Greta Van Fleet, Ida Mae
The Fox – Detroit, MI – 12.29.18
Frankenmuth natives Greta Van Fleet sold out three nights of The Fox in Detroit for their holiday show. After a sold-out three-day stretch back in the spring of 2018, tickets sold out even faster this time around.
These three shows also followed the release of the band’s debut album Anthem of the Peaceful Army. The album quickly topped charts, reaching number one at Billboard’s Top Album sales and placing number 3 at their 200 chart.
On the second night of the stretch, the band opened with “The Cold Wind” as vocalist Josh Kiszka passed white roses to adoring fans in the front row. Kiszka’s face was full of an approachable smile that welcomed fans, something that gave a humble, homey feel to the venue.
Following, the band went right into “Safari Song.” If you don’t know Greta Van Fleet very well, you at least know this song off of their 2017 EP From the Fires. After Kiszka’s infamous wail, the room erupted into applause. Guitarist Jake Kiszka was quick to come up and share the mic with his brother as he played.
Something very unique about Greta Van Fleet shows is the variety of demographics among the crowd. There are young college students donned in their trendy hipster style alongside parents rocking their old college concert t-shirts, taking their kid to their first show. There are middle-aged women embracing their inner flower child as they wear their hair braided with feathers. There was a feeling of inclusion, and family in the room. Something that Kiszka acknowledged on stage.
During “Safari Song”, drummer Daniel Wagner showcased his skill with a lengthy, intricate drum solo before the band kicked into “Black Smoke Rising.”
“Black Smoke Rising” is one of two songs that has earned the band a Grammy nomination. It’s nominated for Best Rock Song while “Highway Tune” is nominated for Best Rock Performance. From the Fires is also nominated for Best Rock Album. Greta Van Fleet is also up for Best New Artist. (The awards will air February 10.)
“Flower Power” started with a softer, more quaint sound. The smoke-filled room filled with flower crowns definitely transported the room back a few decades.
After a performance of “Watch Me,” the band covered John Denver’s “The Music is You.” This was the first of two covers of the evening. The other being a rendition of Melanie’s “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain).” Both covers were very well done, without taking away from the essence of the song while still giving it that Greta Van Fleet twist.
I enjoyed the fact that “When the Curtain Falls” rested in the middle of the setlist. It’s not that the crowd needed a pick me up (they were as high energy as the band all night long), but that it was nice to sprinkle in a well-known song somewhere that isn’t an opener, or encore.
“When the Curtain Falls” is the band’s third number one single at U.S. Rock Radio. It has over 30 million global streams as well as over 7 million YouTube video views.
After performing “Watching Over” and “Edge of Darkness” the band gave a four-song encore. However, this wasn’t just any three songs to close the night.
Starting with “Brave New World”, each song seamlessly flowed into the next, while featuring parts of other songs as well. “Brave New World” included a moment of “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer).”
Following “Highway Tune” the band paid tribute to Muddy Waters with a cover of “Rollin and Tumblin.”
Finally, Greta Van Fleet gave an unforgettable performance of “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)” that lasted 30 minutes. The song includes notes of “Highway Tune” and “Evil” that gave it a very intricate feeling while wrapping up the entire show.
Ida Mae opened the evening. The band consists of husband and wife duo Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean. The band’s quaint, folk sound was a great way to ease into the evening. You can stream their single “My Girl is a Heartbreak” here.
Greta Van Fleet will be performing on Saturday Night Live on January 19th.
Greta Van Fleet