by Ward Lowe
Greta Van Fleet Goes Back to the Future
Rock ‘n’ roll is not dead. It’s being channeled in all its ‘70s rock-god swagger by four young dudes from Michigan. Singer Josh Kiszka and his twin brother, guitarist Jake Kiszka, are the band’s elder statesmen at 22 years old. Little brother Sam Kiszka, 19, plays bass, while drummer Danny Wagner, also 19, rounds out the lineup. These guys are very young but the band members possess stage presence and musicianship beyond their years. They’ve been a huge breakout band this year and have been plastered all over music media including on the cover of major guitar magazines.
Greta Van Fleet stormed out of the gate with the blues and howls of “Highway Tune,” and took the sold-out Stubb’s amphitheater on a full-speed, classic-rock journey. Behind-the-head guitar solos? Check. Band members shedding shirts mid-set? Check. Singer and guitarist sharing a mic back to back? You bet.
Huge rock riffs power most of the band’s catalogue, and Jake’s guitar licks didn’t disappoint. “Edge of Darkness,” “Talk on the Street,” and “Black Smoke Rising” had the crowd grooving and pumping fists while Josh’s vocals soared octaves above.
Yes, they sound like Led Zeppelin—there’s no getting around the comparison. And during their covers of “Evil” and “That’s All Right,” the band veered close to tribute-band territory. However, Greta Van Fleet isn’t a tribute band. They’re what Led Zeppelin would sound like if they were in their prime in 2018, recording new music. In fact, Robert Plant himself has expressed how great these guys are.
Greta Van Fleet takes the best aspects of classic rock and incorporates them into their sound. And if they continue to find their own path with such passion, the band will be playing a much bigger venue the next time they visit Austin. They’re already being asked to perform in huge music festivals. They will be here at ACL Music Fest this fall and then everyone will know them. This will definitely be considered one of our BEST SHOWS OF 2018.
Highway Tune, Edge of Darkness, When the Cold Wind Blows, Talk on the Street, Flower Power, You’re the One, Evil (Howlin’ Wolf cover), Mountain of the Sun, Watching Over, Lover Leaver Taker Believer
Encore: Black Smoke Rising, Safari Song