Show Review & Photos: Greta Van Fleet @ Climate Pledge Arena

Greta Van Fleet @ Climate Pledge Arena – 8/4/23
Show Review & Photos by John Rudolph

Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet – photo by John Rudolph

On Friday night, I was transported back to my childhood in the 1970s for a few hours. Singer Josh Kiszka’s voice (lead singer of Greta Van Fleet) soared to the rafters at Climate Pledge Arena. His voice is so clear and powerful.  Sometimes he has a bit of a yodel on specific phrasing.  

Let’s put something to bed. Yes, Greta Van Fleet have echoes of Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant. I remember when Rush was criticized for the same thing. Greta Van Fleet was influenced by Aerosmith, Queen, and Led Zeppelin, and that’s a good thing. . . no, a great thing.  Fans of all ages attended the show, and all the fans loved it! The young women in the audience dressed like it was 1969 Woodstock, singing and dancing their hearts out.  Greta Van Fleet will be the catalyst that breathes badly needed life back into rock music. 

Jake Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet – photo by John Rudolph

Greta Van Fleet rocked the house from the opening note.  They started with “The Falling Sky,” “The Indigo Streak,” and “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)”.  The boys gave it all with thunderous drums and spine-melting guitar riffs.  When I say spine-melting, I refer to Jake Kiszka’s guitar prowess and the pyrotechnics. The pyrotechnics were vast and frequent.  

Josh and the boys are supporting their new album, Starcatcher, where Josh’s voice reaches such heights that it seems impossible, but somehow, he does it. But the Starcatcher Tour isn’t just a one-man band.  With Danny Wagner on his 1970s-era drum kit, he gifted us with drum solos that we hadn’t heard in years.  

Danny has developed into an excellent drummer.  He’s a full-fledged drummer now.  He doesn’t hit the drums like some metal drummers because that’s not his style.  He plays with grace and style.  He knows about the old masters like Keith Moon and John Bonham and seems to try to channel them as he plays.  However, Wagner is his own drummer, and I like that.

Jake Kiszka is a fantastic guitarist.  He has all the right ingredients.  He commanded the stage slowly and gracefully, walking from one side of the stage to the other, laying epic licks on his fans.  He is not afraid to express himself with his powerful and lengthy solos.  His riffs are so soul filled and thoughtful. 

The dark horse is Sam Kiszka.  Sam is a bassist like John Paul Jones, very skilled yet sometimes melts into the background. He and Danny are crucial to the band, yet Sam keeps it together as the bassist. One place that I was thrilled to see Sam excel was on the organ.  I loved his organ playing in “Heat Above”! I can’t stress that enough.  That could be my favorite song of theirs, and the organ is a big reason why.  He could be the most talented member of the band, which is saying something in a band this gifted.

Greta Van Fleet has developed into a very tight and accomplished band.  The band members are around 27 years old, so I can’t wait to see where they go in the coming years. Saviors of rock and roll?  Are they up to the task? I think so.    

Greta Van Fleet – photos by John Rudolph