Greta Van Fleet rocked the small, quiet town of Henrietta, New York on Wednesday, May 22nd while on their March of the Peaceful Army Tour. The night was sold-out with high expectations to be met, which of course happened. The four-piece young group is formed of twin brothers Josh and Jake Kiszka, their younger brother Sam Kiszka, and their longtime family friend Danny Wagner.
The Dome that night was filled with an energy I haven’t felt at a show in a very long time, which would only skyrocket the moment their set begun. Everyone of all ages in the crowd erupted with cheers the moment the group walked on stage as “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)” by David Ruffin belted over the speakers. Josh welcomed the crowd to their set at this point by throwing roses into the crowd for fans to catch. Throughout their whole set you could see those lucky fans clutching them as they screamed every lyric.
After the official welcome, the band began to play “The Cold Wind,” which is off their debut studio album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army. Opening with this song further defined how talented these young musicians are and that their stage presence is unmatchable. Josh owned the stage as he effortlessly hit all his notes while Jake and Sam performed powerful riffs that shot a thrilling feeling throughout your entire body. This band will for sure make you want to dance along. Danny sealed the package by having hypnotizing beats backing up the sound. This would continue to grow throughout their whole set as they became more and more passionate about the music they were playing.
Following “The Cold Wind” was “Highway Tune,” which elevated the energy in the Dome to an immense level. Jake starts the song off with intriguing guitar riffs which got the crowd hyped up to hear the rest of the song. Danny then joins in with rhythmic cymbal hits as Josh lets out his signature scream. After a moment of silence, the group joins in all together to create the classic, yet alternative sound, that the band is known for. The crowd becomes visibly rowdy as the electric sound shoots through the venue and the three brothers dance around the stage to the iconic beats. Despite the great opportunity for amazing stage moments in this song, my favorite has to be when Jake and Sam play the guitar and bass in unison almost like they are battling in front of one another.
After that song ended, “Black Smoke Rising” followed. This was another song the crowd looked beyond excited to hear the moment the beginning chords rained through the venue. This song really showcased the talent behind Jake, the guitarist. There were moments in the song where he would elevate his guitar vertically and play the notes flawlessly. This portrayed very well how effortlessly, and beautifully, Jake plays his instrument.
Their set mostly consisted of songs from Anthem of the Peaceful Army and Black Smoke Rising. One of the most wholesome moments in the set that I noticed was as I watched them perform “You’re the One.” You could identify people in the audience holding each other close and swaying to the passionate lyrics within the song. During “Flower Power” we also got to see the extended talent of Sam as he satisfyingly smashed on his keys. They also have creative covers in their set, such as “Watch Me” by Labi Siffre and “The Music is You” by John Denver.
Being able to finally catch one of their shows showed me how truly talented the guys are behind Greta Van Fleet. Multiple stops on the North American leg of tour are sold out as it comes to an end, but they already have multiple dates and festivals planned for the future. I fully recommend on stopping in on one of their shows for a memorable, enjoyable, and fun night.
Words and photos by Lindsay Neilson.