Not many musicians or bands can make the prestigious Robert Plant question his musical abilities. Small town Michigan based foursome Greta Van Fleet does just that. Millennials have finally been awarded their equivalent of an ostentatious, thundering, and wildly fun rock and roll band. However, critics have been debating this claim since 2017. One cannot help but wonder if Greta Van Fleet is the second generation of Led Zeppelin or simply copycats. What they are viewed as is up to interpretation for whoever listens. The band comprises of vocalist Josh Kiszka, his brothers Jake and Sam on guitar and bass, as well as drummer Danny Wagner. All members appear as if they stepped out of a time machine dating back to the counterculture generation. The music community is torn between how the unique up and comers should be perceived. The current fans and future groupies view them as saviors of classic rock. Individuals who are critical of the old school musicians simply view them as four inexperienced boys who are playing dress-up in 70s garb.
The Kiszka brothers and Wagner are all blossoming with youthful energy and vast potential. They are walking and talking contradictions who are blowing the minds of their elders. They are a ragtag pack of youths with a developed and sophisticated sound. The oldest band members are only at the tender age of twenty-two. The band has been around since 2012 and achieved their level of success in a mere six years. The Kiszka’s exposure to their parent’s impressive record collection has highly influenced their aged sound. In 2017 they signed to Lava Records and are releasing their first full album in October. They have gained the attention of seasoned musicians such as Elton John, whom they have performed alongside with. Despite quickly rising the ranks of the music world, some believe Greta Van Fleet contributes little originality to the industry.
All bands will have their fair share confidence boosting approval and limb-shaking criticism. Feedback from both sides helps musicians develop their craft and grow as individuals. Gretta Van Fleet is a special gem in a pile of gravel, the gravel being oversampled and autotuned pop. Not many new bands possess the ability to stand out in our culture of dominant popular music. Those who claim the band lacks originality and diversity among their songs can preach their views until their heart gives out. In the end, Gretta Van Fleet belongs to our generation, they are our Led Zeppelin. They have the potential to reach the same level of success as the bands they embody in their music. Fifty years from now, they will evolve into the classic band young musicians idolize and grow up with.
– Jon B
Photo: Jon Gagner
A wise woman once said, who I met virtually, “… your early 20’s is like a secret second puberty that no one prepared you for.” This statement packs a wallop that would send the most confident twentysomething to their knees. These words were uttered (gracefully typed) by Eliza Hanson, an up and coming musician and realist from Milwaukee. Hanson’s EP, “Any Day Now,” delivers an existential tale of human emotions and dilemmas we all experience, but very few of us face head on. We all suffer through isolation, doubt, and even loathing of ourselves. We must ask: can I uncover a blue sky in the storm of my troubles? Can happiness exist without sadness? Am I my own worst enemy? Eliza Hanson does not shy away these inquires of self-reflection.
I just think being in your early 20’s is like a secret second puberty that no one prepared you for.