The young band from Frankenmuth — Michigan’s hottest new hard rock export these days — fired up a sold-out Stache inside The Intersection on Thursday. (Review, photos, video)
All of a sudden, it was the hottest ticket in town.
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Greta Van Fleet’s appearance Thursday night at a sold-out Stache inside The Intersection in Grand Rapids had generated the sort of buzz that leads to a flurry of Facebook posts and texts betwixt friends scouring for tickets or a way to get in.
Hailing from Frankenmuth of all places, the young, hard-rocking band with the Led Zeppelin vibe has played Grand Rapids before, but has quickly climbed the “power rankings” as of late (if there is such a thing for rock bands) and sparked the kind of hubbub that’s even got the band’s L.A. publicist crowing that she’s “never seen anything like what’s happening with this band.”
And there is reason to be impressed: The first single, “Highway Tune,” from the band’s debut four-song EP, “Black Smoke Rising,” has been the No. 1 song on Active Rock radio the past two weeks, its video has racked up an astounding 2.2 million views on YouTube (watch it below) and the first leg of the Michigan group’s U.S. headlining tour sold out every date.
AXS boldly dubbed the band “the future of rock ‘n’ roll.”
ELECTRIFYING SET, VINTAGE SOUND
Pre-game hype aside, GVF proved in its own crowd-electrifying way on Thursday that it’s the real deal — at least when it comes to vintage-sounding, loud, face-melting rock ‘n’ roll that pays homage not only to Led Zep, but to earlier influences such as Howlin’ Wolf (via a cover of “Evil is Goin’ On”) and Elvis Presley (with a blistering rendition of “That’s All Right Mama” that closed the group’s encore).
With raucous fan chants of “Greta, Greta, Greta” echoing through The Stache before the band took the stage and prior to the encore, GVF certainly seemed more than delighted to rev up this hometown crowd (home state anyway), with lead singer Josh Kiszka unable to wipe the smile off his lips all night long. At one point, he even referred to the Stache as the band’s living room — and it was one filled with friends.
His twin brother, Jake, meanwhile, riffed mightily on guitar while younger sibling, Sam, traded off between bass and keyboards. (Hmm. Sound familiar?) Drummer Danny Wagner pummeled away robustly to fill out this exhilarating foursome, which oozes a charismatic, fun stage presence that belies their age (ranging from 18 to 21).
While the band — which is signed to Republic Records’ Lava Records label — channels Led Zeppelin and a ’70s sound, these engaging musicians also blaze their own New Millennium-styled hard rock path, one that had diehard GVF devotees singing along heartily to some of the band’s originals, songs which included “Black Smoke Rising,” “Highway Tune,” “Safari Song” and “Flower Power.” (Frequent, long screams aside, Josh Kiszka actually looks more the part of Roger Daltrey than Robert Plant on stage.)
If GVF is a work in progress, then Thursday night’s energizing display is just a promising harbinger of things to come.
Rock ‘n’ roll is in good hands.
PHOTO GALLERY: Greta Van Fleet, Welles at The Stache inside The Intersection
Photos by Jamie Geysbeek
VIDEO: Greta Van Fleet, “Highway Tune” (Official video)
VIDEO: Greta Van Fleet at The Stache (9/14/17)
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