For years, naysayers have cried with conviction that the world’s greatest ever genre, pop punk, is “dead”. However, faithfuls who worship at the church of emotionally charged sing-a-longs, high-octane riffage and the catchiest hooks imaginable know that this is clearly, not the case.
Since the early 80s, pop punk has served as the soundtrack for those coming to terms with the trials and tribulations of growing up, un-ending friendships and stinging heartbreaks. It’s effervescent, abundantly youthful, and ultimately, extremely cathartic. As most pop punk fans will agree, the best way to experience your favourite band live is within the thick of a sweaty mosh pit, finger-pointing your sadness away.
This December, Good Things Festival is touching down across Australia for the very first time. Upon announcement, fans of the genre were sent into a total head spin – the lineup is proof of pop punk’s long, evolving history, featuring bands who represent every era and style present within the genre. In short, if you’re looking for a way to celebrate the culmination of a damn tough year, unleashing your innermost emotions and feelings, Good Things is the place to be.
From skate punk legends to new school future classics, Good Things is set to revel in pop punk’s untouched jubilance. To give you a better understanding of the history you’ll be witnessing, here’s a rundown of how the festival is marrying every era of pop punk.
’90s skate punk
1994 is fondly looked back on as “The Year Punk Broke” – an apt title for a legendary era of music. The Offspring will be performing Smash in full at Good Things – for pop punk fans young and old, this set is a huge milestone.
Arriving to fertile ground for a generation of pop punk’s to thrive, The Offspring unleashed the seminal, Smash. Combining grungey, energetic guitar riffage, chant-like choruses and tongue in cheek lyrics, Smash set a worldwide standard for pop punk, going on to sell over 11 million units. Featuring huge tracks like ‘Come Out And Play’ and ‘Self Esteem’, it’s the highest selling independent album of all time.
Smash signifies an era characterized by skate videos, snot-nosed brattiness and raw-power songwriting that paid homage to classic punk acts like Sham 69 and The Clash. The album, alongside Green Day’s Dookie and NOFX’s Punk In Drublic lead pop punk to become one of the biggest genres in the world, opening the floodgates for band’s like blink-182 and Sum 41 to come and dominate.
Watch: The Offspring’s ‘Self Esteem’
Early ’00s Hot-Topic-core
It’s undeniable that all things “emo” had a total chokehold on pop punk throughout the early naughties. As bands steered away from skateboards and high-school sweethearts, darker themes were explored in lyrics, instrumentals took inspiration from post-hardcore and fans took “aesthetic” to a new level with lashings of eyeliner.
At Good Things, two total hallmarks of this era, Dashboard Confessional and The Used will be making their way down to treat fans to set’s filled with anthems of heartache and tears of searing bittersweetness.
Dashboard Confessional will be performing 2001’s seminal The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most in full,which saw the band cement their status as one of pop punk and emo’s most important acts, inspiring kids everywhere to pick up their acoustic guitars and pen tales of love and loss. The album went on the be certified Gold and features the band’s defining track ‘Screaming Infidelities’ and sums up a generation.
The Used are one the of scene’s most enduring acts. Having released their seventh album The Canyon last year, expect their set to feature a career spanning look back on their legacy.
Watch: The Used’s ‘All That I’ve Got’
Late ’00s neon
We’d like to call that All Time Low and Mayday Parade’s sets at Good Things will probably yield the most insane sing-a-longs of the day. With both band’s transcending pop punk over the course of their long tenures as scene leaders, they’ve established themselves as unstoppable legends.
By the late naughties, pop punk had reigned in the mainstream for over 15 years. The genre had since gone through it’s emo obsession and skate punk takeover – it was time pop punk took “pop” to its most extreme. Although All Time Low and Mayday Parade have since transcended their initial style, both band’s have yeilded a massive impact on generations of pop punk kids.
Watch: All Time Low’s ‘Damned If I Do Ya’
Pop punk revival
At the beginning of the decade, pop punk took a turn for the more serious, introspective and grungey. The Wonder Years are the undeniable leaders of that scene, taking probing lyricism, emo revival-tinged instrumentation and suburban imagery to the next level.
This year, the band released Sister Cities – their most mature and far-reaching effort to date, seeing them explore the realms of world travel and the connections we foster with those in our everyday lives and whilst abroad. Get ready for a set chock full of finger poitning and a whole lot of tears.
Watch: The Wonder Years’ ‘Passing Through A Screen Door’
Tonight Alive are Australia’s greatest ever pop punk export. The band took to the stage initially in 2008 with their upbeat brand of pop punk with a strong message of empowerment. The band have continued to inspire fans worlwide, offering up important lessons on self-esteem, self-love and kindness – which all come in bundles on their 2018 release Underworld.
Watch: Tonight Alive’s ‘Temple’
The present & future
In 2018, pop punk is in good hands. With bands simultaneously paying homage to legends and adding their own unique style and flair, it’s fair to say the next few years will see the genre cover even more artistic ground, exploring uncharted territory.
Two of its current international heroes, Waterparks and Boston Manor will be making their way down under for Good Things Festival. The festival will mark Waterpark’s second trip to Australia in 2018, in celebration of their excellent second album Entertainment – an album so awesome we touted it to be the cementing of their status as pop punk’s most creative band in years.
Boston Manor recently released their album Welcome To The Neighbourhood – a concept album that explores the sounds of stadium rock as well as modern emo and pop punk. Both bands have been making huge waves, and we can guarantee this festival will be the first of many trips both acts take to Australia in the next coming years.
Watch: Waterparks’ ‘We Need To Talk’
Good Things Festival 2018 Lineup
The Offspring (Performing Smash In Full)
All Time Low
Bullet For My Valentine
The Smith Street Band
(Performing songs from The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most + Fan Favourites)
The Wonder Years
Make Them Suffer
Void Of Vision
Friday, December 7th (New Venue!)
Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday, December 8th
Parramatta Park, Sydney, NSW
Sunday, December 9th
Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane, QLD
Tickets on sale now through Good Things