Greta Van Fleet‘s EP Black Smoke Rising (Lava Records) grabs the listener from the get-go. It’s hard not to hit play and immediately sense lead singer, Josh Kiszka, practically embodies Robert Plant with the vocal undercurrent to the guitar riffs (Plant is of course still alive). The band has been selling out shows on the back of that four-track EP and made their way through New York City for a sold out early night at the Mercury Lounge.
Nashville rock group Goodbye June kicked things off, building up the classic rock mood for the capacity crowd. The five-piece band had missed an opportunity to play NYC earlier this year, but they made up for it with their lively set. When they turned things over to the three Kiszka brothers, Josh (singer), Jake (guitar), and Sam (bass), and their friend Danny Wagner (drums), Goodbye June thanked the crowd.
Greta Van Fleet hail from Michigan, specifically Frankenmuth, and my initial impression of them came from their EP — its artwork looks like a riff on Netflix’s Stranger Things. But that visual is entirely disconnected from their music. Their classic rock sound is instantly classic — the Led Zeppelin flourishes are most obvious on three of the tracks, save for “Safari Song” which had touches of Jack White.
Seeing them perform, I watched a truly capable band. Greta Van Fleet was enthusiastic and precise — I had actually expected them to be a bit more raucous with beer spilling everywhere. But, when half the band is under the legal drinking age, it makes sense to keep it clean. Greta Van Fleet quickly tore through nearly a dozen songs, leaving without an encore. I dare say they sounded better than they do on the EP, but it was clear that they gave it their all. Below, you’ll find photos from the Mercury Lounge, a few upcoming tour dates and the music video for “Highway Tune” (which has racked up over 2.6 million views).
SET LIST (via)
Talk on the Streets
Black Smoke Rising
Edge of Darkness
When the Cold Wind Blows
You’re the One
Evil Is Goin’ On
Mountain of the Sun
Lover Leaver Taker Believer
Sept. 2 — St. Louis, MO @ Ballpark Village
Sept. 3 — Nashville, TN @ High Watt
Sept. 30 — Janesville, WI @ WJJO Sonic Boom Festival
Oct. 1 — Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Life
Oct. 6 — Rochester, NY @ Main Street Armory
Oct. 7 — Camden, NJ @ Rock Allegiance
Oct. 15 — Houston, TX @ Houston Open Air
Oct. 21 — Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival