Red Sun Rising Concert Review with Greta Van Fleet, Through Fire and Deadset Society

Red Sun Rising Concert Review with Greta Van Fleet, Through Fire and Deadset Society
Nutcracker 20
Limelight Eventplex, Peoria, Illinois

Nutcracker 2017 was the twentieth year for the holiday rock show from radio station 105.7 the X in Peoria, Illinois. In the age of rock radio getting shut down over the years, it is nice to see rock radio actually doing well. The powerhouse radio station has had much of the same staff over the past time and put up a slideshow of the bands that have been at Nutcracker through the years. We have to love any radio station that brings rock shows to the area. Some of the bands were Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Chevelle, Sevendust, Pop Evil, Highly Suspect and so many others through the years.

The evening started with Deadset Society. Deadset Society, formerly known as Never Say Die is a Canadian rock band that consists of members Reid Henry and Brendan McMillan of My Darkest Days. This is where they have landed when My Darkest Days vocalist Matt Walst went to front Three Days Grace. The former Three Days Grace vocalist, Adam Gontier, has formed Saint Asonia with Mike Mushok, formerly of Staind. Keeping up with the changes of bands members in the scene can something require a spreadsheet. Deadset Society’s biggest hit, “Like a Nightmare” is off their album Destroy + Rebuild has had tremendous success. Their live set was short but energy filled. They performed their songs and also snuck in “Porn Star Dancing” (My Darkest Days Cover).

Deadset Society

Deadset Society












Through Fire is a rock band from Omaha, Nebraska. Their biggest hits “Stronger” and “Breathe” have had active rock radio play on over the air stations and also satellite radio. Through Fire’s vocalist, Grant Joshua Kendrick, donned some Bowie Ziggy Stardust inspired makeup and came onstage in a black stocking cap but released his hair later to head bang. The crowd knew their hits and their current single, “Where You Lie” about deception.

Through Fire

Through Fire






















Next up was Greta Van Fleet. The band is known for sounding a lot like Led Zeppelin. Everyone there wanted to see if these boys had the goods to go with the hype that they are the next Led Zeppelin. If you only listen to the band and do not realize it is Greta Van Fleet, you might mistake their songs for new Led Zeppelin songs. They have the blues rock sound that Led Zeppelin so successfully produced. Now to see if they reference Tolkien in their lyrics or maybe they might go with Harry Potter references. They might lose some of their coolness unless they reference something a little less popular and I have to suggest the A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin.

The band comes from Frankemuth, Michigan and is named after a woman in the town and uses the name with her permission. The band consists of three brothers, Josh (vocalist), Sam (bassist) and Jake (guitarist) Kiszka and Danny Wagner (drummer). Josh and Jake are twins, aged 21 and Sam is 18 and Danny is 18 also. Turns out the band is the real thing and seeing them is something special as they will be the next biggest artist to start selling out arenas. Everyone who was there knows they witnessed seeing the band before they were huge.

Josh Kiszka they delivered a mature performance and is a true tenor which reiterates his similarity to Robert Plant. We all wondered if the band could really deliver the same quality live as their double EP, From The Fires. Jake Kiszka, guitarist, wowed the crowd by playing behind his head. Their stage wear was exactly like something out of the seventies and eighties with Josh wearing a dashiki ensemble. Sam had the leather bomber from the eighties with flags of different countries. In their merch, they were selling the essential jersey shirt and also a velvet black light poster.

The band performed a cover and it was not Led Zeppelin. “Evil(Is Goin’ On)” by Howlin’ Wolf as a tribute to the great blues artist. Their full setlist:

      • Talk on the Streets
      • Black Smoke Rising
      • Edge of Darkness
      • When the Cold Wind Blows
      • Flower Power
      • You’re the One
      • Evil(Is Goin’ On) (Howlin’ Wolf cover)
      • Mountain of the Sun
      • Lover Leaver Taker Believer
      • Highway Tune



    Click to view Greta Van Fleet Photo Gallery







    Red Sun Rising is another band that is the future of the resurgence of rock.   The band comes from Akron, Ohio.  Their singles, “The Otherside”  and “Emotionless” went to No. 1 on the Billboard rock charts.  Their cover of “Uninvited” by Alanis Morrissette puts vocalist Mike Protich’s vocals on display.  Their style is basic hard rock such Audioslave, Pop Evil, or Shinedown.  I believe their vocalist has the natural ability to be as good as Chris Cornell. 

    The band has been in Peoria four times in the past couple of years including Nutcracker 2016 with Pop Evil.  Their set started with sound issues that caused echoing during the first two songs.  They performed a new song initially but it was hard to hear it and of course the band was distracted by the sound issues.  Later, the echoing sound issues were rectified but the levels were still not up to par with vocals being drowned out by the instruments during some songs.

    The band members were almost unrecognizable as all their long, beautiful hair was cut short with the exception of guitarist, Ryan Williams who still had shoulder length hair.   The band says their next album is written and the final touches are being put on it.   Red Sun Rising performed another new song called “Veins”.  It had an upbeat tempo and reminded me of Foo Fighters.  Their fans are anxious to hear their sophomore album. There were no sound issues during their cover “Uninvited” by Alanis Morrissette and  Mike Protich’s voice sounded amazing.  Their set only lasted about an hour.  The band ended the night with an encore of “Emotionless”.  


    Click to view Red Sun Rising Photo Gallery


Red Sun Rising Concert Review

Red Sun Rising Concert Review
The Sound Bar at Limelight Eventplex, Peoria, Illinois


Red Sun Rising is a new band that hails from Akron, Ohio and they have been catching the attention of rock fans and critics. Their debut single “The Otherside” reached number 1 on Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart. Their debut album Polyester Zeal is one of the best albums of 2015.  The rock fans in Peoria, Illinois were lucky enough to have a date for the band’s first headlining tour. 

Local favorites, Drugs Delaney, started the intimate evening in the Limelight’s smaller venue stage called The Sound Bar.  Drugs Delaney is a solid rock band that has a varied sound.  They performed some of their songs off their upcoming album release in March as well as some covers including “Shut Up and Dance” and a tribute to the late Lemmy Kilmister with “Ace of Spades”.

You can connect with Drugs Delany

Andrew William Smith of Drugs Delaney

Andrew William Smith of Drugs Delaney


Red Sun Rising is a band that mesmerizes as you are watching and listening to them live. The venue was small and fans were very close to the band. The setlist included: “My Muse”, “Blister”, “Bliss” and a cover of Alanis Morrisette’s “Uninvited”. Red Sun Rising recently completed an acoustic version of “Uninvited” in Sirius XM’s Octane for Octane Unleaded. You can find a video of the live, electric cover on our Facebook page


Songs off their album Polyester Zeal are cohesive and catchy while remaining intelligent. They are rock songs for the pop fans. When Gene Simmons proclaimed the death of rock in September of 2014, it bolstered the rock community to come together. We should thank him and his son for the article. Since that time bands, media, labels and fans have proclaimed with their efforts that rock is not dead. There are more rock bands, rock festivals and rock fans than ever. What Gene Simmons should have conveyed is that rock has evolved into a genre for intelligent fans. Some music have evolved into genres with little originality or the pursuit of excellence. While rock has evolved into a culture of poignant lyrics and technically intelligent musicians. Red Sun Rising is the quintessential rock band. Their lyrics are meaningful without being whiny. Their melodies are catchy and they are hard enough to keep the hard rock fans banging their heads. Mike Protich’s vocal ability puts this band to the front of the pack of new rock bands out today.


Click to view complete Red Sun Rising Photo Gallery

We talked to Mike about his influences and some other fun details about the band. Watch our exclusive interview here:

Once you see Red Sun Rising live, you will keep going to see them again and again because they give you incredible. Do not take my word for it, go and see for yourself.