Psychedelic powerhouse quartet Greta Van Fleet led their “peaceful army” on a rock n’ roll journey at Morrison, CO’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Monday and Tuesday nights.
Comprised of twin brothers Josh and Jake Kiszka on vocals and guitar, accompanying brother Sam on bass and keys, and longtime friend Danny Wagner on drums, listening to their music you’d think you had stepped into the peak of Led Zeppelin’s musical career, with Josh’s voice a near immaculate tone to Robert Plant. However, the musical powerhouse serves as a leading force of modern-day rock n’ roll psychedelia brought up on the foundation of classic rock.
Now on their 14-dated March Of The Peaceful Army Tour across the country, the Michigan-based rock group made their debut at the iconic venue for two nights with indie-poppers, Shannon and the Clams. Comprised of Shannon Shaw on vocals, Cody Blanchard on guitar, Will Sprott on keys, and Nate Mahan on drums, these guys were a perfect pair for Greta’s two-night mountain run, emphasizing a vintage rock sound. Surrounding heavy musical elements of doo-wop, garage and surf rock, the Oakland-based quartet delivered 45-minutes of old-school styled beach rock with refreshing tones of modern-day punk.
The lights went dark as David Ruffin’s “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)” blared over the speakers, teasing the crowd for a whole five minutes before Greta Van Fleet took strode onstage all barefoot a little past 9 p.m. Igniting the night with pulses of energy, the guys went into their “The Cold Wind” off their recent 2018 Anthem Of The Peaceful Army album before going into their popular “Safari Song”. Wagner led the last half of the psychedelic rock tune with a hearty drum solo, beating a gradual upbringing of drumming to greet back the brothers onstage for the fan-favorite “Black Smoke Rising”. Josh showcased his impeccable and unique voice in the rock ballad as his twin layed down the catchy guitar hooks, pulsating the crowd with energy.
Greta Van Fleet – “Black Smoke Rising”
[Video: Live For Live Music]
Josh talked to the crowd, announcing the celebration of love at the beloved venue between the band and fans before starting into one of the band’s earlier written tunes, “Flower Power”. The love-reflecting song highlighted the band’s influence of Led Zeppelin, honing in on the San Francisco, Haight-Ashbury folk sound. Brother Sam played out a progressive key melody, ringing in the energy by Jake for a slow psychedelic breakdown that transitioned into the fan anthem “Age of Man”.
The latter half of the show featured a feel-good rendition of John Denver’s “The Music Is You” by Jake, swapping out his usual electric tone for a light and soulful acoustic touch accompanied by Josh’s touching voice. Still on the acoustic, Jake led the group into the love ballad “You’re The One”, sending chills throughout the crowd before Josh ended the take with a nod to Elvis, stating, “thank you, thank you very much.” All members walked off stage as all eyes landed on Jake for a sultry, intoxicating guitar interlude in “Black Flag Exposition”. Jake gently plucked only three strings at the neck of his guitar, sending out transcendent energy that came crashing around the crowd with the addition of Wagner’s steady drum beating. Brothers Josh and Sam joined the two back onstage for a deep psychedelic jam, leading the group for a full power ending set of “Watching Over” and “When The Curtain Falls”.
An exploding roar of cheers brought the rock group back onstage, as Jake kicked off the encore with an extended version of “Lover, Leaver”. Sam highlighted his versatile musicianship skills and hopped on the electric guitar, playing off brother Jake’s classic guitar grooves behind his head for a nice family rock affair, bringing brother Josh onstage for accompanying vocal echoes. Wagner fleshed out a strong backbeat structure, transitioning the bunch into the final night’s “Highway Tune”, complete with a Wilson Pickett “Land Of 1000 Dances” “na” vocal tease and huge crescendo by all members of the band.
Greta Van Fleet – “Highway Tune”
[Video: Live For Live Music]
Greta Van Fleet continues on their March Of The Peaceful Army Tour with 11 more stops, hitting Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel on September 27th and a two-night run at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium and Philadelphia’s The Met Philadelphia in October. For a full list of tour dates, head to the band’s website.
Below, you can view an incredible photo gallery of the show courtesy of photographer Andrew Rios.
Setlist: Greta Van Fleet | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 09/24/19
Set: The Cold Wind, Safari Song, Black Smoke Rising, Flower Power, Age of Man, The Music Is You*, You’re The One, Black Flag Exposition, Watching Over, When The Curtain Falls
Encore: Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer), Highway Tune&
& Wilson Pickett “Land Of 1000 Dances” tease