With the Frankenmuth-bred stars playing five Michigan shows in a single week, the homecoming run began with a pyrotechnic flourish at Wings Event Center Thursday. Photos, set list.
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Greta Van Fleet’s Michigan homecoming has begun with a bang.
With a sold-out crowd of 6,000-plus at Kalamazoo’s Wings Event Center cheering them on, the young new mantle bearers of ’70s-inspired hard rock unleashed a solid 90-minute set on Thursday night before launching into an encore filled with pyrotechnics and dazzling lights.
The Frankenmuth-bred band – which plays four more Michigan shows over the next week, including Saturday’s stop at Grand Rapids’ DeltaPlex Arena – is touring behind its 2021 album, “The Battle at Garden’s Gate.” And clearly, there’s pent-up demand for its live spectacle after the COVID shutdown.
“This is what we live for,” one fan exclaimed amid a throng that included attendees from beyond the Great Lakes State, with devotees traveling to the show from as far away as Texas, Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois.
Before the show, fans snapped photos in the lobby and lined up to buy T-shirts and other merchandise, many clad in outfits fitting for the band’s modern take on classic rock.
Launching with “Heat Above” – the opening track from GVF’s latest album – the band also rolled out longtime fan favorites from earlier releases, including “Black Smoke Rising” and “Highway Tune,” the latter unfurled during an encore that closed out the show with “My Way, Soon” from “The Battle at Garden’s Gate.”
Through it all, fans smiled, sang along and even shed tears. Before it even began, a proud band mother was even spotted taking video of the capacity stadium crowd as fans cheered, waved and started to chant for GVF to take the stage — an amazing scene for a band that not so long ago was opening for touring acts at The Intersection.
Colorado’s The Velveteers and California’s Rival Sons opened the show, setting the stage for GVF and its extensive Michigan run on the “Dreams in Gold” tour. Some tickets for Saturday’s DeltaPlex show — $67 — are available online here.– Derek Ketchum
PHOTO GALLERY: Greta Van Fleet, The Velveteers, Rival Sons at Wings Event Center
Photos by Derek Ketchum
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