Greta Van Fleet

Support: Rival Sons

Honda Center – Anaheim, CA

Friday, March 24th, 2023

Review and Pictures: Diane Lynn   

It was a festive night for fans of Greta Van Fleet. The So Cal Peaceful Army was celebrating the long-awaitedDreams In Gold tour as the band was finally making it’s stop at the Honda Center. They gathered in masses, arriving early decked out in their retro – 70’s inspired outfits, with flowers in their hair, whimsical face paint and outfits that glowed and sparkled. This could also be said for the members of the band. 
Greta Van Fleet is the young but very talented rock group with an old soul when it comes to their style and music. Their sound oozes classic rock” which is appealing to all ages. It’s bringing something new and fresh to the younger crowd and for the older folks it keeps the rock sound we all loved fresh and alive
It was a sold-out show, and the anticipation grew with every minute that passed. The eager fans formed lines at every entrance, and it wasn’t long before the doors opened, and they filed in to take their seats or a spot down front in general admission where hopefully one the GVF guys would spot them holding their signs professing their devotion and love to for band.
As I waited in the pit for the curtain to drop, I realized this probably wasn’t going to be the same band I first covered back in 2018 or even the last show I covered back in 2019. Those two shows being vastly different in just one years’ time. But now, four years later, the band has evolved into a major player in the rock world, growing in fan base and selling out arenas. This time, selling out the Honda Center.
Their stage set was extravagant but nicely done. Everything was in white. Speakers, monitors, mics including the drum kit. Colored lighting drizzled across the stage in shades of red, fuchsia, oranges and blues. Spiral towers outline the back of the stage, lighting up with various neon colors throughout the show.
Greta Van Fleet:
Josh Kiszka – lead vocals  
Jake Kiszka – lead guitar 
Sam Kiszka – bass guitar, keyboards 
Danny Wagner – drums 
They opened with Built By Nationsoff of their 2021 release The Battle at Garden’s Gate, then blazed into Black Smoke Risingas flames shot up around the stage during the still popular tune off of their hugely successful EP, From The Fires. Rounding out the first three songs with “Safari Song” they glided into the rest of the ten-song main set and their three song encore, ending with the mega hit, Highway Tune. At the end of their main set, they debuted a new, unreleased song, titled Meeting The Master. A beautiful, moderate tempo song that will whisk you away. Played live it was about six-minutes in duration and it really showcased all of their talents. I especially loved hearing the electric acoustic that Jake played for the first part of the song. It has Sam on electric keys and Dannyusing the Rototoms for the first part giving the tune a unique sound. I’m excited to hear the rest of the album once it’s released.  
Josh was on point, his powerful voice staying strong the whole night. He showed no lingering effects of the ruptured eardrum he suffered last year during a show. His injury was severe enough that it postponed the Dreams In Gold tour from completing as scheduled. But he came out smiling in his all-white jumpsuit adorned with rhinestones and dragons looking 100%!
Jake and Sam took their spots on opposite sides of the stage. Sam dressed in an all-white suit, pants and jacket, (sans shirt) with one sleeve that fanned out like an angel wing as he moved and grooved with his pastel green bass. Jake was dressed in all black, the pants and jacket sparkled with black rhinestones strategically placed to accent the gold dragon that wrapped around his body.

The three brothers, staying in sync front and center while the fourth member, drummer Danny Wagner who was not forgotten, was receiving plenty of love from fans as well. Also dressed in black, his presence was loud and thunderous from behind the kit. Even wowing us with a drum solo early on in the set.
What an experience it is covering this very talented group of musicians. They never cease to amaze and have such staying power that I know they will be selling out arenas for years to come. 
Greta Van Fleet at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA, USA Setlist


Supporting Greta Van Fleet was a local, So Cal band called Rival Sons. Now if you haven’t heard of Rival Sons by now you’ve definitely been missing out! 
Rival Sons is no doubt one of thee best rock/bluesish bands out there right now. They caught my attention some years back when I came across a video of them just after the 2019 Grammyperformance where they took part in honoring Black Sabbathby singing Paranoid and War Pigs. I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing all while thinking “how have I not heard of them before”?  I had the privilege of covering them at the end of 2021 for the last show of their Pressure and Time – Ten Year Anniversary Tour at the House of Blues in Anaheimand I was so blown away at just how good they were live!  So, when I found out they were accompanying Greta Van Fleet I was ecstatic!
Rival Sons came out rockin’ and didn’t let up for the entire set. The boys stepped out looking dapper as always. Front manJay Buchananin his stylish three-piece suit thrilled the crowd with his amazing voice. He’s in my top five when it comes to rock singers out there right now. Paired with the incomparable Scott Holidayon guitar these two are an unstoppable duo.

Along with Drummer Mike Miley, pounding away on the kit and Keyboardist Todd Ögrenwho always keeps the crown moving with his arms waving and hands clapping when he’s not killing it on the keys. Bassist Dave Beste, stayed moslty in stealth mode while dropping it low on the bass; the entire group of musicians become as one once the first note hits.
As an opener, they were limited to a shorter set than usual but still wowed us with some great tunes. Opening with “Do Your Worst from their 2019 Grammy Nominated album Feral Roots, then launching straight into “Nobody Wants To Die and “Rapture from their upcoming release Darkfighter. Due out June 2nd.
Rival Sons always put on a fantastic set, I hope to see them every chance I get. They will soon be touring with Smashing Pumpkins so be sure to check them out when they come around your way.
Rival Sons at Honda Center, Anaheim, CA, USA Setlist

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Greta Van Fleet


Rival Sons