Michigan based classic rockers Greta Van Fleet mesmerise Glasgow with their high octave power vocals and sublime musicianship.
Greta Van Fleet exploded onto the scene last summer with their debut four-track EP Black Smoke Rising and subsequently have been making waves on both sides of the Atlantic. The band’s first single “Highway Tune” has been blowing up online having already racked up over 12 million views on YouTube since it’s release. Greta Van Fleet are arguably one of the most exciting new bands we’ve come across in a very long time.
Following a couple of select shows in the capital last September, the group are currently are back in the UK as part of their first full headline tour on this side of the pond. Tonight the band arrives at St Luke’s in Glasgow where a capacity crowd awaits. So much was the demand for this show that the venue had to be upgraded.
Opening tonight’s proceedings are London based outfit The Second Sons. As soon as the quintet hits the stage and kick-start their high energy performance you can immediately feel their classic rock and roll vibes as the band strut their stuff. The first three songs carry a distinctive blues-rock tone.
The band are very tight. Singer Nick Harding confidently struts and covers the stage with a certain amount of swagger while guitarists Chris Harding and Marco Cinelli compliment Harding as they all feed off one another very boldly. Drummer Allesandro Cinelli along with bass man George Price, come together in unison to form a devastating rhythm section. The latter of which was smiling from ear to ear throughout the night.
By the time the somewhat slower paced number “What You Need is Love” begins, Harding tries to get Glasgow to sing along, of which many oblige. The band switch things up with “Ain’t It A Shame”, which has a more blues vibe to it. Nick brings out a harmonica and we are treated to a majestic extended instrumental.
The Second Sons end their set on a high with an emphatic rendition of “Can’t You See”; with its funky blues grooves and the crowd clapping and singing along, it starts to feel reminiscent to a scene from the Blues Brothers movie. The crowd most certainly enjoys the set with the band leaving the stage to rapturous applause.
Next up is the main event. Greta Van Fleet walk onto the stage to a very warm Glasgow welcome. Josh thanks the audience as the band set up and open very strong with their debut single “Highway Tune”. From the first few riffs of their opening number, the band has their Scottish fans captivated. Wagner and Sam groove along very smoothly with sublime overlying guitar work by Jake. The high octave vocals from Josh intertwines seamlessly to give the band that distinctive blues-rock sound which their fans have come to know and love.
The first few tunes have a heavy classic rock vibe which whips the crowd into a frenzy. Jake showboats a little by playing the guitar behind his head.
“Talk On The Street” is high on groove and energy, and crowd favourite “Flower Power” has the Glasgow audience hanging on every word. Things go slightly quieter as Jake brandishes his acoustic guitar and Sam switches to a keyboard for their older song “You’re the One”. Josh really showcases his powerful voice during this intimate number. Sam is just as comfortable on keys as he is on bass which in turn highlights just how much talent he has, as do the rest of the band.
Having been brought up on a solid foundation of the blues the group takes the opportunity to showcase one of their major influences with the dark and heavy “Evil (Is Going on)” by Howlin’ Wolf. The latter of which is one of the many stand out numbers of the night. The dark and heavy blues tones continue with “Watching Over”. Jake‘s guitar work is sublime and Josh’s vocals also stand out. It feels as if this is GVF’s real comfort zone and it certainly sounds incredible.
Greta Van Fleet end their main set with “Lover Leaver Taker Believer” for ‘Good old rock and rolls sake’ as Josh introduces it. This groove-heavy number truly showcases Josh’s vast and powerful range. The track features an extended funky jam session whereby Josh feeds off of Jake; they greatly compliment each other during this song. Another highlight tonight.
However, the band saves the best till last with the anthemic “Black Smoke Rising” resulting in a huge singalong from the group’s ever-growing Glasgow fanbase before the night reaches its conclusion with the very popular “Safari Song”. Wagner finishes with a highly impressive drum solo that even the late great John Bonham would have been proud of.
It’s fair to say that Greta Van Fleet impress greatly tonight. The band show they are comfortable and competent in what they do. At such a young age they have already established themselves as accomplished musicians. Greta Van Fleet most certainly have the songs and at times can wear their influences on their sleeves but the band also show their own style and have their own flair. Over time this will develop even further.
Greta Van Fleet are bringing blues and classic rock back to the forefront, whilst simultaneously pleasing both new and older generations of music fans and that can only be a good thing, right?
Event Date: 01-Apr-2018