Greta Van Fleet Show
Written by Mark McWhite
The Kiszka brothers from Frankenmuth, Michigan brought their big rock show to Dickies Arena on July 27th on the second stop of their Starcatcher tour. Who are the Kiszka brothers you ask? Only one of the hottest new Rock bands on the scene. Greta Van Fleet open their show to a full arena of screaming younger fans as they appeared on an elevated stage each dressed in flowing white clothing and glitter make-up. Their flamboyant attire is a suggestion from Elton John to go big.
Shrill screaming and yelling Josh seemed to be the welcome cry to the band. Lead singer Josh Kiszka, twin brother Jake and younger brother Sam along with Drummer Danny Wagner kicked off their set with explosive pyrotechnics and their brand new latest single “Falling Sky” from the Starcatcher album. Van Fleets blend of hard blues and progressive rock brings a full sound with booming vocals and plenty of lead guitar. The audience was standing and rocking through the whole show as they sang along with the hits “The Indigo Streak”, “Lover Leaver” and “Meeting the Master”.
Josh’s first wardrobe change was into a blue suede jumpsuit with big white stars which he proudly displayed as he walked the catwalk stage into the crowd. For a new band just 10 years old, their accolades are many. 3.5 million records sold with their first album Anthem of the Peaceful Army reaching Billboard’s top 5. Nominated for four Grammys with one win for 2019 Best Rock Album, Van Fleet was voted Loudwire’s 2017 Best New Artist and they have appeared on The Late Show, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel.
The hits continued with “Heat Above” and “Frozen Light”. Next, the unexpected happened… a full-blown drum solo. Many rock shows have eliminated the bathroom break/drum solo however Danny Wagner (the only non-family member) hammered out a variety of drum riffs while Josh made yet another wardrobe change. The band then appeared at their acoustic stage at the opposite end of the arena floor where they performed a cover tune “Unchained Melody”, then “Waiting all Your Life” and their debut single “Black Smoke Rising”.
Then the entire band (with security) walked through the crowd back to the main stage where they turned up the heat using synchronized blasts of fire. (Think Bellagio water fountains but with fire.) Jake Kiszka figuratively set his fretboard ablaze with a lead guitar intro to “Sacred the Thread” and a lead guitar outro at the end of “The Archer” Jake’s skills were amazing as he did all the heavy lifting for the guitar leads and rhythm. Josh used his dynamic vocal range to harmonize with the guitar to enhance the music even further. Fans were loving the show. Even waving their phone lights in unison without being prompted and still screaming for “JOSH”. Van Fleet came back for their encore playing “Light My Love” and “Farewell for Now”.
The show featured opening act Silversun Pickups from Los Angeles who has been performing alternative rock for 22 years. Their blend of indie rock with lots of reverb and echoes kept the crowd engaged.
The production of the show was very professional with lots of backlighting, extended stages out about 30 feet into the audience, and elevated platforms to highlight the guy’s performance. One of the big screens went blank briefly a couple of times but hey, what rock show doesn’t have glitches? Overall, the experience was fun and very entertaining. I’m glad to see successful new rock and roll bands selling their hits and filling venues. Long live rock and roll.