What a Wednesday! What better way to spend an evening than soaking in the mesmerizing and quick rising star power of Greta Van Fleet. Their fall tour is selling out all across the country as well as in Europe. Steve Hall Productions brought the act, along with Welles, as support to the Rocket City’s very own, SideTracks (Huntsville, AL).
Welles, a four piece fronted by Arkansas native, Jehsea, brings the classic rock sound back to the main stage and made the perfect pairing to GVF. Welles consisted of bold use of bass that countered the high register vocals. Check out their full EP, Codeine, on Spotify or their official music videos on YouTube. Their live performance doesn’t disappoint and hits note for note. The rawness and passion of “Love Me Like I’m Leaving” and “Life Like Mine” registers on stage.
Have you ever witnessed well over 200 people, the majority of them stopping their chatter during the set transition, in order to sing along to a house recording of “Rooster” by Alice in Chains? I have, I stood shoulder to shoulder and chimed in, it was powerful and in that moment, I knew we had a great crowd that truly came out to support their love of music. Welles got us started, SideTracks kept it going and soon Greta Van Fleet would carry us into the night.
Wednesday marked the band’s first visit to Alabama. Certainly it won’t be GVF’s last time and I suspect the next time they do, it will be at one of our large stadium venues. Mark my words, history is being made here, folks. This is not a flash in the pan, summer sensation or Led Zeppelin knock off band. These four young men from Frankenmuth, Michigan are here to pull genuine music back into the 21st century.
Between “Black Smoke Rising” and “Flower Power” you’ll be encapsulated in the magic of the night. Don’t you dare miss Jake play the guitar behind his back. Josh will reach upward, his arms outstretched towards the heavens, almost as if pulling his vocals straight through him and up in offering. Greta Van Fleet will keep the sold out crowds in anticipation with every intro as they anxiously await their hit single, “Highway Tune” to begin. I closed my eyes on several occasions getting genuinely lost in the music. The vocals intertwine with Sam’s bass and almost become a second guitar alongside his brothers. These are moments that will last with us all.
Barely out of their teens, twins Josh (vocals) and Jake Kiszka (lead guitar), along with younger brother, Sam (bass/keys) and family friend, Danny Wagner (drums) are putting their own stamp on current music. Their EP through Lava/Republic Records, Black Smoke Rising was sold out at their merch booth and awaiting shipment. You, however, can check it out on Spotify and YouTube and grab your own copy. Josh Kiszka will have you staring slack-jawed wondering if this kid is for real.
Greta Van Fleet, I want to grow old with you. Now, let me be clear, I don’t mean that in some weird and distorted romantic fashion. I mean, when I leave my daughter’s high school graduation, I hope your sound is coming through my speakers. I mean, when I’m at a family member’s wedding in 20 years that I hope somebody splurged for the holograph version of you performing your “early work.” I mean, that when they finally lay my body to rest on a pile of band merch, that your baseball tee is among my collection. The music you four are creating now will transcend time.
Greta Van Fleet @ Ottobar in Baltimore,Md