October 15, 2017
Review by Michael Insuaste
Photos by Michael Insuaste
Greta Van Fleet
Been A Long Time Since I've Rock And RollFinally, a band I can relate to, embrace and say "This Band IS ROCK N' ROLL!" Greta Van Fleet's DFW debut was nothing short of spectacular and well received by The Eagle 97.1 Freakers' Ball crowd who I suspect didn't know what to expect from this young 4 piece band out of Michigan! But the cheers from the get go, between songs till the final scream were simply Fan-Fucking-Tastic! Verizon Theatre came alive when GVF hit the stage and even The Eagle DJ, Debbie Sexxton said "I can't recall any other Freakers' Ball opening band get this much attention!"
I was amazed how well GVF was loved by the Eagle fan base considering most were there to see In This Moment, Halestorm and without a doubt, Marilyn Manson who canceled their appearance due to a leg fracture Mr. Manson acquired at a previous show a few weeks back, but were replaced by the might Mastodon. No matter, the fans on hand were excited to see and hear this young band! Throughout the night I kept seeing Greta Van shirts, and over hearing fans talk about how great they were, even hearing how many were there just to see them live!
The buzz was on!
Their performance was exactly what I expected, a straight up unpretentious rock show, with no gimmicks, no over the top light show, no props, no theatrics... just fist to the face guitar, bass, drums and screaming vocals. Lead throat Josh Kiszka looked so at ease, smiling and strutting his stuff, wearing this hippy poncho like shirt exposing the bottom half of his stomach. He alone had the audience in his hands from the start. Bassist Sam Kiszka grooved the rhythm along side with drummer Danny Wagner who kept the beat in check throughout their set. Guitarist Jake Kiszka really showed his talents with his simplistic, yet vintage throwback sound GVF is delivering. Playing one guitar all night, a vintage 1961 Gibson straight off a Marshall stack amp along with two Orange amps, he carried the tone from song to song close to their recently released EP, Black Smoking Rising.
Kicking off with a new number "Lover Leaver", which I assume will be on their next release, was a strong tune carrying the same classic sound GVF is all about. Following with their title track "Black Smoke Rising" the band were slowly finding their groove. The third song, another new one, "Edge Of Darkness" was a smoother, slower tune which honestly I didn't pay to much attention to as I was captivated by Jake's guitar playing and interaction with his brother Josh. Yeah, this band consist of three brothers, the twins, Sam and Jake and brother Josh and Danny who is an old high school friend. How cool is that!
The night progressed as they kicked into their slower, mellower song "Flower Power" with classic organs and hippy lyrics had many groovin'... it was great to see a majority of fans digging this sound! From there straight into their hit song, their radio hit ”Highway Tune" and as expected got a huge response, obviously familiar to many and loved by all! Seriously, the crowd loved this band from song to song.
They finished with "Safari Song" which to me has the biggest Led Zeppelin influence, and had the house rockin! Overall GVF left their mark and impressed the crowd. Without question GVF met my expectations, musically and personally, these kids ROCK'd! And to the haters out there, you know who you are, you missed out!