Calling an up and coming blues rock band the next Led Zeppelin has become pretty commonplace these days, right now I could rattle off about 8 bands that have been tabbed with that title in the last few years. So now when you hear that it’s easy to brush it off, but in the case of American hard rock band Greta Van Fleet, the comparison is dead on. It’s so dead on in fact that after listening to a few songs, you may start to wonder if someone uncovered an unreleased Zeppelin album.
Bolstered by a mountain of hype, Greta Van Fleet have headed out on the road, playing intimate, small capacity venues. On Monday night the tour pulled into Boston, MA where the band would play at a sold out Great Scott, where a lengthy, and rare pre-show line awaited before doors.
Opening the shows were semi-local New Hampshire rockers, Red Sky Mary who’s high octane, 70’s style rock, was a perfect fit as an opener on a night that felt like the first of many trips back in time on Monday night.
The Glorious Sons, who have been supporting Greta Van Fleet for most of this tour, were up second and played a very high octane ‘in your face’ rock & roll set. The band quite literally spent a good portion of their set at the edge of the stage in the face of the folks in the front row. The Canadian band plays a style of rock & roll that's part GNR, part Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their nine song set was a stellar pre-cursor to Greta Van Fleet’s, performance, as they put on an almost headline quality performance, raising the bar for Greta to put on an amazing show.
However, Greta Van Fleet was up to the challenge and then some, right from the opening notes of the first song “Talk on the Streets” the band kept things at a high level. It was everything you’d expect from a meat and potatoes blues rock band, the intricate ad-libs, the extending of songs to add another dimension in the live setting, even a cover of a classic blues artists with Howlin’ Wolf’s "(Evil) Is Goin On,” something that bands like Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith used to incorporate into their shows in their early days. Blues scale rooted songs are mostly a thing of the past these days, but there was a time when the majority of rock and roll bands built their songs around old blues tunes. Greta Van Fleet turns back the clock in that sense with their music, their current most popular song “Highway Tune” was what initially brought up the Zeppelin comparisons and it was clear why when the band launched into it near the end of their set.
After they finished their set, the sold out crowd demanded an encore from Greta Van Fleet and they delivered, rocking into early Tuesday morning, as it was well past midnight when they finished their set. The show in itself was simple, straight forward, sweaty, loud, rock and roll. The kind of thing that ruled the day in the 1970’s before music included all sorts of bells and whistles. In fact if it weren't for the iPhones in the air, it would be easy to forget you were in 2017, not 1977. The whole show was a back to basics rock and roll set built around blues rooted rock music. If you want to get a taste of what it was like to see bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and the Rolling Stones back in their early club days, Greta Van Fleet is a band you want to see.
Photos - Greta Van Fleet, The Glorious Sons, Red Sky Mary - 8/21/17: