact, the day was like one big Brisbane music family reunion. Throughout the day, in amongst the crowds I saw members of local bands Hammers, Gutterfire, Being Jane Lane, Flangipanis, A Somerset Parade, The Cutaways, Pistonfist, RHINO, Among The Ruined, Level H and so many more. Isn’t it grand how music brings people together?
And now it was time for some Soho! So, look, it is embarrassing to say that although I have been a fan of Violent Soho for many, many moons, I have for whatever reason, never had the pleasure of seeing them live. I am sure you can imagine just how excited I was to finally have the chance! Opening with Like Soda, they started their set almost gently and built the crescendo with every track they played. Fans loving every minute as they loudly sung along to every word of every song, even the new ones. “4122 forever” was heard being yelled toward the stage as Brisbane’s favourite ‘boy band’ delivered song after song. Viceroy was next followed by the newest single, Vacation Forever with the already infamous line of “There’s a baby boomer across the street and it won’t stop staring at me”.
Guitarist and Domestic La La legend, James Tidswell saying “Oi, let’s get So Sentimental and like sing along if you know the lyrics and all that” before breaking into So Sentimental. Cracking out some older fan favourites like Jesus Stole My Girlfriend and Love Is A Heavy Word, I was in Soho fan heaven as were many others around me. Looking around there were so many people on others shoulders and everyone had a look of sheer joy on their faces.
Dope Calypso and a track “We’ve rarely played live…”, Liars were delivered to perfection. With Tidswell rounding up their set by saying “Thanks, you guys have been great. Brisbane, we love you more than you will ever know and we were gonna’ end our set with a cover of Wonderwall but Simple Plan beat us to it! So, we are just going to do a cover of a song we have covered before, My Pal by God.” If anyone caught Simple Plan‘s set, you would know that for some unknown reason, they chose to end their set with a cover of Wonderwall by Oasis. I laughed so hard with Tidswell‘s comedic burn and all I could think of was that gif of Kelso from That 70’s Show going “BURN!!” The cover of My Pal a perfect ending to their set. I just want to see them again already!
A couple of quick impromptu Good Call Live family happy snaps taken on our phones after the brilliance of Soho’s set with team members we managed to round up and it was time for me to chill for a little while as we waited for headliners, Parkway Drive to take to stage 1. Bringing with them their full touring set up from their recent European tour, with pyrotechnics and a rotating circular drum platform (if you’ve never seen it, think Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe style)
Parkway Drive slowly and confidently walked through the crowds, scaled the barrier and up onto the stage whilst video played on the big screens. The build up to the performance had fans waiting with bated breath for the moment their set would begin. The lights and stage set up so impressive I could tell we were in for a something really special. Opening with a hard-hitting performance of Wishing Well, it was clear to see just how far the boys from Byron Bay have come over the past 16 years and so good to see them headlining an Australian music festival. At one stage I was sitting far enough back to witness a sea of phones lit up as fans prepared for the onslaught of what was to come. Their set was packed full of all their best and included, Prey, Fractured, Karma, Writings On The Wall, Bottom Feeder and more and also included a drum solo displaying the talent of drummer, Ben Gordon.
At one stage later in their set, frontman, Winston McCall told the crowds that this was “the biggest crowd we’ve ever played to in Australia” and later taking a moment to shout out to the Good Things organisers for “taking a punt and letting an Aussie band headline this shit!”
The stage lit up in a haze of blue and purple lights as they brought out their stunning strings section. The stage was continuously eye catching with platforms, lights, fireworks and flames. The show a feast for the eyes as much as for the ears. Seeing Parkway Drive perform live is an experience you simply must witness at least once in your lifetime. And if you missed them at Good Things, never fear! The guys announced their upcoming tour which hits Brisbane’s Riverstage on June 13th next year.
Parkway’s performance a stunningly captivating ending to a day and night chock full of some amazing talent from a mix of musical genres, bands and performers who so graciously gift the world with their music. It’s been a while since I attended a music festival of this size and although I am still exhausted two days later, it was entirely worth it. I urge everyone who loves live music to get out and support Good Things again next year. Because when the people support the live music, the live music keeps coming. And I for one, want more!
Gone are the days of Livid Festivals and Soundwave at our showgrounds but now is the time for Good Things and Brisbane is so ready for it to keep coming back again and again.
Now please excuse me while I rest my weary head and re live all the standout moments of Good Things 2019 Brisbane.
Stay tuned to our site and Facebook – we will bring you Sam’s FULL galleries soon!