Let me get this out of the way before I begin. Yes I have heard a thousand times how much they sound like Led Zeppelin. Yes they do. This has sparked a haters union among middle aged folks, mostly men. They talk about how this band is such a rip off on the Zeppelin sound, but they truly haven’t given the band a chance to prove that. Mr Robert Plant seems to favour these youngsters. Yes most of the band can’t even legally drink in the USA. Very Young.
Well you middle aged farts, think about this. I have two sons that love this band. I love this band. I would be stoked to take them to see these new heroes of the great Rock genre. If you want to introduce your kids to Drake, more power to you. I don’t think I could sit through that one. I wouldn’t even make it through the door. Greta Van Fleet are flying the Rock flag high and soon they will create a sound that is completely theirs and then let the new revolution of creative sound begin!
Echo Beach was completely packed for, in fact sold out with fans waiting for hours to view this band, probably for the first time. This young crowd was in a total party mood and the middle age rockers were there to show everyone how we did it in our day. When the band hit the stage there was no need for education, only pure elation for a band that owned everyone at the beach. I even got chills as the singer came on as a silhouette and then was in full bloom with his opening notes.
Opening with, “When the curtain falls”, Joshua Kiszha Wailing Wall of a voice took over. It soared to outrageous heights and he kept this sound up for the entire concert without it crackling or sounding weak or tired. I have no idea how this kid can continue to do this night after night. At one point, the way Joshua was communing with his people, he reminded me of a young Jon Anderson, from YES. The showed continued with three older songs off their debut album: One of them being the amazing song that probably launched their popularity, “Highway Tune”.
They took everyone on a musical odyssey with two cover songs, “Watch Me”, by Labi Siffre, and, “The music in you” by John Denver. Like the great live Rockers, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple amongst many others, they went on a jamming spree of great playing and vocal gymnastics that kept this smoky congregation even hazier. Did I mention that Echo beach was filled with tons of smoke and we were outside? Hmmmm?
GVF re-entered to their original material with a visceral attack that kept ever pair of eyes glued to the stage. The gathering began to ramp up the party with sing alongs, climbing onto shoulders and crowd surfing, with songs like, “Age of Man” and “You’re the one”. Unfortunately ever great party has to come to an end. The band emerged for their encore with the very solid, “Safari Song”, with a drum solo thrown in. Now that I have seen this so called Led Zeppelin experiment, I can honest say I never had a thought about The Zep. GVF are truly out there to make their mark in music and hopefully break away from the accusation of being rip offs. These guys are simply only getting better and they are here to stay. Hell Ya!
Opening the show was a duo called Ida Mae. They are a married couple that plays a swampy southern rock and blues, and they are from England. So where does the band name come from? Well it turns out it is an old Muddy Waters songs. They both have unique vocal styles. Strong as a harmonic duo, and with an added smoky sound to each of their vocals, they proved they have an authentic approach that kept us completely engaged. Ida Mae did the song Ida Mae as well as a classic 60’s song well know in North America,”Ohio”. They seemed to be a great match to open the show and were very happy to being introduced to Canada. I hope they come back to Toronto soon.
Here are a few pics from Greta Van Fleet’s performance:
To learn more about Ida Mae go to… https://idamaemusic.com/
Bring on board some new fans for Greta Van Fleet here… http://www.gretavanfleet.com/
Here is a snippet of their performance: