Live Review: Good Things proved a great day out for punk and metal in its Sydney debut

The trek to Parramatta Park seems to have become a regular occurrence for Sydney festival goers, with almost every large-scale day-long music event being held there nowadays. With Good Things the newest addition to this list and with more coming (looking at you Download and Ultra), the parklands might do a job of keeping the grounds healthy, with crowds walking into a literal dustbowl in the afternoon sun. While a bit of grime might add to you circle pit experience, it makes for a long day.

Nevertheless, while this new addition to the festival circuit doesn’t completely fill the (very huge) hole left by Soundwave in scale, it is more of a larger version of the much missed Warped Tour. An impressive crowd gathered for its first incarnation and were extremely chilled, friendly and hospitable, and it was the perfect size and layout to move around easily without stress, grab a drink and some (decent!) food and check a heap of bands.

Babymetal pulled a rather large and mixed crowd of curious watchers and die-hard fans. With a huge and very tight sound, it seems there’s a rather large reliance on backing tracks, even going as far as a bit of miming – evident with vocals still playing when frontwoman SuiMetal put the mic down. However the band already being a novelty, this can be forgiven, especially with a band that shreds as hard as this.

The Used proved to be a slick, big and fun punk rock show, with frontman Bert McCracken energetic, vibrant and looking much healthier than at their peak. Joking that it was his ‘hometown show’ as a resident of Sydney for a number of years now, he turned up the cute factor by bringing his four-year old daughter onstage for a rendition of the theme from Play School.

SCARLXRD might have been one of the more different acts on the bill, but the English rapper’s brand of self-styled ‘trap metal’ had one of the biggest circle pits of the day. With a massive amount of energy and stage presence we’re sure to see him again in bigger venues.

Tonight Alive pulled a sizable audience with their heavy pop punk, but sounded a little lighter on stage than on record. Unfortunately their set was cut short due to a security guard reportedly suffering a heart attack in front of the stage. Staff and police should be commended for moving the crowd promptly and with little incident.

On the main stage, Dropkick Murphys brought their shindiggin’ punk to a massive crowd of young (and old), while Emmure tore the smaller stages a new one with their interesting mix of djent and nu metal grooves. The Smith Street Band followed with a raucous singalong and a perfect way to watch the sun go down.

Finally The Offspring reminded everyone just how huge they were (and still are) with a mammoth show, playing their seminal Smash in full before rolling out their even bigger hits (Pretty Fly, anyone?). The biggest surprise was the addition of No Doubt’s Tony Kanal on bass duties, with Grek K seemingly out of the picture for this tour.

For its inaugural year, Good Things definitely filled a gap for punk and metal fans, and has already started with good sized crowds. With some growth we may see this become a staple in the festival market, and perhaps it may grow out of its new home rather quickly.


The reviewer attended Good Things in Sydney on 5th December 2018.