Greta Van Fleet
The Palladium – Los Angeles, CA – 10/5/19
Just relax! I mean it’s only rock n roll! This comment is my response to a question that no one asked me. However, if Greta Van Fleet are somehow relevant in your universe, (and if you’re reading this, chances are good that they are) then I’m sure you have or at least have heard many opinions about the band.
Let’s face it.. Greta Van Fleet aren’t the Led Zeppelin of our time… but they also aren’t the Nickelback. They’re the Greta Van Fleet of our time and what a great time it is!
You’re not going to find me bashing the band in the slightest. Yes, they have a lot of similarities to Zep. And I don’t care. They released an amazing EP, “From The Fires” and followed it up with a brilliant, full length album, “Anthem Of The Peaceful Army“. It’s not your run of the mill, paint by numbers rock album and very few “established acts” are releasing material of this quality.
So… now that I got that off my chest, on to the case in hand. Greta Van Fleet in concert. I’m pleased to announce that my verdict is that are equally spectacular live. To think that singer Josh and twin brother, guitarist, Jake Kiszka are the elders in the band at 24 years old should blow you away. Younger brother, bassist, Sam, and drummer, Danny Wagner are both 20 years old. The four of these lads from Frankenmuth, Michigan perform well beyond their years.
Arriving barefoot in a nautical themed, white jumpsuit with flowers in hand to throw out to the crowd, Josh was immediately enveloped by the screams from the front few rows. Those screams were intensified by the rest of the sold out Palladium as Jake launched into “Highway Tune“. What followed was an hour and a half of electric synergy between band and crowd. After the opener; “Edge Of Darkness” and “Black Smoke Rising” rounded out the initial blast from their debut EP, “From The Fires“.
What followed were six tracks from “Anthem of the Peaceful Army“, again proving that they’re not a by-the-numbers band. “You’re The One“, a beautifully long version of “Age Of Man“, “Watching Over“, “Mountain Of The Sun“, “The Cold Wind” and main set closer “When The Curtain Falls” all played to perfection. Jake, Sam and Danny almost machine-like in intensity and musicianship with Josh hitting every pitch perfect note. The crowd ate up every second with the dancing and shaking making it all the way to the back of the packed floor and up to the balconies.
The band left for a while and returned to bookend the evening with a couple of songs “From The Fires“… “Flower Power” and set closer, “Safari Song“.
My one complaint… the show was too short. The show zipped by. Even the extended solos and jams weren’t enough for me. I wanted more.
These are four young hippies bringing their version of musical love to the masses. It’s something that hasn’t been done to this scale in a long while and should be embraced. Melding rock and blues with a healthy dose of folk music; these guys are doing their part and carving out their own space to make sure that the future of rock has many meandering paths for us to follow.
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Greta Van Fleet