Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that Greta Van Fleet has some serious talent. They’ve been called rip-offs of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, even Iron Maiden, but Greta Van Fleet’s classic rock roots are no secret. In interviews, the band consistently mentions revisiting their parents’ pressed vinyls and vehemently studying the rock Gods of the past in order to grow and mature as musicians.
New-age 70s rock revival frontman, Josh Kiszka, possesses Jim Morrison’s hair and impressive pipes equal to the likes of Freddie Mercury. He uses his voice like an instrument with such precision and control that his vocals own the stage as much as a guitar or drum solo (or his outfit, am I right?). Last night, Josh rocked a star-studded cosmic jumper, traipsed around barefoot on stage–his dancing and antics reminiscent of the great frontmen of the 60s and 70s, Joe Cocker and Mick Jagger, in particular.
It’s hard to believe that so much talent could come from one family—Josh (vox), Jake (guitar), and Sam (bass) all equally owned Red Rocks. One of the most surprising moments of the evening came from drummer, Danny Wagner, wind blowing his hair like a 80s rock music video as he pounded on the drums in an epic and long-lasting solo that would have been impressive to the likes of Bonham, Moon, Mitchell, and Peart.
The band’s set started out with some faulty lights in juxtaposition to the perfect goosebump-inducing banshee-like wailing of Josh and a sick seemless guitar riffs from Jake; the second they dove into “The Cold Wind,” the rocking didn’t stop. One highlight of the night was about a third of the way through the set, when Josh proclaimed “Flower Power” as one of the first songs the band recorded. He talked about loving one another, bonding, and all that other hippie shit before he launched into it, howling alongside his brother’s guitar. Halfway through the night, Greta cleverly covered John Denver’s “The Music Is You,” and gave it an edgier, hard rock sound with the crowd singing along. Throughout the evening, everyone was gasping and guffawing at the sheer lasting power of Greta Van Fleet’s energy. No matter the instrument, the band continued to deliver, especially Jake’s wailing on the guitar. The band closed with a fan favorites, “When the Curtain Falls,” “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer),” and finally “Highway Tune.” The bewildered crowd stayed until the end, frozen after the band finished. Fifty-to- seventy-year-old audience members that saw bands of the past said this was easily the best show they had witnessed at Red Rocks since the late 70s, and you know what? I believe them.
All photography taken from Miles Chrisinger. Instagram: @milescphotos
Except for these pics (taken by yours truly, clearly I wasn’t in the pit with a camera):