Festival Review with PHOTOS: The Good Things Festival 2018

The Offspring | Photos by Stephen Boxshall

The Offspring | Photos by Stephen Boxshall

By Jason Beardsley

Date / Venue: Friday December 7th, 2018 - Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne

Yes Australia, Festival Season is well and truly upon us.


With just a few weeks until Christmas, the first ever Good Things Festival brought the good times to Melbourne. To coincide with the first event of its kind, summer time hit Melbourne with a vengeance this week, with temperatures soaring to the high 30’s, well above the December average.


As our train pulled into Flemington Station shortly after 11am the temperatures were nudging 35 degrees, but that didn’t deter thousands of festival goers descending on Flemington Racecourse. Lucky for us, the Festival organisers are well prepared with plenty of free water stations, sunscreen stations and even cold showers spread throughout the precinct. We’re going to be ok!


Greeting us on Stage 2 to kick the day off is Melbourne’s own alternative outfit, Stuck Out. The band immediately grabbed the attention of the early settlers with blistering tracks from their EP You Won’t Come Home, released early this year. The band crammed as much as they could into their half hour set, which reaped great rewards, with a healthy audience drawn in to catch a glimpse.


After a quick shower we head over to Stage 4 to catch Ecca Vandal who has returned home to Melbourne after many months on the road. A passionate legion of fans surge towards the stage and it wasn’t long before we were all inducted into the Ecca Vandal Fan Club. Despite a few sound issues with her vocals early on, the set builds to a crescendo. Ecca Vandal certainly defies genre barriers and is a serious contender for performance of the day.


It’s days like these you wish you were at a waterpark, but in this case U.S. electro punk rockers Waterparks were bringing the heat all the way from Texas as front man Awsten Knight, with his bright purple hair and sunglasses, commanded the attention of the tough and tiring Melbourne audience. He looked into the camera and tried to hypnotise the audience to ‘Like our band’.


Sure enough it worked as he had the hips of even the most diehard metal fan swaying by the end of their set.


After suggesting earlier in the year it would be a while until Northlane would grace their home shores again the band made an almighty return to Melbourne, drawing one of the biggest and most passionate audiences of the day. Flame throwers, gut wrenching screams and pulsating riffs set the tone for what was to come over the next few hours. You could not wipe the smile, or the satisfaction from the face of front man Marcus Bridge. New bassist Brendon Padjasek slotted in triumphantly in one of his first shows on home soil with his new band.


Earlier in the day Waterparks kept telling us to watch out for BABYMETAL, a Kawaii Metal band from Tokyo Japan. It was glamorous and at times dark, but BABYMETAL’s unique show captivated the imagination and was a solid point of difference from the day’s proceedings. The concept of J-Pop being infused with metal is tricky but one that BABYMETAL delivers on. The dance moves alongside the heavy riffs and crushing rhythm section is a site to behold.


At this point I didn’t realise how ready I was for some Shakespeare on this December afternoon, until The Used hit the main stage. Front man Bert McCracken was intent on filling the hearts and minds of the Australian audience with Shakespeare throughout their blistering set. The band is currently celebrating 18 years together, and still shows how many legions of fans support them, through thick and thin, around the world. The band’s set was filled with classics from their 7 album catalogue and came complete with a medley of, quote, ‘The greatest song ever written’, Smells Like Teen Spirit, infused with Heart Shaped Box.


One of the things that really stand out with the first ever Good Things Festival is the great balance between homegrown acts and internationals. We are blessed in Australia to have some incredible bands coming through and making waves overseas. It’s great to see them finally getting their moment in the spotlight on a major festival stage in Australia.


One band that falls into that category is Tonight Alive, returning to Australia once again after countless tours overseas and the recent release of their album, Underworld.


There was a lot of love for this band with a strong crowd singing every word back to singer Jenna McDougall. The band were on song from the first note and there seemed to be a theme of encouraging the fans to love themselves and their image no matter who you are, no matter how challenging that can be, as showcased through hit songs Crack My Heart, Temple and The Edge. It was all over too quickly and I for one can’t wait to see Tonight Alive again one day soon.


As the big screens said, it’s important to take breaks and seek shelter in the heat, and lucky for us within the Good Things Music Festival there was a little Food Truck Festival happening as well, showcasing food and beverages from multiple nations. We settled on burgers and took a seat in some shade as the clouds started to roll in to take the edge off the extreme weather. It didn’t cool down much but it made a huge difference to the rest of the night.


Once adequately nourished and showered again we made our way back over to the main stages just in time to catch All Time Low finish their set. The fans were losing their minds, All Time Low were firing on all cylinders and still finding time for a bit of a laugh with guitarist Jack Barakat throwing his collection of bras at all the band members before heading down to the moshpit to meet the band’s adoring fans, much to their delight.


Let me tell you, no festival is complete without Corey Taylor. His energy and his charisma are second to none. Stone Sour has enjoyed huge success in this part of the world in recent years. Much to the band’s surprise they got the opportunity to head back downunder sooner rather than later. The band tore through some highlights from their catalogue including hits 30,30-150, Get Inside, Tired and most recently Song 3. By now the festival site is near capacity and it seems Melbourne has voted with its feet. The fans are grateful to have another rock and metal festival, a celebration if you will, after a few years with nothing on our door steps, with the industry seemingly on its knees until this year. Right now Corey Taylor has us in the palm of his hand.


To top it all off, The Offspring returned to the country, where their critically acclaimed album, Smash, peaked at number one, early in the bands career, now 24 years ago. It still holds up as well today as it did all that time ago, and performing it live sent their fans into delirium.


It was a huge attendance for the stalwarts of modern punk rock and it was a real treat to see these songs performed live, quite a few of them for the first time, guitarist Noodles commenting ‘There’s so many people here!, There’s like a million and 6 people here, a new record I hear!’


After tearing through Smash it was onto the fan favourites with the stand outs unsurprisingly being Pretty Fly, Why Don’t You Get A Job (my personal highlight) and Can’t Repeat.


Earlier in the week the band blew up the sound system in Adelaide showing the band are still at the top of their game and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.


All in all we survived the heat and the event was a huge success. What a privilege it was to be part of it and for this music lover, and on behalf of many others, a huge thank you to Destroy All Lines for all the work they do for rock, punk and metal in Australia and for being a huge part of bringing rock festivals back to life in Australia.


By Jason Beardsley


The Offspring

Dashboard Confessional

Stone Sour

The Smith Street Band

All Time Low

Dropkick Murphys

Tonight Alive

Bullet for my Valentine


The Used

Palaye Royale

Make them suffer

LA Dispute




Void of Vision


Official Good Things Festival Aps

Download the Official Phone Aps Here:

Android Ap: HERE


Ticketing Info:

Tickets on sale now from www.oztix.com.au 
All shows are licensed and all ages 15+ (Please see ticket conditions for age restrictions).
Venues and lineup subject to change

Other Links

For more information head to www.goodthingsfestival.com.au