Greta Van Fleet Launch Starcatcher Tour in Nashville

Greta Van Fleet live 2023 Starcatcher Tour [Credit: Matt Bishop]

Review and photos from the band’s debut at Bridgestone Arena

Greta Van Fleet live 2023 Starcatcher Tour [Credit: Matt Bishop]
Greta Van Fleet [Matt Bishop/The Rock Revival]

Last night in Nashville, classic rock revivalists Greta Van Fleet launched their Starcatcher World Tour. With their album of the same name dropping just a few days ago, the energy in the Music City was palpable. Fans gathered in droves outside the beautiful Bridgestone Arena in the early afternoon grab some tour merch. Over an hour before doors opened, thousands of people stood in lines that circled all the way around the arena, overlapping each other. Decked out on Greta-like garb with bedazzlements on their faces, the anticipation was quickly building to what just might be Greta Van Fleet’s biggest moment.

Silversun Pickups started the evening’s festivities. The seasoned alt-rock mainstays graciously stepped in for Kaleo, who were originally slated to perform. Performing some of their bigger hits like “Panic Switch,” Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance), and “Lazy Eye,” the band received a warm welcome from the crowd and set the tone for the rest of the night.

Silversun Pickups [Matt Bishop/The Rock Revival]

The location of the Starcatcher World Tour kick-off seems to be a full circle moment. Greta Van Fleet’s new record was recorded at RCA Studios in Nashville and produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Rival Sons). Returning to the place where Starcatcher was born – a town aptly referred to as the Music City – is perhaps coincidental, but definitely poetic.

The band stepped onto the stage together, taking a moment to gaze out into the capacity crowd. Soaking up the moment their new chapter started, the cheers of the fans erupted into a deafening roar. The band kicked things off with “The Falling Sky” and “The Indigo Streak,” both tracks from their latest release. Both songs were met with a massive eruption from the crowd, as every song would be for the rest of the show.

Next, they reached all the way back to their debut LP for “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer).” The song was capped off by an epic jam session from guitarist Jake Kiszka, bassist Sam Kiszka, and drummer Danny Wagner that essentially doubled the length of the song. Jake’s never-ending solos were accompanied by the rhythm section’s strict precision. Danny was often staring intently at Jake, carefully calculating his timing. Later on in the set, Danny even had a drum solo.

Greta Van Fleet live 2023 Starcatcher Tour [Credit: Matt Bishop]
Greta Van Fleet [Matt Bishop/The Rock Revival]

The entire show featured extended jams and extra guitar solos. The band wrapped up the main set with two new tracks – “Sacred the Thread” and “The Archer,” both of which featured grandiose guitar solos. Jake took control of the stage numerous times, wielding his ax to commanded the crowd’s attention. It was wildly refreshing to see this generation of fans so captivated by the guitar, and the band’s musicianship overall. There’s been a rumor going around for years that guitar-driven music is a dying art form. While there may be some light truth to that, Greta Van Fleet are making it their mission to make sure that it doesn’t happen.

The band is clearly taking money that they’ve already made and investing it back into their production to enhance the live experience for the fans. Most of the songs in the set featured a solid amount pyro and fireworks. It was the kind of big-budget production likened to bands like KISS.

Throughout the performance, the band played all but one (“Runaway Blues”) of their new songs at the show. All of the songs, especially cuts like “Meeting the Master,” Fate of the Faithful,” and “The Archer,” translated so well in a live setting.

In the middle of the set, the band migrated to a satellite stage at the other end of the arena. The performed a special four-song acoustic set that featured first performance of “Anthem” on United States soil. Despite performing at two festivals back in May, the band kept some of their new material under wraps until this tour. Last night, four songs from Starcatcher saw the light of the stage for the very first time.

Their commitment to the new record is admirable, but missing from the set were signature hits like “My Way, Soon” “Safari Song,” “When The Curtain Falls,” “and the seminal “Highway Tune” that put the band on the map a few years ago. While it’s important to push your new music, hopefully Greta Van Fleet’s Starcatcher is simply their next chapter, and not an entirely new book altogether.

Greta Van Fleet live 2023 Starcatcher Tour [Credit: Matt Bishop]
Greta Van Fleet [Matt Bishop/The Rock Revival]

Desperate for more at the end of the set, the band returned to treat the crowd to an encore. “This song is for the lovers, you asked for it,” frontman Josh Kiszka exclaimed as the band rolled into “Light My Love.” Rainbow lights flashed across the stage and the crowd began wildly waving their Pride flags in support of Josh, who recently came out publicly for the first time. He joins the likes of gay rock royalty like Elton John, Freddie Mercury of Queen, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Dug Pinnick of King’s X, and more. Along with Greta Van Fleet’s supportive fan base, Josh is furthering the inclusiveness of the rock and metal community.

“I usually hold it together on that one, but not this time,” Josh said as he became visibly emotional when the song concluded.

While they are already a well-known band that have been playing big rooms for awhile, Greta Van Fleet’s Starcatcher Tour may catapult them to superstardom. They are rock music’s newest juggernauts in an age where seeing a pure rock ‘n’ roll act headline an arena has become a bit of an anomaly. Not only are they keeping rock music relevant in pop culture, they’re helping to bridge the gap between generations. After the show as fans flooded the streets of downtown Nashville, what appeared to be a father and daughter pair strolled down the street together. She was wearing a Greta Van Fleet shirt, and her father donned an old Megadeth tee. It was a clear testament that rock music is transcending generations, thanks to the likes of Greta Van Fleet.

Greta Van Fleet live 2023 Starcatcher Tour [Credit: Matt Bishop]
Greta Van Fleet [Matt Bishop/The Rock Revival]

When the band first arrived on the scene, they were widely panned as a Led Zeppelin ripoff. While the comparison is accurate, all the hate is so unnecessary. Did Aerosmith rip off The Stones? Did Guns N’ Roses rip off Aerosmith? No, they were influenced. People confuse originality with style. There’s a very short list of artists who revolutionized music with their sound. Everyone else just took it and made it in their own style. Clearly, people love Led Zeppelin’s style of music after more than fifty years. That’s why Greta Van Fleet are playing Madison Square Garden in September, the same building where Led Zeppelin made their debut in 1970. People still crave that style, and Greta Van Fleet are the ones that brought it back.

Come next festival season, Greta Van Fleet could very well be topping big rock festival bills in the U.S. and Europe. Sadly, with the deaths of musicians like Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), and Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell of Pantera, among others, the recycled list of headliners is shrinking significantly. With all due respect their greatness, Foo Fighters and Slipknot can only close out so many festivals before folks want something new. Greta Van Fleet are that something new, like it or not. As the band launches the biggest tour of their career, Ozzy Osbourne pulling out of Power Trip – which also features the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, and Judas Priest – reminded us all of the career mortality of rock music’s original guard.

If people don’t particularly like Greta Van Fleet’s brand of music, especially in America, perhaps their success will be a wake-up call to rally support behind acts like Crobot, Rival Sons, Alter Bridge, and others who also deserve to take their place among the new guard of arena headliners. If rock fans can’t bring themselves to do that, then they’re going to have to sit back idly and watch rock music live out its last days on life support.

Greta Van Fleet live 2023 Starcatcher Tour [Credit: Matt Bishop]
Greta Van Fleet [Matt Bishop/The Rock Revival]

The North American leg of Greta Van Fleet’s Starcatcher World Tour continues into the winter, wrapping up on December 6 at Campo Pequeno in Lisbon, Portugal. Other special guests throughout the run will be Surf Curse, Mt. Joy and Black Honey on select dates. The run also features a performance at Sea Hear Now in Asbury Park, New Jersey alongside Foo Fighters, The Killers, and more.

In September, the band will join Metallica as special guests at their M72 World Tour performances in Mexico.

Greta Van Fleet setlist Nashville Bridgestone Arena 2023 Starcatcher Tour

The post Greta Van Fleet Launch Starcatcher Tour in Nashville first appeared on The Rock Revival.

The post Greta Van Fleet Launch Starcatcher Tour in Nashville appeared first on The Rock Revival.