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REVIEW: Greta Van Fleet's Year In Review

The band that everyone is finally paying attention to.

Greta Van Fleet for Rolling Stone, Courtesy of Alysse Gafkjen

If you haven’t heard of Greta Van Fleet by the end of 2021, where have you been? They’re hot, popular and they’ve got the guitarist and drummer of the year in their band. From The Battle At Garden’s Gate release to going viral on TikTok, we explore all that’s gone down for Greta Van Fleet.

Starting 2021 off right by releasing power-ballad “Heat Above” (rated number 5 on Loudwire’s Top Rock Songs and hit number one on Billboard’s “Hot Hard Rock Songs Chart”) along with a music video that featured outfits breaking walls and shocking the Rock world. The single was performed on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE fulfilling the experience even more. The follow-up to the track was an even deeper single “Broken Bells” that’s a fan favorite and has left us wondering where the music video is. On April 16, 2021 The Battle At Garden’s Gate was born into the world with songs that have been stuck in your head all year. The album is a cinematic experience beginning to end featuring favorites such as “Tears Of Rain”, “Stardust Chords”, “The Barbarians” and “The Weight Of Dreams.” Melissa Hager (of MelissaHagerTV on YouTube and The Comedy Series in GVF’s hometown of Frankenmuth, Michigan) along with GVF parents Karen and Kelly Kiszka, and Lori and Dan Wagner, all put together a live stream event promoting the album in support of raising money for Children’s Miracle Network. The live stream included auctioning off signed GVF collectibles for the charity, Fleet Family Feud and special video messages from the boys themselves. The Peaceful Army all together donated $10,000 to Children’s Miracle Network and when Jake, Josh, Sam and Danny found out about the genorosity, they were humbled by their fans caring so much that they matched the amount themselves.

Greta Van Fleet, Courtesy of Paige Sara

As the months flew by, the band began releasing live performances of songs from the album and took some even higher with Candlelight Sessions. These sessions featured Greta Van Fleet with an orchestra supporting them and scenery filled with white aesthetic and candles with the tracks “Light My Love,” “Broken Bells,” and “Tears Of Rain.” In May, Greta Van Fleet announced a small run of shows they titled Strange Horizons. These shows ran from August to October 2021 touching down in Nashville, Chicago, Bridgeport and Los Angeles. All four cities completely sold out and as a gift of gratitude, GVF released copies of live performances from each city individually on vinyl exclusively for attendees. In July, a Tik Tok went viral that changed everything for the band. GVF was already soaring with their album release and breaking records on their own, but when that one video went viral, even more people were introduced and instantly fell in love.

Jake Kiszka, Courtesy of Bethany Hildebrandt

Danny Wagner, Courtesy of Bethany Hildebrandt

Josh Kiszka, Courtesy of Bethany Hildebrandt

Sam Kiszka, Courtesy of Bethany Hildebrandt

After closing out Strange Horizons on a chilly night in LA, soon after was another tour in store. This time, more than just playing in the U.S. The Dreams Of Gold Tour touches in several American cities as well as playing in South America and overseas to Europe.

Danny was nominated and won for Music Radar’s drummer of the year along with Jake winning Total Guitar's guitarist of the year for 2021. In addition to those humbling awards, the band was also recognized for having guitar solo of the year from World Guitar for Jake’s solo in “Age Of Machine.” And in case you aren’t impressed enough, Vevo confirmed that “Heat Above” was the number one watched Rock video in the USA for 2021 with 31.70 Million views.

With 2021 being such a comeback year and the year Greta Van Fleet was finally recognized for everything they are worthy of, 2022 is guaranteed to be even more successful for the band. See you at Dreams Of Gold.


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