TVD Live Shots: Greta Van Fleet and Dorothy
at the City National Civic, 9/18

Greta Van Fleet

To describe the rise of Greta Van Fleet as dramatic would be a vast understatement; from the release of a pair of lauded EPs in 2017 to a major headlining tour including three San Francisco Bay Area shows (all in venues well over 2,000 capacity) BEFORE their first full length album has even dropped is nothing short of baffling. The three Kiszka brothers (Josh/vocals, Jake/guitar, Sam/bass/organ) and drummer Danny Wagner have pulled off something simply unheard of in music today.

One listen to GVF and you’ll get a sense for why. Retro, blues-based rock and roll (the Plant/Zeppelin comparisons can’t be avoided) performed by a bunch of youngsters (the average age of the band members hasn’t quite hit the legal drinking age in the US) strikes a nerve and bridges generations. This is quite apparent after one look at the San Jose crowd.

Dorothy

San Jose is notoriously unpredictable when it comes to turning out for live music but, even being flanked by shows in Oakland and San Francisco, San Jose turned out in force. 90% of those who were outside when the doors opened bee-lined it to either the front of the stage or the barricade. The remaining 10% grabbed primo seats to watch the show.

Close to the end of opener Dorothy’s set, an older gentleman spied my media credentials and leaned over to ask, “Do you think rock and roll is back?” The short answer was, “I guess we will see,” but one look around would suggest a simpler answer … “yes.”

There’s clearly a void and Greta Van Fleet is here to fill it. Look past the ’70s glam look and you’ll find a young band that’s tight and deliberate. Throwing flowers to the crowd as they took the stage 10 minutes past their scheduled set time, the band was all smiles and launched into their breakthrough hit, “Highway Tune.” The band visibly more comfortable on stage than they were only a year before; they’ve found their sweet spot and their clearly just now settling in to enjoy the ride.

The 9 song set was by no means short as the band turned almost every song into an extended jam much to the glee of the packed house. But with a new album set to drop on October 19, why only bust out two new tunes? Perhaps they’re testing the waters for how big the “real” tour in support of Anthem of the Peaceful Army will be (nine songs will leave fans wanting more). One thing is for certain … based on the crowd reaction in San Jose, we should expect more shows from GVF very soon.

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet

DOROTHY

Dorothy

Dorothy

Dorothy

Dorothy

Dorothy

Dorothy

Dorothy

Dorothy

Dorothy

Dorothy

Dorothy

Dorothy

SETLIST
Highway Tune
Edge of Darkness
Flower Power
You’re the One
Evil (Howlin’ Wolf cover)
Watching Over
When the Curtain Falls

ENCORE
Black Smoke Rising
Safari Song (with Danny Wagner drum solo at end)

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