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mesamay2003

Greta Van Fleet

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8 hours ago, Crimson Avenger said:

I've thought a bit about this, and my best response to all these criticisms is that I simply don't care about them. All bands and musicians have always copied from each other and swap musical styles. Sure Jake throws in a lot of Page references, but they are never the obvious ones. I'm not sure I wholly hear the STH reference given above, but either way, as SuperDave says, Kingdom Come this is not. He's done his guitar homework, and I can't bring myself to see that as a musical crime. It makes me smile when I spot a Zep reference; it means he's a fan too. As a band they have an understanding of the dynamics and interplay that makes a good live act. I'd rather concentrate on that their belt buckles or funny faces.

Is it artistically invalid for one musician to reference another in their work? Surely not. When we hear Jimmy play a great version of White Summer/BMS, do we admire his superb playing skills, or do we frown and point out that he lifted more or less the entire thing off Bert Jansch? Do we love the brilliant acoustic/electric interplay of the guitars on BIGLY, or do we sourly point out that the chord sequence is much the same as George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps? I'm in the former camp re Jimmy, and feel the same way with GVF. Disagree by all means, but I think you are missing out.

When a guitarist solos I expect him to take himself, the audience and I somewhere else. One of the many problems I have with this band is when the guitarist solos he isn't taking me anywhere new, he's merely regurgitating Jimmy Page riffs and solos that he has memorized. So in that respect you're right, he has done his homework.  

All this nonsense talk about GVF being the future of rock! How can they become the future with their act so absurdly rooted in the past? To truly be the future would entail a much higher degree of originality. People enjoy and want to support Opera Man Doing Led Zeppelin, more power to them. It ain't for me. 

 

 

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Give them time and see what they do.  They are all just 19-21 years old and just a bit out of high school.  See if they can mature as they get older.  Not sure if they are the future of rock but are refreshing with guys who can actually play.  As this is blues base rock and their songs have good harmonies and song structure.  Not like some of the alternative bands who are lacking this in their music.  Time will tell.

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15 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

When a guitarist solos I expect him to take himself, the audience and I somewhere else. One of the many problems I have with this band is when the guitarist solos he isn't taking me anywhere new, he's merely regurgitating Jimmy Page riffs and solos that he has memorized. So in that respect you're right, he has done his homework.  

All this nonsense talk about GVF being the future of rock! How can they become the future with their act so absurdly rooted in the past? To truly be the future would entail a much higher degree of originality. People enjoy and want to support Opera Man Doing Led Zeppelin, more power to them. It ain't for me. 

 

 

Just so I understand your argument, Black Mountain Side on LZ1 is worthless, because Bert Jansch had already done it, yeah? If you aren't saying that, what's the difference?

I never said they were the future of rock. I'm not sure there is such a thing. I just said they were a good band and can play, having seen them live.

 

9 hours ago, SuperDave said:

They are all just 19-21 years old and just a bit out of high school

I suspect this may get to the nub of the criticism!

 

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On 4/23/2018 at 12:38 PM, SteveAJones said:

When a guitarist solos I expect him to take himself, the audience and I somewhere else. 

Exactly

16 hours ago, Crimson Avenger said:

Just so I understand your argument, Black Mountain Side on LZ1 is worthless, because Bert Jansch had already done it, yeah? If you aren't saying that, what's the difference?

What I'd like more than anything from a band like this, is a new, refreshing, original and inspiring guitarist. One who can solo and improvise. Because that's what I've spoiled myself with by listening to LZ. 

The GVF guitarist just doesn't have it beyond straight regurgitation. BMS aside, LZ I has some of the best guitar playing I have ever heard, and I can't go elsewhere to find something similar (let alone the songs that inspired some of those songs). It's not like Jake Holmes' Dazed and Confused scratches the itch for me. He seems like a solid guitarist, just not inspired. It'd be great if he can tap into something and become an artist. 

The guitar work on BIGLY and I Can't Quit You Baby is therapeutic. 

That's how it is for me at least. 

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They sound good ! We need a band to reclaim rock & roll! Just want them to admit & embrace their Led Zeppelin roots as it's nothing to be remotely ashamed of! It will help them more to reach out to Zeppelin and to site them as their number one influence  versus pretending their not. Pretending their not is literally comical. If they go woodshed and continue to develop their  writing it could get so much better in time! All and all I'm rooting for them to squash hip hop dead ! 

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They write their own music and it's not auto-tuned and overproduced. That is a rarity these days. It's a bonus that it's actually GOOD music! When I was 19 - 21, I was lucky if I got myself out of bed and to work on time. They're writing and performing very high quality music. I'm all for it and am trying desperately to get to see them live. 

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Five days 'til we get to see them in Jersey. VERY hopeful! Great review Crimson!

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On 5/7/2018 at 8:40 AM, BUK said:

Five days 'til we get to see them in Jersey. VERY hopeful! Great review Crimson!

Just 3 days now BUK until we see the boys rock the Starland!

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See you tonight!

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Great to meet Superdave!  We'll have to do a show or two together in the future.

So just let me say up front. I think Greta Van Fleet are the real deal. What you hear on record is what they deliver live. I have been to the Starland Ballroom here in NJ about 20 times. Jeff Beck, The (new) Petenders, Johnny Winter, Silverchair, Alter Bridge, Chris Cornell, George Clinton, Thornley and on…But never to a sold out show. GVF was sold out. 2500 people that ranged from 25-65 with the majority in their 40’s. LOTS of parents with their 20 something kids. The crowd knew every word or at least mumbled the verses loudly, sang out the choruses and howled along with with every Plant-like dive bomb throughout. I talked to a good range of people there to see them for the first time. None had ever seen them before. None seemed too jaded or cynical as to whether the band could actually deliver. They were excited to see this new bunch of kids do good.

In my estimation they did better than good. Josh Kiszka, the singer, really is the hook for the band. He gets you in the door with all his unstrained RP power. I love his unpretentiousness. He is having a ball doing this. It’s a weird kind of performing for your parents (who adore you) kind of vibe. We could not hear a word he said to the crowd. We were on a 3 stair riser behind the sound booth and the sound was awful. It was all too bass heavy, the guitar was lost in the mix. When he sang the vox was up front and prominent but when he talked to the crowd the vocals just got lost. I will watch it on youtube later and find out what he said, but I’ve seen him before have some pretty clever asides. I like this kid. He sounds pretty smart and together. Kind of gobsmacked at the whole GVF phenomenon.

Lots of people there to experience what they thought it would be like to hear Led Zepp. There were maybe 20 people there who actually experienced LZ in their heyday. Probably none who ever got to see Zep at the stage of their career playing in a small venue like Starland Ballroom. That would have to be like ’68-’69 so many where there to feed their imaginations. GVF is in no way comparable to the raw animal power that Zep had, but if you never experienced LZ, what the hell. These guys will do. 

GVF are NOT some LZ cover Z band. If you came for the Zep flavor, you stayed and partied for the strength of the songs. They are young and exuberant and they have that going for them. They are tight as brothers but loose as kids. Sam Kiszka is the bass/keyboard player. He is completely loose and fun to watch. I think that he is the driving force behind most of the songs even though he was WAY too loud in the mix. His bass lines propel the songs and he’s a very fluid player. The keys were classic Zep but avoided the uncanny valley (where in animation something looks almost real but not quite and triggers the brain to dangerous discernment). It was all in the warm traditional Zep I & II family. I think he has a real future.

Jake Kiszka is the guitarist and he throws his all into every song. He even played behind his neck on one song. They stretched a few numbers because let’s face it, they don’t actually have an album’s worth of music yet. The stretches were interesting if not jaw dropping. Jake is an ok player. He was too low in the mix for my taste. The riffs were delivered with full enthusiasm but he lacks the power in some spots. He hits that sloppy-Jimmy-Page-in-the-late-70’s-playing-what-he-did-so-much-more-masterfully-tight-in-the-early-70’s groove quite nicely. He’s a bit frantic when needed and blows it by with enthusiasm. His slide playing is just ok. I’m no player, but I consider myself a discerning fan and have seen MANY who have IT. This kid cannot carry the show. If he develops as a player, his riffing shows promise. He strums madly for effect. It worked to get most of the crowd hyped, but for me it just does not do it.

The drummer Danny Wagner was powerful and enthusiastic. He was quite bombastic but fit the songs perfectly. His solo at the end was ok and of course Bonham inspired. But like I said to Bet, if you are of a certain age you’ve seen most of the best in their prime. Let’s just say, he has potential.

Pretty talented, LOTS of enthusiasm, a crowd that wants them to succeed like I’ve never seen before at a first viewing of a band, combined with that youthful energy and exuberance made for a great show. They did a few songs not yet studio recorded and they were only ok. I always like to hear stuff I have never heard before and have a good ear for what is going to be good long term. The three or four unrecorded songs were filler. 

They did Howlin’ Wolf, Evil and some Elvis, That’s Alright Momma and just KILLED it! So much fun to see them give life to those old bones. Good old RocknRoll and Blues being played to most who have never really experienced it in full glory was great to hear. One of the high points for me. Edge of Darkness, Flower Power, Black Smoke Rising, Talk on The Street, Highway Tune (which they opened with) were all on target.

From the moment I heard Safari song, I KNEW that it would be a hit for them. It was the final song and it slayed. It’s got all the elements. An almost AC/DC simplicity, a howling start, a sexy Plant-like low delivery “hey Mama” lyric and some PERFECT dynamics. They knocked this one out of the hall. It’s kind of funny that when Josh sings “hey mama won’t you come on down….” he singing to mostly women who could actually be his mama! In spite of that it has that brash strut that would be all too cheesy for someone any older than these kids to sing without being completely tongue in cheek.

To sum it up, they are a sugar rush that delivers for a damned long time. Bored me in spots, especially in the jamming stretches. Glad I went to see them. Lots of fun and pure potential. Some DAMNED good original, if highly derivative music. Their progress will be interesting to watch. Hopefully they can avoid cynicism while improving their skills. They just might be able to.

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Every time I hear these guys on the radio, I think it’s Zeppelin, till I catch on.

 

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Posted (edited)

Nice review BUK of a great show last night.  It was great to meet up with you and everyone before the show at the Brass Monkey.  Nice local joint.

 

I think the sound was better from my vantage point than yours.  In general it was rather clear, but a bit distorted here and there.  I was basically dead center about ten feet in front of the sound board.  I think Jake is a better guitarist than you lead him to be.  I think he is quite good but as you said there are some spots he could be better.  He should improve in time.  The highlight for me was the new song "Love Her, Leave Her, Take Her, Believe Her."  The song is pretty powerful and had a big jam and improv in it.  This is the one that contained "That's Alright Mama."   Other highlights were Howlin' Wolf's "Evil" as well as "Edge of Darkness," "Flower Power and "Highway Tune." 

 

Overall a great show and experience and the whole crowd was so into them and knew all the songs from the EP.  I was next to some guys in their mid to late 20's and are huge fans of this band.  They are all big Zeppelin fans as well, which makes sense.  This band will probably get more popular, depending on the quality of material they put out and challenge themselves by being diverse.  We shall see.  I will definitely go see them again.  I actually am as they are playing the Panorama Festival in NYC (Randall's Island) on day 3.

Edited by SuperDave

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It was GREAT to meet you too Dave! I am going to youtube-re-live the show tomorrow. We'll hook up to do another show soon!

 

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Definitely BUK and hoping for the right show to get me down to the Starland again.  Great venue!  Many friends of mine have seen shows here and love this venue.  I know of some great Wilco shows there.  They are a great band and saw them at the Cap in PC last year.  Must see them, if you get the chance.

Hopefully, next time on a Saturday and not a Friday with the crawl in my car.  I may have walked there faster than driving last night!  YIKES! 

Wears you out as I felt it after the show being in my car for 3.5+ hours and standing during the show in GA seating(worth it for such a great show).  Glad I didn't drive home and stayed overnight close by!  Way to do it!

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