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Greta Van Fleet’s “Starcatcher Tour” comes to Cleveland

Grace Sherban
Grace Sherban writes about her experience at Greta Van Fleet’s show in Cleveland.

On Sept. 23, Cleveland, the “Birthplace of Rock and Roll,” returned to its roots with the arrival of Greta Van Fleet. This four-man group, fronted by lead vocalist Josh Kiszka, is known for a 70s  rock and roll style that stands apart from the stereotypical music of today. With Sam Kiszka on bass and keys, Jake Kiszka on guitar and Daniel Wagner on drums, Greta Van Fleet has been able to produce a timeless sound that has drawn comparisons to Led Zeppelin. 

Before Greta took the stage at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Surf Curse, an indie surf rock band, set a high bar when they began the night. The lead singer/drummer, Nick Rattigan, effortlessly hypnotized the audience with his gravely, yet oddly soothing vocals along with a headbanging baseline. The band’s most famous song, “Freaks,” was able to get the crowd on their feet, singing along to the hit made famous by TikTok. 

After Surf Curse finished their set, ending on the fan favorite “Disco,” a curtain displaying the “Starcatcher” logo was pitched, obscuring the stage. Greta took the stage after several minutes of intense buildup that consisted of orchestral arrangements of the band’s most popular songs reverberating within Rocket Mortgage. Anticipation was at an all time high when crew members tore down the curtain (echoing their song “When The Curtain Falls”), revealing the four members of the band standing majestically on a raised platform. 

The show opened with the fourth single off their new album, “The Falling Sky,” setting the standard of performing each song as if they would never perform again. 

Greta Van Fleet is bringing the bold rock and roll sound back into the mainstream with a modern twist. Bassist Sam Kiszka said, “I think just the way that he actually captured the album is the way that we’ve always wanted to hear ourselves because it’s the way that we hear like the Rolling Stones or the Beatles or Led Zeppelin but with modern technology. So we’re using pretty much ancient recording techniques but also with modern technology and getting just really great s**t. So it’s utilizing the technology of today.”

The band’s use of modern technology to create a timeless sound was made evident in their live performances of songs such as “The Indigo Streak” and “Meeting the Master”; the latter of which featured a special intro involving the iconic chords of The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood.” 

While the name of the show is “Starcatcher,” Greta made sure to play the songs that helped them upgrade from the Agora Ballroom to filling 14,000 seats in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)” was released on the band’s first studio album and this performance featured an extended guitar solo for Jake Kiszka. The lead guitarist has been recognized by “Total Guitar” magazine, ranking his solo in “The Weight of Dreams” as the best guitar solo of the 21st century so far. 

Seeing Kiszka shred his guitar with such ease and swagger solidified his ranking as one of the best guitarists of our time. During another extended guitar solo for “Frozen Light” that took place later in the show, he once again demonstrated his mastery of his instrument, going so far as to play behind his head without even breaking a sweat. 

No matter the length of the drum solos, vocal improvisations or guitar riffs, the pure talent on display was engaging enough to hold the attention of diehard and casual fans alike. This ability to capture those in attendance is due to the palpable passion that each member put into their craft. This excitement was evident in songs such as “Light My Love” and “Heat Above,” both featured on their sophomore album “The Battle at Garden’s Gate.” The atmosphere within the arena was electric after hearing the opening chords played and the band was able to build off the crowd’s enthusiasm to create an impactful live rendition of their two most popular songs. 

The show ended with “Farewell For Now,” a musical ode to the concert-going experience. As the lights began to fade and the members of Greta Van Fleet began to leave the stage, the words of their last song still hung in the air; “Gathered here tonight/ Did it up just right/ And it’s all for you.” 

The Kiszkas and Wagner left everything they had on the stage of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and “The Starcatcher World Tour” was able to accomplish what any great live performance can conjure: an audience entranced by the words and music of their discography.

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About the Contributor
Grace Sherban
Grace Sherban, Editor-in-Chief
Managing Editor Grace Sally Sherban was born in the early hours on Tuesday May 20, 2003. She spent most of her childhood hooting, hollering and joshing around while constantly reading and watching movies in between. She continues to do much of the same now while double majoring in Communications and English so she stays busy between all the hooting, hollering, joshing around, listening to herself talk, class, walking in the rain and work. Grace’s biggest goal in life is to write a comprehensive novel about the 1955 Academy Awards Best Actress race and its implications on the movie industry. To request the slideshow on the 1955 Academy Awards Best Actress race, she can be reached at [email protected]

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  • J

    Jody BlaneySep 30, 2023 at 9:43 pm

    All love for these very talented brothers, plus one. Amazing