It’s Friday the first of December and Christmas has come early for Melbourne music lovers. Thousands are making their way into Flemington Racecourse for Good Things Festival which boasts a huge lineup of metal, punk, rock and alternative music. With over thirty bands playing.

First on stage 1 were American band PVRIS with vocalist Lynn Gunn clearly suffering from illness, she pushed through. Delivering a set that was instrumental in parts but the angst of “my house” was still showing. Following that on stage 2 British electro rockers Enter Shikari burst onto stage. Taking the vibe up many notches with the furious “juggernauts” and older crowd favourite “sorry you’re not a winner”.

Then over on stage 4 Russian Deathcore band Slaughter to Prevail showed why they were one of the most hyped up names on the lineup. The band members wore demonic masks and played with brutal aggression as front man Alex Terrible guttural screams were polarizing. We then headed back to stage 2 to see legendary American punkers Pennywise. The bands love for Australia is evident and a huge set highlight was their cover of “down under”. With traditional finishing song “Bro hymn” getting some help from Frenzal Rhomb guitarist Lindsay McDougall.

Sepultura got a huge welcome from the crowd on stage 4. As they thrashed their way through tracks like “Arise” and “roots bloody roots”. Then metal fans quickly made their way to stage 2 to see Corey Taylor. He played a set that showcasing a mix of his solo songs, Stone Sour songs and Slipknot songs. Even ending his set with a cover of “don’t change” by iconic Australian band INXS.

Welsh metalcore band Bullet For My Valentine were next up on stage 1. As the crowd grew even larger in size. With the band sounding at their thunderous best especially on “your betrayal”. Meanwhile over on stage 3 American emo rockers Taking Back Sunday began. Giving us a mix of tracks from their new album 152 and older sing along anthems like “you’re so last summer”.

On stage 1 the time had come for American new wave band Devo. As the show was part of the bands farewell tour many in the crowd were here just for this moment. Devo put on a show that was both mesmerising and quirky. At the same time something completely different on stage 3 Polish extreme metal band Behemoth.

Then it was time for notorious rap metal American band Limp Bizkit on stage 2. The crowd size and anticpation level were at the largest I’d seen all day. As a cowboy hat wearing Fred Durst appeared on stage starting their set off with “break stuff”. Getting to witness this set was like being transported back to the late nineties. As the band played hit after hit. Highlights being “nookie”, “my generation” and their cover of “faith”. Wes Borland looked predictably weird on stage and DJ Lethal had us all jumping around. Their set was book ended by playing “break stuff” again.

The sun went down signalling it was time for the headliners Fall Out Boy. The band walked out on stage to huge cheers as they started with “love from the other side” then “phoenix”. Whilst huge flames lit up the back of the stage and Pete Wentz had fire shooting out from his bass guitar. The over twenty song setlist gave us a moments of emo nostalgia along with big radio hits. Vocalist Patrick Stump got behind the piano at one point covering part of “beds are burning” by Midnight Oil before playing “save rock and roll”. Pete Wentz explained that they had brought the full stage setup from their American tour which even included a giant puppet dog head. Their set was honestly incredible and cemented their headline status. Thanks for the memories Fall Out Boy.

Looking back on the day all the stages sound was plenty loud enough. The merch, bar and food lines seemed to flow quickly. Although we managed to mainly check out the international artists special mention goes to Aussie acts Stand Atlantic and Jebediah who both sounded great. The weather ranged from people getting sunburn to light rain and gloomy clouds, but hey that’s Melbourne for you. Each year Good Things Festival seems to keep getting better…so a possible name change to Great Things could be in order.

(photos by Christian Ross)

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