Greta Van Fleet – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City 12/9/22 Review
Written by wmscweb on February 17, 2023
Review by Mia Watson
Greta Van Fleet is my favorite band. This was a largely anticipated weekend in their “Dreams in Gold” tour after being delayed since April due to illness within the band. Fans flocked from far and wide to the Mark G. Etess Arena for the final leg of their tour after gaining a cult-like following during the Summer of 2021. Finally, the first night of this two-show weekend had arrived.
The night began with Colorado-based newcomers, The Velveteers. Their rip-roaring set was filled with heavy guitar riffs and intense drum beats from their premiere album, Nightmare Daydream. Once their set was through, there was a brief changeover to the second opener of the night, Rival Sons. These more seasoned California natives really began to bring the energy, especially frontman, Jay Buchanan. After their set, there was another changeover, and it was the moment we all had been waiting for.
Greta Van Fleet made their entrance as they do with most things, with style and gravitas. Before the “Dreams in Gold” curtain fell, lead vocalist Josh Kiszka recited the lyrics to Weight of Dreams as a prayer-like poem. Finally, as the curtain fell, the small arena was filled with Jake Kiszka’s gritty guitar lick that opens Built by Nations.
Even though this band is relatively new, they are incredibly comfortable on stage and their presence was dynamic and strong the entire performance. Josh Kizska’s vocals are even more astounding live, sounding exactly like they do on their recorded albums. His vocal health truly blows my mind.
Throughout the set, each member of the band was able to have their own spotlight moment. As lead singer, Josh leads the group through most of the performance, and has opportunities to show off his versatile voice. Guitarist Jake also has many opportunities to execute his expertise on electric guitar, especially on their closer Weight of Dreams, where he takes control of most of the nearly 9-minute song. Twin brothers, Jake and Josh, really take the stage as a dynamic duo. Bassist and pianist Sam Kiszka has many opportunities as a bassist, especially on songs like Caravel, but his best as a pianist came at the top of Light my Love. This is where he began with George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as he transitioned into the intro of Light my Love. Finally, drummer, Danny Wagner has his shining moment in a nearly 5-minute long drum solo in the earlier half of their set.
How the Michigan-based band carries a concert is truly amazing. You can tell the Kizska brothers and Wagner have their dynamics so solid. They ended the night with an encore of Age of Man, the predecessor of Age of Machine, which was played earlier in the set, as well as their breakout single, Highway Tune. There didn’t seem to be a single disappointed fan in the room.
Greta Van Fleet takes older fans back to a time of hard and psychedelic rock of the 1970s and exposes new fans to rock history, growing and evolving from their forefathers.
Photos by Mia Watson