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Artist Spotlight: Greta Van Fleet

Jake Kiska by Nicolas Padovani / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

I was introduced to Greta Van Fleet by a close friend right before Christmas of 2019. We were both in awe of the (gorgeous) boys and their power on stage. Strangely enough, their music was what brought me to love classic rock as much as I do now.

Since their debut album, “From the Fires,” was released in 2017, they have captured the hearts of young and old audiences alike by reviving the spirit of 60’s rock. Originally from Frankenmuth, Michigan, the band is comprised of three brothers; Jake, Josh, and Samuel Kiska, as well as their childhood friend Daniel Wagner.

One of the most common things you’ll hear when listening to interviews with the group of four is how they deal with being compared to Led Zeppelin, one of the greatest rock bands of all time. It is impossible not to see the similarities. Josh, their lead singer, has the same powerful screech as Robert Plant. Jimmy Page’s prowess on guitar is reborn through Jake Kiska. Even their fringe vests, tight pants, and feathers mirror the Zeppelin era. However, Greta Van Fleet definitely injects a more contemporary feel in their music. Taking inspiration from both classic and modern rock, the blues, and soul, their sound is a mixture of upbeat tones and heavy rock.

Their on-stage performances are fantastic to watch. Instead of definitive breaks between songs like most bands, their set usually just comprises of one incredibly long ballad, made up of bits of their own songs and pieces of covers. A true standout is their 30-minute-long performance of “Lover, Leaver” that can be found on YouTube and Apple Music. Though it begins and ends like the original “Lover, Leaver,” in between you can also hear some of their other songs like “Safari Song” and “Brave New World,” as well as a cover of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” by Muddy Waters. A great part about their live performances is how you can really see how intuitively connected and synced they are. Maybe it’s because three out of the four are brothers, but I’ve never seen a stronger bond between bandmates. Their guitarist, Jake Kiska, is especially a force to be reckon with when he commands the stage with his insane riffs.

Above all, Greta Van Fleet has made clear that their mission is to promote peace, love, and unity through their music. Their newest album, “Anthem of the Peaceful Army,” is a testimony to these ideals.

Discography:

  • From the Fires (2017)
  • Anthem of the Peaceful Army (2018)

Members:

  • Josh Kiska (Vocals)
  • Jake Kiska (Guitar)
  • Samuel Kiska (Bass & Organ)
  • Daniel Wagner (Drums)

My Favorite Songs:

  • Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer) [Live]
  • Brave New World
  • A Change is Gonna Come
  • Mountain of the Sun
  • Edge of Darkness

-DJ butter 

By DJ Butter

A little Butter makes everything better. Part-time WKNC content manager and graphic designer, full-time sludgy surf rock funk master metalhead. Get in touch with ya suggestions n' such at content@wknc.org.