Arriving at the Vic around 9:30 PM on Saturday, August 4th, you'd find yourself to the sight of a very dedicated line of fans, eagerly waiting to walk into The Vic's confines for Greta Van Fleet's Lollapalooza after show.
According to my friend who I joined for the show, tickets sold out in less than five minutes when the shows all went on sale back in May. This band has blown up within the last year, especially with their double LP, From the Fires. Fans make the likely connection of their strong resemblance to the classic Led Zeppelin sound, and the group, from the general responses in interviews, shows little disrespect to that notion if anything they are fully embracing it.
Robert Plant has explicitly shared in an interview that the group is Led Zeppelin I referring to the group's first album. Where he also added with a smile "I hate him (jokingly). He borrowed that voice from someone I know VERY well." It's no joke the two bands have a very similar sound, and it would not be of many surprises if GVF brings a strong resurgence to younger audiences to the roots of rock and roll, as well and bring those who look for those nostalgic times in their own youth, several years later now!
Lucky enough for the Midwest, GVF has made several visits to the area since this past May. First was their show at Q101 Piqniq which turned out to be a cancellation due to a wrist injury with the drummer, followed by a next day performance at Milwaukee's Summerfest, and now with a back-to-back Lollapalooza weekend show off for the Michigan guys. The group has approximately 11 tracks, at least according to their Spotify page, so – I wasn't expecting a 14+ song setlist. And that's quite okay, sometimes short, sweet, and great is all you need in a live performance. That is precisely what Greta Van Fleet gave us at approximately midnight.
The group walked out, beginning to hand out flowers to a roaring audience – and so it all started, "Highway Blues." There's something so iconic about this song that it's almost hard to close your eyes and NOT think Robert Plant is belting out his voice in this track. What an absolute rocker to start their show. On deck was "Edge of Darkness" which would be the longest song of the evening, with the most amount of guitar solos I think I've witnessed in one song. Jake Kiszka can absolutely shred, and it would be no surprise to the band show up at Riot Fest, sometime in the future.
The rest of the set didn't have many surprises, with "Flower Power," "You're the One," "Watching Over," "Safari Song," "Black Smoke Rising," and their newest release on Jimmy Fallon, "When the Curtain Falls." While I anticipated the crowd to be similar in nature and aggression like Alice in Chains, I was quite surprised not to hear a louder response and cheering in between songs. However, during the bigger "hit tracks," it was clear people were undoubtedly singing word for word with Josh Kiszka, as he sang.
Greta embarks on the ending of their 2018 world tour. It appears that this is only the beginning for the young men. Their rise to stardom happened instantaneously. What I'm most excited about is what's to come from them – "when the curtain falls."