The 6th of December marks the end of sideshows for this year’s Good Things Festival, and I’m spending it at the Manning Bar in Sydney seeing the mighty Soufly. They must be looking forwards to one last throwdown to cap off the Australian performances after appearing at 3 festivals in 3 days across 3 different states.
The initial support, Melbourne’s Primitive pull-out of the show last-minute moving Sydney’s deathcore superstars To The Grave to the main and only support. To The Grave have been busy! Not only did they also appear at Good Things Festival (in Melbourne and Brisbane only), they supported Soulfly on their Melbourne sideshow and we’re lucky to have them here tonight.
They open with Red Dot Sight as lead singer Dane Evans storms the stage in a balaclava under his hoodie. They may be a different brand of metal in comparison to tonight’s headliner, but the crowd bounce and headbang along as the Sydney squad play their hearts out. If you haven’t seen To The Grave perform before, I highly recommend it. Evans has a stage presence beyond his years and a voice that can compete with the likes of Phil Bozeman and Brooke Reeves. I can’t wait to see his evolution; I feel he will only get better!
Simon’s drum kit is positioned in front of Soulfly’s, leaving little room for movement up there, he nonetheless near destroys each drum with strength and accuracy. Just that morning, the film clip to Axe of Kindness was released, and we get to hear the heavy, gritty assault live!
The single is out now and will be on their new album Directors Cuts coming February 24th.
Closing the set with Wastage, they call for a wall of death. Metalheads pour down to the floor from the outskirts as Evans counts down to carnage.
The venue’s capacity fills very quickly as the time draws near for metal legends Soulfly to take the stage. I make a very silly decision to buy merch as I hear the intro to Back To the Primitive stream out of the speakers behind me. I tap my card, grab my shirt and sprint to the front. The venue claps along as the band appears one by one.
It may be a Tuesday but that does not stop the pit from going ballistic! The album Primitive, in which Back to the Primitive is from, was released in 2000 and looking around, everyone sure knows the words. Max and co take no prisoners ripping through tracks such as Prophecy, Downstroy and Filth Upon Filth from their latest album Totem.
As most know, Dino Cazares, guitarist from Fear Factory is along for the ride. The two guitar legends share a moment on stage, axes facing each other – shredding like it’s child’s play, the crowd lap it up. Ritual is one of the strongest songs of the night, a loud chanting chorus that everyone can join in and a chugging slower outro to bang our heads.
Soulfly was born in 1998, but they were made when they arrived in Australia in 1999, according to metal god himself Max Cavalera. Tonight, the admiration is mutual!
Multiple sound problems at Good Things made me glad I went to tonight’s event because the sound is excellent! One punter rips his top off and twirls it around his head, giving Bleed one of the finest receptions of the night.
Max asks us if we want some Chaos AD, to roars of excitement! Max’s son Zyon (who it’s playing drums for Soulfly) counts down to the Sepultura classic, Refuse Resist and the venue lose their minds. Brazilian football chants work very well in a metal setting, with a few lyrical alteration we are singing “ole ole ole ole Soulflyyyy Soulfyyyy’.
As an enormous Fear Factory fan, I am beyond excited to hear the intro to Body Hammer, it’s cut short to make way for the huge single, Replica. The intro to Demanufacture also teased as Soulfly gets back to business.
Tonight’s fantastic show is rounded up with Eye For An Eye and the ever-amazing Jumpdafuckup. As metalheads we are used to artists asking us to sit down, only to jump to the sky as the beat kicks in. I could not wipe the smile off my face watching the entire venue takes part, not just the moshpit! The energy is electric as we yell the chorus knowing the show is coming to an end.
Soulfly was a highlight of the Good Things line up and I was so fortunate to see them perform twice. With his contagious grooves, persistent worldwide touring, and love for metal, Max Cavalera has established himself as a true symbol of our scene. The current Soulfly line up, Dino Cazares, Mike Leon and Zyon Cavalera is outrageously talented, I hope it stays this way for some time.
The world is opening back up, and the shows keep on coming. I can’t wait to see what 2023 has instore for music lovers across Australia.