Monday night Greta Van Fleet hit Fivepoint Amphitheatre in Irvine for their March of the Peaceful Army Tour, and I am so glad I was there. As I have been editing the photos, I have been thinking about what I wanted to say about this show, and the short version is I love this band. I have been a fan of Greta Van Fleet since they arrived on the scene, and this is second time photographing their show. The first time was last fall, at CalJam 2018. The big difference was that at CalJam they came on during the afternoon, where as Monday they were the headliner, lights and all.
Let me start with this…. I keep hearing people ‘complain’ that these guys “sound like Led Zeppelin”. I want to address that head on, and hopefully put it to bed. Josh Kiszka can sing, and I mean really freakin sing. Ok, so there is a clear Led Zep sound, or influence… so what. I would argue he has one of the best voices out today, and live it really shines. It feels like every pop artist that comes out sounds like every other pop artist, and that might be true for country music too. I know I have watched shows like The Voice or American Idol and commented about a contestant that they “have a great voice, but sound like every other singer out there”. Don’t misunderstand me, that’s OK. The market wants what they sound like. But here’s the deal, for some reason the influences you hear in Greta Van Fleet get complained out. That needs to stop.
These guys stand on their own, they sing, play, perform, and have a presence of great classic rockers. I love his voice, and Monday this band killed it. The band consists of vocalist Josh Kiszka. guitarist Jake Kiszka, bassist Sam Kiszka, and drummer Danny Wagner. The first three are brothers by the way. Their set Monday was awesome. Kicking off with The Cold Wind, they then jumped into 3 of my favorite songs: Safari Song, Black Smoke Rising, and Flower Power.
Next up was a few songs in a row that made a statement in my opinion. Age of Man, The Music is You, and You’re the One lit the place up. I felt like I was watching a live artist from the 70’s that was jamming and enjoying the music as much I was, and the musicianship was stellar. These guys can play, and I mean as good – if not better – than anyone else out there.
I won’t list every song, but before the night was over they played When the Curtain Falls and Highway Tune, and for me that made the night. The crowd was a really interesting mix of ages, which I think is great. You had classic rockers that appreciated the flashback sound, and the younger crowd that – just like their parents before them – has fallen in love with band. One last note about Greta Van Fleet…. their music and lyrics do seem to call back to the classic rock days, but they are beyond that. The lyrics are fresh, even when delivered in a familiar way. The music can stand next to anyone out there, and is just as fitting today. Greta Van Fleet killed it Monday night, and I cannot recommend enough that you catch the show. They will be at the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday October 5th, and Sunday October 6th, 2019.
Opening the night was a band I wasn’t familiar with, Shannon and the Clams. Wikipedia describes them as “an indie garage punk quartet”…. OK, not how I would have described them. Then again, I am not sure how I would describe them either. It was very vintage, but more along the Doo Wop, surf, or even rockabilly lines. They even did Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”. Definitely a band I need to see again.
Shannon and the Clams consists of Shannon Shaw handling vocals & bass, Cody Blanchard on vocals & guitar, Nate Mahan on drums, and Will Sprott on vocals & keyboards.
As usual, there is a gallery of more photos below, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show. Follow me online at:
All Images Copyright 2019 Steve Brazill, All Rights Reserved. Do not use without permission.