Music

Greta Van Fleet - Skinny White Kids Play the Blues at Mercury Lounge

The sensational Greta Van Fleet bear strong similarities to a seminal classic rock band. And that's terrific.


Greta Van Fleet
City: New York
Venue: Mercury Lounge
Date: 2017-08-24

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

Flower Power

You’re the One

Evil Is Goin’ On

Mountain of the Sun

Watching Over

Lover Leaver Taker Believer

Highway Tune

Safari Song

TOUR DATES

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

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