Greta Van Fleet
Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater, Bridgeport, CT
Friday, August 27th, 2021
Review and Pictures: Shannon Wilk
This past Friday evening thousands of fans lined up outside the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport, CT with one thing on their mind – rocking out to the first of two sold out nights with Greta Van Fleet.
It was a hot and humid August day and anticipation was in the air. I looked around and saw people of all ages dressed in bell bottoms, decked out in jewelry and feathers and band t-shirts and we all had one thing in common – the love for rock n’ roll.
With this venue being very new, doors opened about an hour and a half late and not everything ran as smoothly as expected. Despite the slight hiccup, the first opening band, The Nude Party, took the stage around 7:15PM as originally planned.
The Nude Party, a band I had never heard of prior to this show, pleasantly surprised me. They are a 6-piece indie rock act from Boone, North Carolina formed the very same year as Greta Van Fleet – 2012. These guys put on a melodic and entertaining 30 minute long set of music from their two studio albums.
The second opener was americana act Langhorne Slim. Out of the three bands of the night, this 5-piece Pennsylvania-based band has been around the longest – forming in the early 2000s.
I have to give the band an A+ for crowd interaction and stage presence. The band’s lead man made full use of the stage and even offered water to the fans who had been packed in the front row in the extreme weather all evening. The music sounded stellar and the performance was even better.
Around 9:30PM, the lights went down and Greta Van Fleet’s intro music began to play. Guitarist Jake Kiszka walked onstage and began strumming and the crowd erupted with cheers. The rest of the band joined him and began playing “Built By Nations” – track 4 off their sophomore record.
Prior to the start of the set, there were all these crew members in white suits Swiffer-ing the stage and to be honest I was a bit confused. But once frontman Josh Kiszka and bassist Sam Kiszka trotted out on stage in their bare feet, I realized the purpose of cleaning the stage.
About halfway through the set, the band went acoustic for “You’re The One” and a fantastical live debut of “Broken Bells”. I have to say that these three brothers along with drummer Danny Wagner mold together like no other band I’ve seen. The drums perfectly compliment the bass; this rhythm section is the perfect backbone for the stellar guitar parts which leads you to the incredible raw, emotional vocals.
The band is on tour supporting their latest release “The Battle At Garden’s Gate” – which is a fantastic album might I add. Though the set primarily showcased the latest GVF has to offer, it also included the greats from their previous record such as “Highway Tune”, “Black Smoke Rising” and more.
The band left the stage after 12 songs but the fans were not ready for it to be over and wow they proved it. The volume of the cheering fans begging for a Greta Van Fleet encore is only comparable to that of a football stadium. The encore included yet another live debut. This time it was “Stardust Chords” followed by “When The Curtain Falls” and ending their set with “My Way, Soon”.
Greta Van Fleet wear vintage clothes, produce classic rock inspired music, while making full use of modern technology in their stage show. The future of rock n’ roll is in good hands.