“When the Curtain Falls,” Greta Van Fleet rises

Photos: Samantha Camp · The Sentry
Greta Van Fleet’s Red Rocks debut

Opening with 70s style apparel, a falsetto that would make the members of Led Zeppelin proud, and a stage presence that kept the audience’s attention glued to the stage, one would be surprised that it was Greta Van Fleet’s first appearance at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Greta Van Fleet is made up of twins Josh Kiszka, vocalist, Jake Kiszka, guitarist; their younger brother Samuel Kiszka, bassist; and friend Danny Wagner, drummer. The band gained their popularity in 2017 when “Safari Song” hit the radio at full force, landing a number one spot on the Mainstream Radio Rock chart for five consecutive weeks and has logged more than 40 million streams on Spotify to date.

Purple lights lit the smoke curling around the band members as they opened with “The Cold Wind,” a powerful song that sent the audience into a head bopping frenzy. Josh Kiszka kicked off the show with an impressive falsetto accompanied by Jake and Samuel Kiszka’s melodic riffs on guitar and bass, respectively. Danny Wagner drove the song forward with a drum bridge into “Safari Song,” a crowd favorite. Thousands of hands waved and danced in the air with the beat.   

Josh Kiszka engaged with the crowd between songs, asking questions and checking in on their energy throughout the show. During various choruses, Josh Kiszka would encourage the crowd to sing along by raising his mic and jumping around. Meanwhile, Jake Kiszka delighted the audience by playing a guitar solo behind his head as Samuel Kiszka and Danny Wagner played a tight rhythm section.

A noticeable feature to the band’s performance was how passionate they were about their music. Throughout the performance, they were all smiles and enthusiasm as they mentioned their past as a small band from Michigan who grew up listening to blues and rock and roll. They paid tribute to local legend John Denver with “The Music Is You,” moving some members of the crowd to tears. The use of lighting and smoke created an atmosphere that seemed otherworldly, and the feeling was heightened thanks to the band’s 70s aesthetic, each sporting navy and black embroidered suits, vests, or, in Josh Kiska’s case, an interstellar one-piece.

The band ended their time on stage with “When the Curtain Falls,” an appropriate song to close out their set. With one closing note, the group left the stage with cheers trailing them and a call for an encore shortly followed. Soon, the band was back on stage and jumped into “Lover, Leaver.” The crowd erupted into cheers and dance as the classic rock inspired song kicked off their encore. The group’s energy continued to hype up the crowd as Danny Wagners drum solo lead into their most popular song “Highway Tune.”

The band is currently working on their third album and hopes to pick up a Grammy nomination in January of 2020. To experience the nostalgic glory of Greta Van Fleet, check out the music videos for their hit songs “Safari Song” and “When the Curtain Falls” on YouTube and be sure to keep up with the band on their various social media accounts.    

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