Greta Van Fleet has played San Diego twice now, and while last time at the Observatory in San Diego felt like a rock and roll bomb that could blast the the doors open, last week’s show at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater gave their fans a simple and powerful all out rock show.
The band is made of three brothers– Josh Kiszka (vocals), twin Jake Kiszka (guitar), Sam Kiszka (bass, keys)– and their good friend from their home state of Michigan, Danny Wagner (drums). They entered the stage, Josh and Sam shoeless, perfectly in sync with their nature-loving bohemian personality. Josh, burning palo santo or possibly sage, greeted the audience with sincere waves and smiles and even coming to the edge of the stage to shake some hands. Jake, feet covered in some nice black boots, started into his slithery back and forth while he plays his guitar. It looked like he was kicking dirt with one of those boots to fill a hole in the ground.
Then they dove in. Started with some popular songs “When the Curtain Falls” and “HighwayTune”. As I was being escorted to my seat to transform into a fan and writer, I heard them announce the 4th song “Flower Power,” then went into a little divergence of two covers, including John Denver’s “The Music is You.” The band plays hard classic rock style that flows seamlessly. The fluidity of how the band jams with rarely looking at a each other, often eyes closed, almost makes me a believer in telepathy. Josh’s vocals beamed out of his face like a superhero’s power in an action movie.
The music is word-heavy, but also everything-heavy. Josh’s voice was like a jet plane taking off. When Sam was not on the bass he was back on the keyboard jamming. Jake, always killing on the guitar, really got some shine time with his solo on “Black Flag Exposition.” He had some long and impressive guitar solos that included playing his instrument over his head and behind himself. It is as if the guitar is an extension of his body. The show ended strong and really just let us all dive into the rock n’ roll ocean.
Shannon and the Clams opened the show at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater as the supporting act for Greta Van Fleet. The band sounded like throwback early 60’s music and punk had a baby and looked like characters in a John Waters film. Besides it also being music that is a revival of previous era of rock, I found it to be an odd pairing.