ACL Live Review: Greta Van Fleet

The Darkness 2.0

A long time ago in a musical galaxy far, far away, a German act named Kingdom Come sounded so like Led Zeppelin they were dubbed Kingdom Clone. Michigan partridge family the Kiszkas – Josh (v), Jake (g), Sam (b) – isn’t Greta Van Fraud no matter what every last review cuts and pastes. In no known universe do Zep and Gret intersect.

Josh Kiszka (Photo by Gary Miller)

Weekend-one-only magnet, the quartet anchored by drummer Danny Wagner took to a dead hot stage on a day when September’s rain-cooled temps reset to normal ACL weather (HOT) over a densely teeming Zilker Park. The group sported feathers and vaguely Native American garb. Zeppelin? Try Blackfoot.

Or the Black Crowes. Only the the brothers Robinson moved and strutted onstage. And Chris could sing. At best, Josh Kiszka shrieks. Robert Plant? Try Udo Dirkschneider – with better teeth!

“I should have brought a bathing suit,” he grinned.

The songs, meanwhile, tumbled forth bits and pieces of classic rock: Bowie, Poison, Faster Pussycat (“House of Pain” rang in there somewhere). On “You’re the One,” Josh-n-Jake posed together at the microphone in glossy magazine fashion, anthems exploding in their heads and on their cheekbones. The woman in a mohawk signing part of the performance mopped up her portion of the stage with them.

When the song ended, z-e-r-o applause.

Even so, the band warmed up halfway through their slot.

“I believe we have one more for you,” announced Josh instead, the set ending 15 minutes prematurely.

When the three Kiszkas walked downstage in a line on “Safari Song,” choreography threatened. The song’s “Black Dog” breaks and chord changes finally invoked rock & roll’s Hammer of the Gods, but Greta Van Fleet orbit a different solar system entirely. Try the Darkness.

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