It’s back for its second year, Good Things festival has found a new home in Sydney in that of Centennial park, so in this smoked out city let’s hope that everything is all ok today for the bands and the festival goers.
Making my way in effortlessly, The Bennies are the first band up today and those who were eagerly waiting to get in rushed down to check the guys out. It may be early but they’re killing it. Thanking the crowd for making the effort to come and see them was a nice touch. These guys are fun and the crowd is growing. Many have headed to merch and the bar but the faithful are standing true at stage 3. “Don’t you wish the night would go on forever” is going to be the mantra for the day.
Off to check out stage 2. I have no idea who or what Poppy is but holy shit this is metal. There’s shredding, melody, and pop. I really can’t pigeon hole this but damn it’s great. I’m so confused! What a great find. I shit you not, Poppy may be my favourite artist of the day and I just got here. Note to self, self, check out Poppy in the future.
Reel Big Fish walk on stage to the best fanfare ever and ‘Pissed Off’ starts things off and they continue through their set of ska pop punk goodness including the title track from their new album ‘Life Sucks… Let’s Dance’ which was fun. A very friendly circle pit happened during ‘Your Guts (I Hate ‘Em’)’ but taken to the next level when square dancing gets involved. Didn’t expect to see that today. Some pretty impressive guitar work in ‘Beer’ with a nice mash up of the Offspring’s ‘Self Esteem’ lead by Saxl Rose. Closing their set with their amazing cover of ‘Take on Me’ these guys prove why they are a truly amazing live band and one you really should make the effort to see, they’re fun, super talented, and did I say fun? Oh yeah just a second ago…
Time now for the act everyone was talking (whinging) about! As smoke cannons explode as The Veronicas start with ‘Take Me On The Floor’ including the crowd pump up of “Come on Melbourne I mean Sydney fuck” was brilliant. Up next is my favourite Veronicas song ‘Everything I’m Not’ and yes I have a fave. This is a damn catchy rock song when played live. Jess throws on a guitar for ‘Hook Me Up’ and these songs are going down a treat and you almost forget how big these songs were. When pretty much everyone here takes the chorus of ‘4 Ever’ before they start the song proves to the haters that this was a brilliant choice for the bill. “Let’s open Up this fucking pit” was met with a mix of laughs and cheers but the place is rocking though I shit you not. The girls jump down to the crowd and it’s mayhem. What a time to be alive. An acoustic version of Blink 182’s ‘I Miss You’ is clever and everyone singing back was great. ‘In My Blood’ is a new one for the girls and they like it. Oh sweet Bert from The Used came out and right now they’re doing ‘The Taste of Ink’ And that was a treat. The place loved that! Oh I forgot they did a cover of Tracy Bonham’s ‘Mother Mother’ which was killer. Yes, there was just a wall of death during The Veronicas set as they started ‘Untouched’ and there’s a whole lot of love right now for this. Now THAT was awesome.
Headed over to stage 4 to catch the end of The Butterfly Effect’s set. Glad I made it for ‘Window and The Watcher’ as that’s one of my faves. They follow it with ‘Room Without A View’ and it’s always a pleasure hearing Clint belt out these tunes. Giving us a new song and it’s exactly what you’d want from a Butterfly Effect track. They have this vibe about them that just works. ‘Unbroken’ it is and can’t wait to hear what’s next. A now shirtless Clint leads the band into ‘Reach’ and it’s a pleasure to listen to. This band is tight.
Checked out the opener from Dance Gavin Dance before heading back to the main stages for Skeggs but heard ‘Freak’ by silverchair being covered by Wind Waker at stage 5 so thought it best I checked that out.
Time to lay on the ground and listen to Trivium. These guys always kick ass. A wall of death happened and just seems weird now after seeing it during The Veronicas set. But it does most definitely suit things more here. What I’ve always loved about Trivium is their melody blended with these huge riffs and pounding rhythms but as I’ve seen them a number of times before I make my way to check out Slowly Slowly. I know zero about this band but what I’m hearing is really impressive.
Enter Shikari start their set with a bang and it’s great to have them back. In front of their stage is so full that it goes all the way back. The way this band plays is amazing it moves from electro to metal to pop to I don’t know some country maybe. Not really but may as well. They are fucking fantastic. If you’ve ever seen them live I truly recommend it.
Falling in reverse. After a really shaky start and no sound and a very angry Ronnie they finally come back on stage and give us ‘Rolling Stone’ but annoyingly as I wanted to catch Simple Plan I moved on to the main stage.
I made it while they’re on their opener ‘I’d Do Anything’ and this is more like it. These guys never disappoint and instantly this is fun. ‘Jump’ does just that, gets the crowd jumping as it should. The best thing about Simple Plan right now is that they are once again a cohesive unit as it’s so good to see David back with them. Welcome back mate, you make things whole again. Taking it way back with ‘Welcome To My Life’ (must be said in an Australian accent) was amazing but ‘Jet Lag’ is a million times better. This might just be my favourite Simple Plan track and it’s always so good hearing it live. Getting the singer from Stateside up to do the Natasha parts she did a great job. ‘Addicted’ keeps things going and David really takes his place back in the band gets the crowd singing. ‘Boom’ off their latest gets a run followed by ‘I Can’t Keep My Hands Off You’ gets a whole heap of hands up and then sending us love due to the fires and the sky we think about the beach and it’s off to a ‘Summer Paradise’ with some great crowd love. ‘Thank You’ speeds things up a lot and we go full punk with this one. Giving us the heads up that they’re working on a new album, they give us the collaboration they did with State Champs and Travis from We The Kings called ‘where I Belong’. Can’t wait to hear what comes next. Back to the old with ‘shut up’ which makes the crowd happy. Then an awesome ‘Scooby-Doo’ song for good measure and it was funny watching a lot of people around me singing along to it. ‘I’m Just A Kid’ gets them bouncing and then as Chuck makes his way out from behind the kit to say hi, Pierre gets on the drums and Chuck literally gets down to say hi as he makes his way to the front offering high fives for all as he jumps in the crowd and crowd surfs along. Well done, Chuck. Leaving us with well, ‘Wonderwall’ as Pierre takes it solo and gets everyone singing. With Liam Gallagher playing at a different festival today, who needs that when you have Simple Plan here to do it. The real closer is ‘Perfect’ and starting acoustically the band then comes in and builds this to the big ballad it is. Another band you really should see live.
Violent Soho come on stage and it’s no bullshit from the opening second. These guys are a new breed (you know what I mean) of Aussie rock and they do it well. ‘Dope Calypso’ a stand out as they power through their set, even throwing in a new one for us. Are this band the future of Australian rock and roll? Hell fuck yeah.
A Day To Remember explode on to the stage ‘Downfall Of Us All’ is heavy, really heavy and instantly shows us why they’re one of the headliners. ‘All I Want’ gets a cheer and they waste no time in smashing this one out of the park. Catchy lyrics and driving beats make this an instant stand out and with a streamer cannon it tops it off. A Massive circle pit opens on demand for ‘Paranoia’ and with fire and the stage show picking up, this is amazing. What a hook in that one. ‘Sticks and Bricks’ makes things even heavier before throwing in that clean chorus they do so well. Now it’s time for crowd surfing on top of a crowd surfer. ‘Better Off This Way’ keeps things rolling and ‘2nd Sucks’ and this is heavy!!!! then ‘Right Back At It Again’ and this is so damn catchy!! Some great guitar work from Kevin and a whole sea of arms waving make this a favourite of mine in the set. A new one ‘Rescue Me’ goes all out with beach balls and I really dig this somewhat different sound. ‘Have Faith In Me’ slows things down a little before it kicks in to gear. ‘Degenerates’ is another new one from their forthcoming album and if this is what’s in store for it, sign me up. ‘I’m Made Of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?’ Keeps the vibe going and I’ll tell you what, this band is tight. Beyond tight. ‘Resentment’ might be up there as the best of the set so far, it just gets better. ‘If It Means A Lot To You’ slows things way way down as Jeremy and Kevin stay on stage with acoustics and for a song that doesn’t get played very often it was awesome to hear it tonight. It just got a thousand times better as the band re-join them on stage and this turns into one hell of a metal ballad. ‘All Signs Point to Lauderdale’ is up now and I’m stoked as this is my favourite ADTR song and I think I may have realized why I’ve been told there’s no toilet paper in the toilets and rolls and rolls are thrown out into the crowd. Stand for something indeed. With one song to go the crowd is jumping while ‘The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle’ and what a set.
Made my way over to catch the end of Simple Creatures set and even though it’s a somewhat smaller crowd than the main stage it’s awesome to see Alex and Mark up there together and as the crowd quietly wave it’s great to see more and more coming over to check these guys out. The wall of hugs and high fives is the best thing I’ve ever seen. Closing with ‘Strange Love’ these guys are clearly having fun up there and doing something different to their norm Blink 182 / All Time Low lives. So definitely one I needed to check out and end the day with.
After a 25 min walk to get out of Centennial Park and listening to Parkway Drive on the way I’ve ended up in Paddington and can still hear Parkway Drive which is awesome, keep it loud, fellas, see you next year.
Today was a great day, some killer bands, a much better set up for venue and a very tired and sore body. That’s the sign of a good day. Can’t wait to see this festival become bigger and better as they challenge the stigma of a ‘rock’ festival, bring it on! Next year Hall & Oates! Calling it now.
Venue: Centennial Park
Date: December 7, 2019
Presented by: Destroy All Lines