Greta Van Fleet & The Pretty Reckless: Bell Centre Montreal (Concert, 2022)
This past Thursday, August 18, 2022, Greta Van Fleet stopped in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to give their show from their "Dreams in Gold" Tour. If you are not familiar with this group, Greta Van Fleet is an American rock band from Frankenmuth, Michigan, formed in 2012. It consists of Kiszka brothers Josh (vocals), Jake (guitar) and Sam (bass guitar, keyboards); and Danny Wagner (drums). They were signed to Lava Records in March 2017, and a month later they released their debut studio EP, Black Smoke Rising. Their debut single, "Highway Tune", topped the Billboard U.S. Mainstream Rock and Active Rock charts in September 2017 for four weeks in a row.
Their debut full-length studio album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, was released on October 19, 2018, and topped the Billboard Rock Album charts in the first week after its release. The album's first single, "When the Curtain Falls", was released ahead of it in July 2018 and became the band's third number-one single on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock charts. Anthem of the Peaceful Army also debuted atop the Billboard Hard Rock charts and reached the number one spot on the Billboard Top Album Sales charts in the first week after its release. A second studio album, The Battle at Garden's Gate was released on April 16, 2021.
I always wondered where the band's name came from. According to Wikipedia, the band name was created when Kyle Hauck, one of the original members of the band, heard a relative mention Gretna Van Fleet, a resident of Frankenmuth. Their use of the variation on her name was done with her (subsequent) blessing. Van Fleet also stated in a later interview that while the band's music is not her type, she supports the band and thinks they are very talented.
The band's opening acts were Hannah Wicklund, and The Pretty Reckless. Unfortunately, we misssed the Hannah Wickland set. The doors opened up at 7pm and we got their at 7h20 pm. By the time we found our seats, her set was finished. How did The Pretty Reckless and Greta Van Fleet do? Lets find out.
The Pretty Reckless
Taylor Momsen was on fire on Thursday night. Her high energy throughout her set energized the crowd. I personally did not know all their songs, but it rocked and it was loud. What more can you ask for at a rock concert. Find below the setlist for The Pretty Reckless taken from setlist.fm :
To give an idea of the their set, I found this video on Youtube from Juan Carlos Ruiz . It is the opening of the show with Death by Rock and Roll. This set the tone for the rest of the show. Great stuff. Check it out.
Overall this was a great opening act. It was dynamic and entertaining. I love rock concerts for their energy and The Pretty Reckless definitely had lots to give this Thursday night. A big thums up for their set here in Montreal.
Greta Van Fleet
The show started just after 9pm with some tribal music blasting through the Bell Centre with a curtain full of hieroglyphic symbols hiding the stage. This was simple yet very effective way to setting the tone for the rest of the night. The lights went out, the curtain dropped and the crowd went wild as Greta Van Fleet appeared on stage. They started their set with Built by Nations accompanied with columns of fire warming the stage and the crowd. We were sitting right across the arena and we felt the heat every time the colums were lit during the show.
The drum solo from Danny Wagner for the song Safari was definitely one of the hightlights of the show. However I love drum solos, so maybe I am a little bias. He actually had a few other ones during the show, but this one was my favorite.
Find below the setlist for Gret Van Fleet taken from setlist.fm :
Overall this was a hell of a show. Maybe because this was my first show since the pandemic hit a couple of years ago. At times it felt as if this was an old school rock concert. It had that feel to it. Something that I did not see in a long time was a general admission for the floor, first come first served. That I have not seen for along time, not with a band of this kind of fame. Another reason I think it had that old school feel was that the technology was kept to minimum. There was not much distraction from the band. Yes there were flame columns, but it was just enough, not overboard.
Josh Kiszka (vocals) is a great entertainer. He often reminded me at times of Freddie Mercury with his gestures and mannerism on stage. He also had a bit of a young Robert Plant. It is probably not easy to step away from the critics saying that you sound like an iconic rock band like Led Zepplin, but it is probably their biggest influence. They are a solid band, and maybe they do sound a little like the past greats, but it makes for great music.
Find below another video on Youtube from Juan Carlos Ruiz . This will give you a feel of the concert. Check it out.
If you like rock, you have to love this group. They sound exactly the same live as they do on their albums. Whatever influence they might have, I strongly encourage to try to catch their show. It is entertaining and worth the price of admission. Hard rock is definitely still alive with Greta Van Fleet !!!!