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Review & Photos: Great Van Fleet, Houndmouth, Robert Finley



SEPTEMBER 20, 2022



By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications

   Greta Van Fleet proved that rock and roll is here to stay last night; their live performance welcomely conjured the sound and retro appearance of 70’s rock, all with their own originality. 
   The overall sound and production (spiral beehive-like lights and pyro pit flames with fireballs, incense burning, and strobes—the only thing missing was a lava lamp) was stadium worthy, with an entertaining full stage presence by the mature young band. 
    Intermittent stage left rocking prog guitar solos by Jake, an early drum solo center stage by Danny Wagner—during which Josh (vocalist) handed out white roses to screaming front row fans—and the multi-talented skills of keyboardist/pianist and bassist Sam on stage right. Josh and Jake (Kiszka) are twin brothers and Sam is their younger brother, while Danny is a friend of the brothers. 
    It’s difficult to note any newer modern rock artists that can pull off the sustained high range and pitch of vocalist Josh; reminiscent of Halford and Dickinson (albeit GVF is not metal), as well as Plant and Perry. 
    Throughout the set the barefooted frontman, who changed into a one piece glam outfit after sporting a two piece, radiated spiritual, psychedelic vibes with motions that somewhat resembled a more subtle Joe Cocker at Woodstock and the bending of Tool's Maynard James Keenan.
    The Grammy winning Michigan based band performed a set list mostly comprised of their latest album The Battle at Garden’s Gate, including: “Built By Nations,” “The Weight Of Dreams,” “Light My Love.” The more than 90-minute performance didn’t leave out chart toppers “Safari Song,” “Highway Tune,” and “Black Smoke Rising.” 
    With a general absence of rock with solid roots embedded in the late 60s and mid-70s,—although there is and has been a noticeably steady revival of the era—Greta Van Fleet will surely remain tuned in on our radio dials at a high volume. 
    GVF delivers an outstanding, classy live performance that will keep fans wanting more; watching the band continue to evolve will be a highlight for many.
    Houndmouth opened with a laid back bluesy set with crowd-energizing building guitar solos by Matt Myers and a sincere chemistry with bassist Zak Appleby. The Indiana band has a sound that evokes Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and John Mayer. 
    Louisiana’s soulful, talented singer-songwriter Robert Finley took the stage early in the evening with a backing vocalist and full band. Finley never struggled to reach impeccable high notes and he got the crowd moving with his smileable dances and words of advice: seize the day by not passing up opportunities and to not put off till tomorrow what you can do today. 
    This not to miss extensive tour continues through December.