[LIVE REVIEW] The Goodest Things About Good Things Sydney // Centennial Park // 07/12/19

Good Things 2019 was a whirlwind weekend, taking place over three days in December and hitting up Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in succession. Despite the smoke, dust inhalation and exhaustion (for bands and punters alike), Sydney’s Good Things went off. Here is (in no particular order), the goodest things about Good Things 2019.

The Bennies Starting Off The Day
While some would argue that The Bennies deserve to be placed much higher on the line up – its undeniable that their blend of “Psychedelic Reggae Ska Doom Metal Punk Rock From Hell” is exactly what you need to set the mood for a festival. While hiccups getting through the gates stopped some from getting inside in time to see them – with them coming on stage at the same time they opened the gates, and slow going through security meant long wait times – those who were early enough to make it in streamed down the hill in droves to catch the party machines.

New Year, New Venue
Being held in Parramatta Park last year, Good Things 2019 made its Sydney home in Centennial Park. Many punters appreciated the more central location – without the need to make a pilgrimage out west – and the large, leafy park made for a great location for a festival, with the stages just far enough away from each other to prevent the sound from the stages blending together.

Sydney’s Hellscape Came Good For One Day
With bushfires ravaging New South Wales, Sydney has been looking more and more like a scene from a post-apocalyptic film. With the days leading up to the festival being a smoke-filled haze threatening to turn the festival sepia, the weather took a turn for the better on the day of the festival, with the air being (relatively speaking) clear, and the weather staying relatively cool, with an overcast sky and a nice breeze blowing for most of the day (even if that breeze did kick up a tonne of dust). If just for one day – Sydney did alright by us.

Photo – Peter Zaluzny

The Locals Did Us Proud
While not always holding the biggest crowd when up against some strong competition on the clashes front, Stage 5 had the likes of Yours Truly, Voyager and The Beautiful Monument repping the Aussie scene. Everyone in attendance got a good look at the future of Australian music (possible headliners Good Things 2025?), and no one left disappointed. If you didn’t catch any of the bands on Stage 5 – you missed out.

Something For Everyone
From ska legends Reel Big Fish, to the heavy hitters of Parkway Drive, there was something for everyone at Good Things Festival. While some complained that the line up was too diverse, making it hard to justify a ticket cost to only see a handful of bands, most walked away from Good Things having seen and enjoyed a band they otherwise might not have given the time of day to.

That Wall Of Death
Speaking of genre-fluid, The Veronicas were definitely the most controversial band on the bill. The reaction to their announcement ranged from excitement to bewilderment, and even anger, and they became the talking point of the festival. Instantly Facebook events popped up planning a wall of death during Untouched – and we were not let down. While some came out worse for wear – with one girl wearing a crimson mask as blood streamed down from a busted eyebrow – The Veronicas’ ended up having one of the biggest crowds of the day, and even went as far to sell shirts at the merch desk saying “I survived the wall of death”.

Huge Sets from Aussie Vets
Returning to the festival circuit after a hiatus – Brisbane boys Violent Soho did not miss a beat. With huge singalongs and a shitload of headbanging, their set was so good they can (almost) be forgiven for making us wait so long for it. At the same time though, we had a massive Aussie music clash, with Violent Soho, Karnivool and Yours Truly all playing at the same time, with many punters having to make some tough calls on who to catch. Karnivool smashed out a huge set, opening on a killer track in Shutterspeed, on the same stage where earlier in the day The Butterfly effect had torn through a phenomenal set. The Aussie contingent was out in force at Good Things, showing off just how good the Australian music scene is.

And Even Bigger Ones From The Tourists
With such strong competition from the locals, the international bands had to step it up. We saw massive circle pits through Trivium’s set, some huge, emo singalongs through Simple Plan’s sunset timeslot, and some quality skanking to Reel Big Fish early in the day. Highlights included an early afternoon set from breakthrough artist Poppy, a trip down punk memory lane with Bad Religion, an energy filled Enter Shikari set, and a whole lot of disrespected surroundings through A Day To Remember.

Crushed By The Fist of Parkway Drive
Entering through the crowd, accompanied by druids with fire torches, Parkway Drive set the scene for what was to be a massive headline slot. Their production value has been stepped up, and with it, their performance. Their performance of Crushed was standout, complete with a flaming, rotating drumkit, and we got a sneaky tour announce at the end of the set, with Parkway’s Viva the Underdogs tour set to hit stadiums around Australia in 2020. Parkway Drive have sat on a throne atop the Australian heavy music mountain for a long time – and this set showed us why. They show no signs of stopping.