After seeing Greta Van Fleet play live at Starland Ballroom on Friday, May 11, it became undeniable that the boys are paving their way into rock legend territory. The concert, which sold out in about — no joke, three minutes — had an undeniable energy surging throughout the crowd before the headlining band even took the stage — which one could attribute to opening act Dorothy’s electrifying sound.
“Greta Van Fleet are going to be huge, man, and we can say we saw them when they were first starting out.” This sentiment, which I overheard a young guy in a denim cut-off vest say to a pal, seemed to be shared by everyone in attendance that night. It was as though we were watching the humble beginnings of a band who mirrors Led Zeppelin, just knowing one day they will be among the most iconic rock acts. Even Robert Plant has spoken out about vocalist, Josh Kiszka, calling him a “perfect little singer” and joking that he borrowed his voice from “someone.”
And it’s true: that kid has a set of lungs on him. And unlike many bands where the singer is the star, Josh happily shares the spotlight with brothers Jake Kiszka and Sam Kiszka (the band’s guitarist and bassist, respectively), and drummer Danny Wagner.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that this band — whose shows sell out within minutes after gaining a major following that includes Justin Bieber — is four guys who are still in their 20s who hail from Michigan. Yet, they are already stars touring all over the world — and we’re lucky to have them.
Onto the show. The band performed “Highway Time,” “Edge of Darkness,” “When the Cold Wind Blows,” “Talk on the Street,” “Flower Power,” “You’re The One,” “Evil”, “Mountain of the Sun,” “Watching Over” and “Lover Leaver Taker Believer.” They then came out for an encore that included “Black Smoke Rising” and “Safari Song.” When not rocking out to the music, the audience looked on in awe.
And it’s easy to see why. Watching the band members vibe off each other was somewhat magical: each person got a solo so they could showcase their talents amid working alongside a singer who otherwise would surely command the show. At one point in the show, Jake played his guitar behind his head so casually it was almost like he came out of the womb doing it.
Even when they had some technical difficulties with a speaker, a barefooted Sam tried to fix the issue while the rest of the band casually continued on, not even blinking an eye. They were pros.
Up next for Greta Van Fleet are stops spanning from the United Kingdom to Canada to Japan. So next time you see that they are touring in your area, run, don’t walk, to get tickets. Catch them while you can — because those boys are special and en route to the stuff of rock ‘n’ roll legends.