Greta Van Fleet & Surf Curse 9.15.23

TD Garden
Boston, MA

Words & Photos by Arlene Brown

Have you ever had the feeling that you were watching history unfold? I’ve thought this many times when watching “up and coming” bands that only play in small 100 person venues and half of the crowd are family and friends. Many of those bands went to the wayside, but a few of them have gone on to become bigger and some are still growing. Sometimes it’s when I’m watching a band live onstage with 20,000 other screaming fans.

I’m not sure if it was the universe finally telling me to go see Greta Van Fleet, but I’d totally forgot they were playing TD Garden on Sept 15th until I got an email reminding me of the show. I listen to their music, and consider myself a “fan,” but not even close to the “Superfans” that turned out on Friday night in full force. WOW!

Now, if you’re not familiar with Greta Van Fleet, they are originally from Frankenmuth, Michigan, just north of the Detroit area and they started really making music in 2012. Fronted by Josh Kiszka, his twin brother, Jake (guitar and vocals), their younger brother, Sam (keyboard, bass and vocals), and Daniel Wagner who keeps them all together with his mad drum skills.

The best way I can describe Josh Kiszka is for you to imagine a mix between Ann Wilson’s (Heart) voice, Prince’s fashion sense, and Patrick Mahomes’ physique. His voice range and control is unmatched. Greta Van Fleet take rock to a whole new level with the soul and roots of the 70s/80s and mixed new fresh twists to their sound. They also write songs that speak directly to their fans. They somehow invoke deep emotions from their fanbase of all ages.

Greta Van Fleet did something I’ve not seen in my 30ish years of going to concerts. They started on the main stage, then switched to a “B-stage” on the opposite side of the arena for some acoustic songs, then went back to the main stage to finish out their 17 “song” pyro filled set. My favorite songs from their set on Friday included a 13 minute "Lover, Leaver" very extended version, "Unchained Melody" (Hy Zarat and Alex North cover) and "Black Smoke Rising" from the acoustic stage, and all three Encore songs: "Rhapsody in Blue" (George Gershwin cover), "Light My Love," and "Farewell For Now." I will also mention that they do a great job of showcasing each band member in their many solos scattered throughout the night, and they are all extremely talented musicians.

I should also mention that Surf Curse opened for Greta Van Fleet on this tour. I was only able to see the first 3 songs, and got a great feel for their energy and vibe with the crowd. Based out of LA, Nick Rattigan, Jacob Rubeck, Henry Dillon, and Noah Kholl got the crowd hopping with their fun surf punk indie pop sounds.

Touring with their new Starcatcher album, this is only Greta Van Fleet's fourth album in their career. I had read other reviews concerned that it was “too early” in their career to sell out arenas on just your fourth album. After seeing them, hearing them, and feeling the very real and raw emotions of the Superfans at TD Garden, I think they’ll be just fine. I’m glad I got to see another band that is shaking up music and making history in the process.

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