Updated: Feb 27, 2021
Three days after Greta Van Fleet released the debut of their live show at Red Rocks Amphitheater, the band released act two. Personally, my favorite act so far. There’s a lot to cover with this act.
The video begins with Josh making a speech just before the band performs “Flower Power”. “We’re all here for some reason or another. Where there’s love, we must live on.” With Sammy on a literal organ, the live version of this song is just much more magical than the track on the album. The album version is of course great, but Greta Van Fleet proves over and over again that they are in fact a live band. Towards the end of the song, while Sam’s giving an incredible organ solo, has to be my favorite part of the song.
Leading right into, my favorite song by them musically, “Age Of Man”. There are only a few seconds in between the first two songs, but as soon as Flower Power ends, Sam lights incense to really set the tone. And the tone is… Drama. The stage is filled with smoke. The lights are completely dim. Except for the one on Sammy. The environment and everything going on is so suspenseful. Sammy starts to play a familiar tune on his keyboard. There’s so much anticipation built up. The blue lighting on him makes everything look so much more amazing and dramatic. It’s fairly clear that whenever he plays the keys, he’s very much into it. You can tell by his facial expressions, his body movement, the way he’s swaying to the music. Samuel Kiszka was born for this. He holds one specific note out, appears to be counting, leaves the crowd in silence for a moment, and then plays the very beginning of the song, in which the crowd of course goes crazy for. Every time I hear this song live, or in general, I am brought back to so many beautiful memories. When the band “released” the track before the album came out, only you HAD to be in a park in order to listen to it. Being in nature. Or when they performed it when I saw them at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, having everyone around me singing to it. Listening to the song while the plane was taking off after that trip and having tears fall from my eyes because I just felt so lucky for the opportunities to see them in person and know them as a band. I had never seen someone so meticulous until I saw him play this song. Danny comes in with a few beats to make the crowd even more excited than they already are. The playing of Sam and his keyboard is such a comfort level for me. Jake chimes in with a few strums to make what’s happening even better. Josh is found to come back out on stage and say to the crowd, “You know this one… It’s about the story of us all.” He’s absolutely right. Between Sammy playing so beautifully and Josh making that statement, my heart couldn’t take it. Tears were falling from my eyes as I was watching my favorite band do what they love most. Josh begins singing and his voice sounds more amazing than ever. This part of the performance is just so unreal. You really have to see it to believe it. I’ve watched it about three times so far and my mind still has yet to comprehend all that’s happened during it. The transition of the song beginning with such a slow and dramatic vibe, then turns into more rockin’ because of Jake is unbelievable. I almost didn’t believe it the first time I heard it. By the time the chorus is reached, everyone is so in awe. Josh’s vocals have never sounded better. The band clearly feeds off of each other’s energy as they all look at each other during certain parts. The views of the band and the crowd are just simply amazing as well. When the song gets to Jake’s solo, it’s so clear that he’s very into the song. I mean, yes, he’s ALWAYS into whatever he’s playing. But I think it might be a little different with Age Of Man. There are parts of the song where Josh is singing things such as “ah” moving his voice up and down, and Jake matches his twin’s vocals with his guitar and it’s the greatest thing.
The lights dim and Jake is to be shown changing guitars. I knew exactly what that meant. I knew exactly which two songs they would be performing. I knew everything that was going to happen… Well actually, not everything. First of all, the band is a few songs into the show, so Josh must ask the crowd, “Champagne, caviar anyone?” Then on a more serious note, hints that The Kiszka’s parents were at the show. “So the intro to this next track is for my mother, by the late and great John Denver, who is my hero.” The strumming of Jake’s acoustic guitar to “The Music Is You” was completely expected by me, who absolutely loves that song, because of this band. But then something unexpected happened. Something that completely caught not only myself, but tons of others off-guard. While the band was performing the song, never-before-seen backstage footage was being shown of them that were videos merged into the video itself, playing in the background. It was amazing. Showing the band members rehearsing, white roses and guitars in dressing rooms, hanging out, being guys in their 20s. The footage then ended along with the song. I was in awe of it. The Music Is You reminded me of Atlanta and how I had gotten a video of it. It made me think of the memories I have of seeing the band. Traveling. Going to concerts. Life in general. It was as if I was almost seeing everything in my life that I loved in my head. The lyrics, “All of the pictures, and all of the stories, all of the magic, the music is you” has always been so true to me.
Then as Jake played the first few notes of “You’re The One”, the crowd went nuts as they always do for the song, and Jake flashed the crowd a smile. Along with the beautiful sound of the Gibson J-45, the rest of the band comes in full blast with the drum beat and Sam once again sounding amazing on the keys. Personally, this is not only my favorite Greta Van Fleet song, but it’s my favorite song of all time. All of a sudden, during the second verse, the footage comes back. With videos of the band performing. The band walking out on stage. Showing fans in the crowd from all different shows. The twins trying on outfits. Sammy riding in a gear case. Danny playing the drums. Josh singing “Here Comes The Sun”. Sammy jammin’ on the organ and keyboard. Everything was perfect.
Although Act III was just released, I have not been able to review it yet. Thank you for your patience and stay tuned for more. Review of Act III coming soon!
*All photos are screenshots from the YouTube video*