Show Review & Photos: Greta Van Fleet & Ida Mae @ the Paramount

Greta Van Fleet & Ida Mae @ the Paramount – 1/9/19
Show Review & Photos by Dagmar

Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet’s first of two shows in Seattle was my first concert of the year. What a perfectly lucky opportunity was that? So very, very very lucky.

This was a sensational show for classic rock fans. Seattle’s a very welcome home for rock music, which has strangely been somewhat neglected recently. I’m not talking about music that sounds a bit here and there like ’70s rock. I’m talking about the kind of music that would fit exactly in the ’70s. In the same way I love music that could be straight out of New Wave, I love music that recalls ’70s rock. Maybe I can be a purist. I’m not alone though, as Greta Van Fleet’s music is going Gold.

Originating in Michigan, the five-piece Greta Van Fleet has – in the space of two years – released two EPs, Black Smoke Rising and From the Fires; and one album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army. Each band member is greatly talented with three of the band coming from the same family: Singer Josh Kiszka and guitarist Jake Kiszka are twins; bassist/keyboard player Sam Kiszka is their brother. I totally love that. Drummer Danny Wagner (who did a wild drum solo at the show) is the only non-family member.

Perhaps unfair in a show review, but I loved the whole setlist. Everything about “Black Flag Exposition” was a stoner’s dream. Those blue foggy lights. Those guitar licks and solos. Just amazing. It was awesome to see a new track received so well by the audience. “Flower Power” was huge, while “Watching Over” was a more insular stony experience. “Watching Over” also had some magical guitar work in it. “When the Curtain Falls,” “You’re the One,” (with vocals by the twins !!!), “Safari Song” and “Edge of Darkness” were all excellently accessible. Josh Kiszka has a gigantic and flexible voice, yet somehow I didn’t feel as if his vocals were competing with the instruments. The front row appeared to be all women, but there were plenty of men at the show too. Thank you guys, for letting women have that front row. This is a band worth seeing up close and in person.

The stage made creative use of four circles above the band featuring live video projected of the show onto their surfaces. This interspersed with visuals, including, one, I think of bat figures flying across a cloudy sky. Cool swirling lights beamed down on each band member at one point. Very pretty.

2019 is bringing the band major attention with four Grammy nominations, a gigantic world tour, and a Saturday Night Live debut on January 19th.

Ida Mae, a British husband and wife duo, was the opening band. With a bluesy sound featuring vocals by Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean plus guitar accompaniment by Turpin, the pair just moved to Nashville.

Greta Van Fleet
Ida Mae

More Photos of Greta Van Fleet @ the Paramount

More Photos of Ida Mae @ the Paramount


Highway Tune – Black Smoke Rising/From the Fires
Edge of Darkness – From the Fires
Flower Power – Black Smoke Rising/From the Fires
The Music Is You (John Denver cover)
You’re the One – Anthem of the Peaceful Army
Evil (Howlin’ Wolf cover)
Black Flag Exposition – unreleased
Watching Over – Anthem of the Peaceful Army
When the Curtain Falls – Anthem of the Peaceful Army

Black Smoke Rising – Black Smoke Rising/From the Fires
Safari Song – Black Smoke Rising/From the Fires


Photos: John Legend @ WaMu Theater

John Legend @ WaMu Theater, 12/18/18
Photos by John Rudolph

John Legend – photo by John Rudolph

The wonderful John Legend released a Christmas album last year called A Legendary Christmas. Sometimes really great things like that happen in the world. Then something else awesome happened: Legend took that album on the road. Seattle’s WaMu Theater was one stop of the tour, where Legend fans enjoyed that album (nearly all tracks were performed,) and other Legend songs, such as “Save Room” and “Ordinary People.”

A Legendary Christmas, Legend’s first Christmas album, should be just one of many. Loads of other great singers (Dean Martin, for example) made more than one Christmas album. Legend should make this a thing, with annual tours. Wouldn’t that be cool?

John Legend

Photos: Weezer & Pixies @ White River Ampitheatre

Weezer & Pixies @ White River Ampitheatre, 8/4/18 – Photos by Alex Crick

Rivers Cuomo of Weezer

The inspiring combination of Weezer and Pixies had a seven-week tour in the States during the summer of 2018. One of the dates was an August appearance at the outdoor setting of White River Ampitheatre, where the bands showcased so many of the songs you would desire from their awesome collections.  Watch for Weezer’s twelfth album, Weezer (the Black Album,) out in March. And . . . the pairing of Weezer and Pixies went so well the first time, they’re touring together this year as well.  



Show Review & Photos: Greta Van Fleet & Dorothy @ the Paramount

Greta Van Fleet & Dorothy @ the Paramount, 9/7/18 – Show Review & Photos by Alex Crick

Greta Van Fleet‘s Josh Kiszka

Michigan’s Greta Van Fleet performed at the Paramount in Seattle on September 7th, 2018.

Although they performed on a minimalist stage with just a single mic stand in front and keys and drums set in the back, rock band Greta Van Fleet’s audience got things off by going nuts. A haze of fog surrounded the quartet when they took the stage, which maybe hid singer Josh Kiszka, but definitely did not hide his howling, belting signature voice. It was immediately a Led Zeppelin-influenced beginning with the song “Highway Tune.”

The young quartet includes two twins, Josh (vocals) and Jake (guitar); and younger brother, Sam (bass) plus drummer Danny Wagner. Lead singer Josh Kiszka was shirtless, wearing a fringe leather vest and purple sequin pants. A woven necklace with feathers adorned his neck. It was a very 70’s-inspired look for the vocalist, who strutted the stage. 

“Edge of Darkness” gave lead guitarist Jake the time for a huge guitar solo. About halfway through the song, and not missing a beat, he lifted the guitar over his head and played it behind his neck. He then proceeded to nail the solo without seeing the guitar chords. Meanwhile, singer Josh grabbed a tambourine and danced around the stage, occasionally returning to his mic to belt out one of his husky howls.

There were other chances for individual band members to shine. “Flower Power” slowed it down a bit, with bassist Sam taking to the keyboards. He got a nice solo about halfway through the song. For “You’re the One,” guitarist Jake switched to acoustic guitar. During the chorus, he leaned back on his twin, and they belted out the verse on the same mic.

By the time they thanked the crowd before the encore, the audience went wild again, and cheered for Greta Van Fleet’s return. For the encore, the audience loved “Black Smoke Rising.” When Josh asked, “Want another?,” fans screamed and sang along to “Safari Song.” This one was a shorter track, but we all loved the extended ending with the insanely badass drum solo, lasting a good three minutes.

Dorothy, a Californian rock/blues band, were the openers. They played a heavily ’70s-influence sound, with strong vocals by Dorothy Martin . 

Greta Van Fleet returns to the Paramount for two nights, January 9th & 10th 2019.

Greta Van Fleet

Show Preview: Thunderpussy @ the Showbox, Mon. 12/31/New Year’s Eve

Show Preview: Thunderpussy @ the Showbox, Mon. 12/31/New Year’s Eve!

Thunderpussy – Thunderpussy album cover – photo by Jake Clifford

The bewitching quartet Thunderpussy rings in the new year on Monday, December 31st at the Showbox. I’m proud to say they are a Seattle band, one who worked with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam on their self-titled full-length debut. McCready played guitar on and produced the track “Velvet Noose.”

An all-female group, Thunderpussy’s Seattle date is the final 2018 show of a 22-date nationwide tour, which took them from home to California, Texas, Florida, Milwaukee and beyond. Guitarist Whitney Petty explained that “Being a lover of rock ‘n’ roll music for my whole life, you either have it, or you don’t,” . . . “If you find it, cultivate it, treat it like a wild animal, and tame that raw energy, but not too much. That’s what this is.” I agree with her! Oh, by they way, in addition to Thunderpussy, the women released an EP called Greatest T**s in 2018.

And see them in real life. Of so many bands out there, this is one who would be worth seeing any time, and on New Year’s Eve, even if that celebration isn’t your thing.

You can listen to Thunderpussy on their SoundCloud, plus, for tickets and more details, go to the Showbox’s event page.