For the first time ever, rock band Greta Van Fleet visited North Little Rock to perform the show of a lifetime.
Some members of the audience at the Simmons Bank Arena weren’t quite sure what they signed up for when they decided to come to a Greta Van Fleet show, but were more than satisfied when they left. Greta Van Fleet, named after a woman from their hometown, Gretna Van Fleet, is a band from the small German-inspired town of Frankenmuth, Michigan. The band is made up of a pair of twins, their younger brother, and their childhood friend. The twins are Josh Kiszka (vocals) and Jake Kiszka (guitar). Their brother is Sam Kiszka (bass/keys) and his best friend is Danny Wagner (drums). The classic rock-sounding band has been playing together since they were children but in 2017 they started competing with the big dogs. Their Dreams in Gold Tour started in March of 2022 and, after an illness in the band, multiple shows had to be rescheduled. They started back up during the summer and have been to over 40 different cities this year.
For their openers, they had two different bands perform. The first was Crown Lands, a Canadian rock duo. Crown Lands is made up of Cody Bowles (vocals/drums) and Kevin Comeau (guitar/bass/keys). The two just released their third studio album in October of this year titled Discover Crown Lands.
Following the first act was the R&B group Durand Jones and The Indications. Coming from Bloomington, Indiana, the five-member band grooved right into the hearts of the crowd that night. Frontman, Durand Jones (vocals) didn’t stop dancing the entire time he was on stage. Aaron Frazer (vocals/drums), Blake Rhein (guitar), Steve Okonski (keys), and Matt Romy (bass). Last year, they released their latest album, Private Space, and have been touring it every chance they can get.At 9:00 pm, Greta Van Fleet didn’t immediately come onto the stage. Instead, “Reasons for Waiting” by Jethro Tull filled the arena which some fans believe to be a hidden message indicating new music coming soon. Separating fans from the band was a giant curtain that engulfed the stage. After a narrated introduction by Josh, the curtain fell to reveal the band as they started to play “Built By Nations,” a track from their most recent album release The Battle at Garden’s Gate. The album was released in April of 2021 and they first toured it at the end of the year on their Strange Horizons Tour. Periodically, flames flared up from giant chalices lighting up the stage.
After the third song, Danny performed his drum solo as fans at the barricade chanted his name. Undeniably talented, he powered through a ten-minute solo despite the flames of the chalices being directly behind him. Mid-set, the band played a cover of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Before leaving, only to come back for an encore, the band played a fifteen-minute extended version of their song “The Weight of Dreams.” Jake had everyone in the building’s jaw on the floor. He completely blew the audience away during his guitar solo. While Jake shredded his guitar, brother Josh picked up a tambourine and danced around the stage until he eventually threw it into the crowd.
For the encore, they came back onto the stage and performed “Age of Man” from their second album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army. They followed this with their hit song “Highway Tune,” from the album that won them a Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2019, From The Fires. Halfway through the song, they stop and begin playing a cover of Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right.” They then picked “Highway Tune” back up and the show came to a close. The guys have a couple of more shows this year and will hopefully announce new music soon.GRETA VAN FLEET
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