Review: Good Things Festival kicks off in Melbourne with a bang!

Fall Out Boy

Good Things Festival 2023 stormed into Melbourne for its fourth edition, delivering a powerhouse lineup that set the stage on fire! With Devo, Limp Bizkit, and Fall Out Boy leading the charge, this festival was a celebration of musical greatness that promised an unforgettable day of great tunes and infectious vibes. And guess what? The excitement doesn’t end here—Sydney and Brisbane, get ready to jump into the musical rollercoaster because Good Things Festival is heading your way next!

Notable mention goes to PVRIS,  kicked off the festival on a brave note. Battling illness, Lynn Gunn powered through the performance, delivering a commendable show despite her unwell state. However, it’s unfortunate news for Sydney fans as the band has had to regrettably pull out of the upcoming show due to her health concerns. It would have been ideal to see her perform later in the day, considering the significant act she embodies. Unfortunately, due to the early slot, the crowd was not as large as expected, but Gunn’s dedication to putting on a great show shone through, leaving a mark on those present.

Aussie talents Slowly Slowly and Stand Atlantic brought their A-game, even though they found themselves on the early roster. Slowly Slowly took to the main stage, which is huge for them as previously they have played the smaller stages. They had quite the crowd, and as always were a joy to watch. Stand Atlantic’s Bonnie Fraser joined Slowly Slowly on stage for “Safety Switch”, not long after she had hopped off of stage 3 where Stand Atlantic had delivered their own wonderful performance.

Slowly Slowly

Bullet For My Valentine hit Stage 1 like a bolt of lightning, setting the crowd on fire. The whole place went wild with people getting rowdy, jumping, and surging toward the stage. Security had their hands full trying to keep up with the madness. Regardless of personal tastes, you couldn’t deny the pure energy and passion they brought. It was a straight-up powerful performance that left its mark on the festival.

Jebediah‘s concise set mainly consisting of tracks from their ’97 gem, Slightly Odway, drew a substantial crowd, setting the stage for a frenzy. Royal and the Serpent and Taking Back Sunday took turns on different stages, causing some dedicated fans to dash between performances.

I Prevail kept the momentum going with Brian Burkheiser’s stellar vocals, though the crowd, gearing up for the headliners, began showing signs of festival weariness. Devo‘s ’70s vibes might’ve seemed like an oddball choice initially, but their quirky stage presence and the infectious beat of “Whip It” made for an unexpectedly entertaining show. However, their style didn’t quite sync with the festival’s overall vibe, resulting in a noticeable exodus from the main stage.

Enter Limp Bizkit, the stage 2 headliner that turned the atmosphere into a wild party. Throughout their set, their infectious energy was downright contagious. Fans were catapulted into a frenzy, with bodies surfing the waves of euphoria and mosh pits spontaneously erupting. The band’s connection with the audience was palpable, as they seamlessly transitioned from one hit to another, each song fuelling the electric atmosphere.

In a moment that showcased their genuine concern for their fans, Durst paused the show when a fan needed medical attention. He halted the music and called for immediate assistance, ensuring the safety and well-being of the festival-goer. Once reassured that everything was under control, the band resumed, picking up right where they left off and sending the audience into another whirlwind of head-banging and hands-in-the-air madness.

Their decision to open and close the set with “Break Stuff” bookended a performance that encapsulated the essence of what Limp Bizkit stands for—a raw, unapologetic energy that leaves you both exhilarated and wanting more.

And then of course, the moment that everyone was waiting for – Fall Out Boy. By this time, the main stage grounds were full with tens of thousands gathered around to watch. Their headlining set was nothing short of a grand musical odyssey. From the moment they stepped onto the stage, it was evident that this wasn’t just a performance—it was a spectacle of epic proportions!

Diving headfirst into their setlist, Fall Out Boy’s stage design transformed the festival grounds into a mesmerising realm of visual splendour. The crowd was transported into a universe where music and theatrics collided, creating an unforgettable experience. Opening with the lead single “Love from the Other Side,” from their latest album, So Much For Stardust, they instantly captivated everyone within earshot.

The setlist was a tapestry of their musical journey, weaving in anthems like “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” that sent shockwaves of nostalgia across the sea of fans. Yet, it wasn’t just about the hits; Fall Out Boy dug deep, unearthing gems like “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy,” “Bang the Doldrums,” and “Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet,” much to the delight of die-hard enthusiasts.

In a poignant moment, lead singer Patrick Stump enchanted the audience with a heartfelt piano rendition of Midnight Oil’s “Beds are Burning,” sharing an anecdote about their influence on his musical upbringing, being the first concert he ever went to. The band’s camaraderie and passion shone through as they navigated through the setlist, each member delivering a powerhouse performance.

“Save Rock And Roll” was beautiful and anthemic, ending with all four members standing and singing into their mics, before Pete Wentz performed the spoken word “Baby Annihilation” before doing a magic trick and disappearing and reappearing in a giant fake tree- bizarre and wonderful.

The magic 8 ball segment, a crowd-pleasing ritual from their recent North American tour, became a highlight. Fans reveled in the anticipation as the band teased and then unveiled the beloved “The (After) Life of the Party” from their album Infinity on High, igniting an explosion of cheers.

Though time constraints prevented a traditional encore, Fall Out Boy improvised brilliantly. Instead, they remained on stage, seamlessly blending hits like “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” and “Centuries,” culminating in a bombastic finale with “Saturday.” The sheer dynamism and passion showcased during their set left an indelible mark on the festival, cementing Fall Out Boy as the pinnacle of the day’s musical extravaganza.

Good Things Festival in Melbourne was an absolute blast, proving once again that when it comes to delivering an incredible lineup and an electric atmosphere, this festival truly knows how to hit the right notes. Despite the occasional cloud threatening our sunshine, the event sparkled with amazing performances, fantastic vibes, and a crowd that was not just friendly but radiated an infectious love for music. From start to finish, the festival flowed seamlessly, with great amenities and many food, drink and merch options available.

Having been part of every Good Things fest since its inception in 2018, I can confidently say this: it’s an unmissable highlight on my calendar. The anticipation for what surprises and major acts await next year is already sending shivers of excitement down my spine. Until then, here’s to many more Good Things and good tunes ahead!


For more information about the Good Things Festival and sideshows, head to the official website HERE

Photos of Fall Out Boy and Slowly Slowly by Sarah Duggan