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Greta Van Fleet – Giant Center – Hershey (A Concert Review)

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

Greta Van Fleet – Giant Center – Hershey, PA – July 29, 2022

Greta Van Fleet Lights Up The Giant Center

Greta Van Fleet has been making their way up for years with their nostalgic rock and roll music. Their "Dreams in Gold" tour has been a hit all around the world, hitting huge arenas in Europe and North America. After a long four months of anticipation, Greta Van Fleet performed their postponed show at The Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The sold-out show was originally scheduled for March 30, but band members Josh and Jake Kiszka fell seriously ill. Their loving fans hoped for their triumphant return, and it was soon announced that they'd have to delay coming to Pennsylvania until Friday, July 29.

Greta Van Fleet is a rock band from Frankenmuth, Michigan consisting of three brothers, Josh Kiszka on lead vocals, Jake Kiszka on guitar, Sam Kiszka on bass guitar and keys, and their friend Danny Wagner on drums. This group found immediate fame once they signed to Lava Records and released their first single "Black Smoke Rising" in 2017.

I discovered them that year and instantly was impressed by their catchy tune and Josh's one of a kind vocal style. I, along with most classic rock fans hearing this new band, immediately connected Josh Kiszka's voice with that of Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant. The tone and range of Josh's voice is so unique and rare that there was no doubt that this band was going to become legends in the music world. Their latest album The Battle at Garden's Gate initially hit number 7 on the top 200 chart and has been a huge success globally.

I was curious to see what the demographic was at the show in Hershey Friday night. It was actually a mix of all ages, from those who grew up with the original classic rock legends, to young teens who discovered this modern take on rock and roll. Many fans were dressed in vintage styles, mainly clothing from the late 60's and early 70's. The packed crowd on Friday night anxiously waited for the arrival of their favorite group.

The up-and-coming rock group The Velveteers began the show with a bang, stripping down heavy rock and roll to its purest form. The band consisted of vocalist and guitarist Demi Demitro and two drummers Baby Pottersmith and Jonny Fig. The conjoined drum set made for a heavy, intense sound. Demi was the definition of a badass, female rockstar, crowd surfing and strumming her guitar above her head. The audience was loving their performance.

Following the Velveteers, the iconic group Rival Sons made their way to the stage. The Grammy nominated group impressed the audience with their powerful rock and roll performance. Lead singer Jay Buchanan gracefully moved through the stage and belted effortlessly.

The show started with a recording of Josh's voice echoing through the arena as the audience went wild. Suddenly, the huge curtain which had been blocking the stage dropped to the ground, and the band began to play. This was pretty ironic because of their song "When The Curtain Falls" from their second album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army. Halfway through, the symbols crashed, and guitars strummed while flames shot up into the air from the stage. The electric fire pits were so large and powerful, you could feel the hit from your seat. The dramatic effect made for some awesome concert pictures.

The band took the audience through a set of twelve songs from all three of their albums, which I'm sure fans really appreciated. The band took fans back to their 2017 album, From the Fires, with tunes "Black Smoke Rising," "Highway Tune" and "Safari Song." Each song was met with impressive special effects and lighting, which amplified each riff and crash of the drums. During "Light My Love," a magical ray of rainbow lights shined over Joshua. His jeweled outfit glimmered in the colors as he belted out the slow anthem.

There's no doubt that Josh Kiszka is the iconic face of this band and what attracts many listeners to their music. Watching him perform on stage reminded me of performances of the late Freddy Mercury. Josh's flamboyant energy and embroidered gold outfit made his stardom shine even brighter. He's often seen wearing monochromatic outfits and vintage jumpsuits with colorful, precise patterns. Each member of the band presents themselves in their own individualistic styles. The only thing the members' outfits lacked during this show were shoes, as they made their way through the entire show barefoot.

The wonders of the "Dreams in Gold" tour don't end here. They have announced a second leg of their North American tour starting in August. Here they will be joined by openers Houndmouth, The Pretty Reckless, Durand Jones and The Indications, Hannah Wicklund, Robert Finley, Crown Lands, and Fruit Bats. Greta Van Fleet does a great job in picking really talented, powerful bands to give the entire show this epic feeling. I cannot wait to see what this band brings with their music, performances, and fashion in years to come.

Brenna Hallman

Copyright ©2022 All rights reserved. Posted: August 2, 2022.

Photos by Kayla Marra © 2022


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