At The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., November 7, 2019

GRETA VAN FLEET (Live at The O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., November 7, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

While the eyes of the world are transfixed on one Greta at the moment, there’s another Greta making waves in the music world.

Greta Van Fleet were tipped as the next big thing following the release of their first EP, Black Smoke Rising and that tip crystalized with their debut album crashing into the US Top 5, grabbing a Gold disc in the process. Not bad for three brothers Josh, Jake and Sam Kizka, from Michigan and their drummer mate Danny Wagner.

The trouble with the “next big thing label” is that it tends to hang around the neck like an albatross and most never survive the hype.

The O2 Academy was, astonishingly for a new band, sold out within minutes for this show, with a fair few attending to see what all the fuss was about.

It didn’t take long for the cynical to become convinced as Cold Wind and Highway Tune swaggered and strutted with a confidence usually reserved for a band who have served their time. The confidence was literally oozing from every pore.

Of course, the references to Led Zeppelin are there from the biting guitar riffs, the driving drum groove and the helium-soaked vocals of Josh certainly nod in Zeppelin’s direction but there are certainly worse bands out there to be inspired by.

Songs lasting a few minutes on album were extended into mazy instrumental jams which ebbed and flowed building up into stunning climaxes that had the people in the balcony rising to their feet in stunned appreciation.

The acoustic based You’re The One and the epic Age Of Man showed a depth of maturity and song writing craft beyond their years and in When The Curtain Falls, a song that shook the Academy to its very foundations.

For once, it looks as though the hype is more than justified and the prospect of seeing how Greta Van Fleet develop over the coming years is certainly an exciting one.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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