Home / Music & Arts / Greta Van Fleet: Rock and Roll Saviors at Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Greta Van Fleet: Rock and Roll Saviors at Bowery Ballroom, NYC

I have seen and heard the saviors of rock ‘n’ roll, and it’s Greta Van Fleet from Frankenmuth, Mich.

The Almighty Event occurred Wednesday evening during the second of two sold-out nights at the Bowery Ballroom.

Greta Van Fleet is a four-piece straight-ahead rock band with blues and soul roots who could have taken the music scene by storm had they existed 40 or 50 years ago.

The band chose its name based on an elder resident from their home town named Gretna Van Fleet. Ms. Van Fleet even showed up at one of their early gigs, thus securing her seal of approval.

Twin brothers Josh Kiszka, (l.) and Jake Kiszka, 21, of Greta Van Fleet share the mic on the second of two sold-out nights at the Bowery Ballroom Wednesday night Dec. 6, 2017.

Twin brothers Josh Kiszka, (l.) and Jake Kiszka, 21, of Greta Van Fleet share the mic on the second of two sold-out nights at the Bowery Ballroom Wednesday night Dec. 6, 2017.

(Kevin P. Coughlin/Kevin P. Coughlin for the NY Dai)

Some media critics have dubbed GVF as “The Next Led Zeppelin” for their shot-to-the-gut rock and blues sound and soaring vocals that’s pleasingly striking to 1969s ‘Led Zeppelin I,’ but that’s hardly an insult to these lads.

“We’ll take it,” said cherubic lead singer Josh Kiszka, 21, to blabbermouth.net recently.

His twin brother, guitarist Jake Kiszka, told TeamRock, “There are worse things to be compared to than Led Zeppelin.”

Indeed there are but Zeppelin is hardly the band’s only influence. Greta Van Fleet also cites Wilson Pickett and John Denver for shaping their sound.

Rounding out the quartet is younger brother Sam Kiszka on bass and keyboards, and drummer Danny Wagner.

Their sound is a throw-back to 1970s era rock bands like Led Zeppelin.

Their sound is a throw-back to 1970s era rock bands like Led Zeppelin.

(Kevin P. Coughlin/Kevin P. Coughlin for the NY Dai)

Lava Records signed the band in March and released their first EP, “Black Smoke Rising,” which immediately cracked the Billboard Hot 200.

In November, the band released a double-EP on Republic Records, “From the Fires,” that features the four songs from their earlier release plus four previously unreleased tunes.

Greta Van Fleet is on a sold-out tour across the United States and the 575-person capacity Bowery Ballroom was filled to the brim.

The Almighty Event occurred Wednesday at the Bowery Ballroom.

The Almighty Event occurred Wednesday at the Bowery Ballroom.

(Kevin P. Coughlin/Kevin P. Coughlin for the NY Dai)

The band took the stage shortly after 10 p.m. and opened with a fast-paced original called, “Talk on the Streets.”

Short-haired singer Josh Kiszka wore a groovy hippie-themed African shirt, love beads, and tribal pants similar to something Robert Plant may have worn on the first Led Zeppelin tour.

Greta Van Fleet guitarist Jake Kiszka plays a guitar solo behind his head at the Bowery Ballroom.

Greta Van Fleet guitarist Jake Kiszka plays a guitar solo behind his head at the Bowery Ballroom.

(Kevin P. Coughlin/Kevin P. Coughlin for the NY Dai)

His brother Jake commanded his Gibson S.G. guitar with the stage presence of a modern day guitar hero. During the third song, “Edge of Darkness,” Jake flawlessly played the guitar solo behind his head like his hero, Jimi Hendrix, used to do.

Despite playing a few Zeppelin-esque numbers like, “Flower Power,” another, the band refuses to play any actual Led Zeppelin material in their sets. They did, however, give their take on classic blues songs such as Howlin’ Wolf’s “Evil Going On.”

2018 will see the first full album of material from Greta Van Fleet, with a world tour to follow. GVF is already booked to perform at several major rock festivals in the spring, and their publicist, Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald, has promised a return engagement to New York City.

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:
facebook
Tweet

Music_Arts Rss

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*