Greta Van Fleet with Rival Sons and The Velveteers Concert Review
Peoria Civic Center
Monday July 25th, 2022
The Dreams in Gold Tour finally made its way to Peoria, Illinois after being delayed by Covid. The Peoria Civic Center show was sold out. I accurately predicted that Greta Van Fleet would be selling out arenas when they came to Peoria in 2017 and sold out the Limelight for Nutcracker. Read my review and see how much they have changed here: Nutcracker 2017. Greta Van Fleet has had a meteoric rise over the past five years. The band comes from Frankenmuth, Michigan and now have begun touring all over the world. You may have heard them on the radio and been interested because they sould like Led Zeppelin. Or your friends may have told you about them and you started listening and love them. Their newest album is The Battle at Garden’s Gate and is out now.
The Dreams in Gold Tour is joined by The Velveteers and Rival Sons. The Velveteers were the first openers. The band is a three piece rock band from Boulder, Colorado. They are in the space between hard rock and punk. The band consists of vocalist, guitarist Demi Demitro, drummer Baby Pottersmith and drummer, keyboardist, Jonny Fig. The Velveteers debut album, Nightmare Daydream, was released October 8, 2021. Their live show instantly grabbed the attention of the fans. Their dual drum kit was sitting close to the front of the stage. The energy was frenetic from the start. Baby Pottersmith took their drum into the crowd and the crowd helped them hold it while they did not miss a beat. Find out more on their website: The Velveteers
Rival Sons tooks the stage next. They are a Grammy nominated rock band from Long Beach, California. The band consists of vocalist Jay Buchanan, guitarist Scott Holiday, bassist Dave Beste, and drummer Michael Miley. Rivals Sons were impressive performers. They impressed the crowd with their blues rock sound. Their setlist included “Electric Man”, “Do Your Worst”, and “Nobody Wants to Die”. During their set, they took time to dedicate an acoustic version of “Shooting Stars” to Ukraine. You can see where they are next on their website: Rival Sons
Greta Van Fleet sold out Peoria Civic Center with a capacity of twelve thousand. The band consists of brothers, vocalist Josh Kiszka, bassist Sam Kiszka, and guitarist Jake Kiszka and drummer Danny Wagner. Sam and Jake are twins. I know critics of Greta Van Fleet will say that they are not the best technical artists. The band has a huge following of fans of all ages. I met people who were seventy and then many young girls who were right in the front row. They are not passing fans of the band. They actually knew all the songs. The fashion for the fans consisted of a lot of velvet and see through. The outfits ran the gamut of hippie fashion to punk to just plain black t-shirt and jeans.
What impresses me about Greta Van Fleet is their draw of fans to rock music. Many of the fans would never listen Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, or Jethro Tull but they may now to hear the comparisons. The band has matured in sound and presence in leaps and bounds over the past few years. According to their Spotify artist profile, “Expectations may run high, but Greta Van Fleet is indifferent to opinion. The band doesn’t have to say a certain thing or act a certain way to convince anyone of their capacity. All they have to do is play.”
The stage was all white with keyboards on risers and the drum kit on a riser also. The band took the stage barefoot as that is how they like to perform. Josh wore a gold jumpsuit with a gauzy royal looking gold floor length jacket. He has gold accents on his the tops of his cheeks. Sam wore a suit jacket with a left wing and no shirt. Jake wore an embroidered suit jacket and no shirt. Danny Wagner was almost unrecognizable as he had dark eye make-up looking every bit of a glam rock star. He also had a gold and black tank top. On the stage, behind the band were space age looking lighted rings.
During the performance, pyrotechnics of fire and cannons went off during the show. The pyro must have made them hot because Sam lost the suit jacket about halfway through and performed shirtless. There were light boards that made rainbows during their set. They played and improvised their songs. Jake Kiszka did that trick of playing behind his head. One song the band was jamming for over twenty minutes. Jake was playing guitar non-stop, Sam was on keys and Danny keeping the beat with Josh interspersing short vocals.
If you can make it to one of their shows, it is a must see this year. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for rock music and Greta Van Fleet.
Sources: setlist.fm, wikipedia.org, https://www.thevelveteers.com/, https://www.rivalsons.com/, https://gretavanfleet.com/