Greta Van Fleet: a long-awaited review

The discovery

It all started with one of my endless scrolls on TikTok. The quick-paced swipe came to a sudden halt when I first heard the vocals of GVF’s lead singer, Josh Kiska, belting “You’re The One” on Jimmy Kimmel’s Saturday Night Live. 

The high-pitched, Frankie Valli-like range; the classic, Led Zeppelin-like rock beats; and the retro, 70s style attire made me fall in love with their band immediately. As I listened carefully to their lyrics, I fell deeper. 

After one of my best discoveries, I listened to them during all of my free hours throughout the days and weeks. I eventually started to watch videos to learn more about these magical men that enchanted my playlists. 

The grip these songs had on me was like no other band I claimed to love before, so of course I had to experience them in-person.

So close… and then so far

A couple of months went by and I patiently waited for the announcement of the locations for GVF’s Dreams of Gold Tour. When the time finally came at the beginning of December 2021, I realized the closest location was Omaha, Nebraska – a distance I was willing to travel. 

I gathered a few friends who also enjoyed the band and we were set to experience the glorious sounds at the end of March 2022. I had my entire outfit ordered within the first month and our itinerary was perfectly laid out by the end of January… or so I thought. 

Fast forward to a week before the concert, I was excited that we were getting so close, it almost didn’t seem real. And then, I opened to GVf’s Instagram page with the worst news. The concert was getting postponed to a later date.

So, maybe I’m exaggerating with the “worst” news, but I was crushed to see that one of the band members ended up getting COVID-19 and was not well enough to perform for a while and that the new date of the concert did not work for us anymore. 

Luckily, I was able to get a complete refund for the tickets. With a very saddened heart, I waited a week before I ventured to find another possible location and date that would work for us when I came across the best news. They were coming right here, right where I live, Fargo. 

Josh and Jake Kiszka performing at the Fargo Dome.
Photo Courtesy | Anne Kesler

Friday, September 23, 2022

I want you to know that I am writing this with post-concert sadness syndrome… if that exists. But, this should give you a good overview of the vibes this little review will be giving. 

Our group entered the FargoDome around 4:30 p.m. with the performance starting at 7 p.m. and we had high hopes of being able to get decently close to the stage with our floor tickets. I noticed right away that the lobby looked like we stepped into a time machine with all of the 70s and granola-inspired ‘fits. That’s when I knew I was already in my element. 

The first mistake I realized I made before the two opening acts came out: wearing high-heeled GoGo boots that I was meant to stand in for 5 hours straight. Like they say “pain is beauty” and I felt hot, but then I felt like I was going to pass out.

Once the first opening act, Robert Finley, came out on stage and began playing, the pain magically disappeared for a while. I didn’t listen to anything of the band beforehand and was waiting to be surprised and I am sure glad I did.

Robert had the entire floor grooving along to his smooth voice and jazzy tunes. I highly recommend seeing him in person. He has moves like no other and will make you want to move in a way you didn’t even know you could. I had a big smile on my face the entire time.

The next act, Houndmouth, performed and had the crowd equally as entertained as the last performance. As soon as they started playing “Sedona,” I was locked in and could have listened to them play it over and over. However, I will say that we were all getting a little antsy for GVF to take over for the night, so I wasn’t as immersed in the experience as I should have been.

Finally, after two long hours, a huge, dark curtain dropped over the stage. The crowd screamed as it unfolded like a giant wave onto the front of the stage to reveal the band’s symbols for each of their songs.

My heart was racing by this point and time seemed like it slowed. Each second felt like a minute. The practice of instruments in the background made it even worse. When it was time, the curtain was completely dropped from the ceiling and fell to the ground. And there they were, right there, in front of me.

It was hands down the coolest introduction to a performance I have seen — keep in mind I haven’t seen that many concerts.

I was a little in shock that I was so close to the stage and could actually see their faces without looking at the big screens on both sides of the stage that I can’t even remember the first couple of songs they played. They sounded better in person than they did in my AirPods, I was amazed.

Unfortunately, about 30 minutes into the concert, the pain in my feet was becoming unbearable and the heat had amped up from everyone pushing towards the front of the stage. Some other people had passed out before GVF had started to play and had to be dragged over the fence by security guards… and that was not about to be me.

I pushed past a few people who had squeezed themselves in between my cousin and me and made it to her to ask for her help — all during one of my favorite songs “Light my Love” by the way (eye roll). Once those death traps were off my feet, I could finally focus on what was happening on stage.

The guitar solos from Jake, the drum solos from Danny, the screaming sounds of an angel from Josh, and well, unfortunately for Sam, I couldn’t see him at all, but he sounded great with everything he was doing.

I really enjoyed their interactions with the crowd. Before the show began, they handed out white roses to the front rows of people — I did not get one, people are absolutely nuts and I was not going to sacrifice my life to have it — and they grabbed a fireball shooter from one of the fans in the front row and shot it back right there and then.

And my biggest surprise of the night was all the fire involved with their show. I didn’t realize they were such pyromaniacs. Oh and the flashing lights too, I felt bad for a few of the ladies behind me, they looked like they could have been blinded with one too many flashes to those poor eyes.

I highly recommend listening to this band, getting to know who they are and how great the lyrics are, and booking a ticket to see them live. It really is an experience worth paying for. Just don’t wear high-heeled anything, it not worth it.

Overall rating: 10/10

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