Home Gigs Gig Review : Greta Van Fleet – Mt Joy – 3Arena, Dublin

Gig Review : Greta Van Fleet – Mt Joy – 3Arena, Dublin

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Review and Photography : Stephen Brophy for MPM

Greta Van Fleet have become a major rock band globally in a relatively short period of time. With the release of their latest album, Starcatcher, the band have continued to grow and experiment with their musical style, it’s more than any part of what they do, individuals allowed to both develop and do their own thing within the framework of the band.

The Tour rolled into Dublin on Thursday night for a triumphant return to these shores, there is no doubt that they continue to grow and express themselves creatively both on and off the stage, the Kiszka brothers and Danny Wagner are most definitely on a trajectory to the stars.

Unfortunately due to some transport issues I missed almost all of the excellent Hannah Wicklands set, but sounded like she went over really well with the crowd, don’t miss her in Dublin next year. Another band that will be returning to these shores in 2024 are the main support tonight, Philadelphia’s Mt. Joy.

This 5 piece band do a lot of smiling on stage and for me it’s always a great thing, and what they do they do extremely well. Musically they are a blend of things, good things that draw you into liking them, they appear to be very humbled and happy to be along on this ride and although a short set the quality of the songs speaks for itself.

I’ve seen them simply described as an Indie Rock band, and sure that’s in there, but for me there are many elements, Roots, Americana and even Pop in there for me, all in harmony, all the pieces of their engine click together.

For me and I am sure others the real stand out track is the set closer “Silver Lining”, a terrific piece of work, anthemic and also has that ear worm quality sinking into the brain, live it expands it’s wings a bit further and certainly leaves you wanting to hear more.

When you only have 5 songs to make an impression on a newer crowd it’s not easy, but I think they manage it with ease, From the upbeat poppy tones of “Evergreen” to the more melancholy “Bathroom Light” they display a wide range of what they do in a small space of time, I think there will be some additional people at their show next year from the crowd tonight.

The band are really tight and additional backing vocals from the rest of the band, they are already massive, but I can see them getting bigger.

As the massive curtains envelope the stage with the front light up detailing the Starcatcher logo and a field of stars.

The venue is full, certainly the large floor standing area is heaving now with anticipation of the treats to come. Generally when you have curtains to drop when a band starts you know there is a show to come that will contain theatrics and an element of showmanship that is all too lacking in modern times, and this band certainly knows how to engage a crowd, Josh’s soft spoken words and stunning voice seem to go hand in hand, there are not too many singers that seem so comfortable in their own skin and at the same time hold the audience in the palm of their hand every time they hit the stage.

So much talent it’s crazy, and a band to match, whether it’s Sam switching seamlessly between Bass and Keyboards, or Jake sprinting from one side of the stage to the other to share solos with all of the crowd equally there is something very special about these guys, and that is before talking about the music itself, but I would be very surprised if we don’t see them in the position of Festival Headliners more and more in the future.

Tonight is certainly one of those feelings that this one is going to be fun, and there are many surprises ahead for me having missed them on their last visit.

Five albums in and the band are still having to shrug off comparisons with bands of the past, but for me they are more like 4 people that were placed in a time capsule so that this generation could enjoy a lot of the best elements of Rock in the 70s alongside modern fresh music. Josh’s voice and the music of the band of course contains influences, don’t all bands, but there are so few that contain a singer of this quality, especially on the high range.

This is a band that have no interest in just coming out and running through an album staring at the ground, the idea is to make an event for those that choose to come out and pay their money for a ticket, an art in itself.

Today will be marked off on my calendar, never before have I seen a crowd cheering and getting so excited for individual solos, be it guitar or drums, it was pretty cool and without a doubt the reaction that Danny got for his Drum solo was off the scale.

Acoustic breakdowns in the middle of sets don’t always work, and to be honest for me I prefer either an electric show or an acoustic show, but they make it work really well, kicking off with a wonderful short cover version of “Unchained Melody” with just keyboards and vocal, kind of sets the mood before the full band starts into

the wonderful “Waited All Your Life” and “Black Smoke Rising” which works much better thank I imagined acoustically.

To see the frontman of an Arena act traverse the whole front row of the crowd delivering white roses to as many people as he could, it was a very different and beautiful moment for a Rock show.

But I think that’s what you get with Greta Van Fleet, something very different, there are touches of so many elements that make up a show like this, although they are so very different I couldn’t help thinking how much I would have loved to have been able to catch Queen live while watching them, at the end of the day it’s the show that seems to mean everything to the guys.

I would never try and explain the vocals, the voice is really flexible, as previously mentioned the high range is just amazing, but we also get rocking tracks like “Highway Tune” and “The Falling Sky”, the music, the setup and the performance are all very classy from start to finish.

At times there are reflective moments, naturally the new album makes up a large part of the set, and it’s a great album so no problems there, but to also have tracks like “Heat Above” fitted in and also working well makes the set flow perfectly, any breaks with changes to equipment for say the acoustic portion are kept to a minimum and the genuine warmth from the band is very much reciprocated by the crowd, as I look around at the waving arms and dancing people along with a lot of singing it’s just a joy to be here.

Amazing show, in so many ways, were I to give one fault, and personal one, but the lighting was really harsh at times, but that’s nothing, the music was brilliant, the show was extravagant and I don’t know if I ever remember seeing a show in the 3 Arena where the whole floor was swaying for the duration of a song.

When they next return to Ireland don’t hang around to pick up a ticket as there’s a lot more to come from this band and the Sky is the limit, definitely one of my favourite shows of the year.

Greta Van Fleet Setlist –
Main Stage –
The Falling Sky
The Indigo Streak
Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)
Meeting The Master
Heat Above
Highway Tune
Drum Solo

Acoustic –
Unchained Melody (cover short version)
Waited All Your Life
Black Smoke Rising

Main Stage –
Faith Of The Faithful
Sacred The Thread
The Archer

Encore
Rhapsody In Blue ( brief George Gershwin cover)
Light My Love
Farewell For Now

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