Every ten years or so, rock and roll starts to wheeze and you wonder if the old boy has any life in him and maybe needs to be sent out to pasture. Then some youngsters come along and give it a welcome kick in the pants and make things exciting again. In the ‘90s it was The Black Crowes (and Nirvana, but in a more alternative vein), in the aughts it was White Stripes; now, in the late days of the 2010s, it’s Greta Van Fleet. And, as usual, some members of the old guard will write them off for borrowing heavily from the previous generations while ignoring the energy, talent and vitality they’re injecting into the medium. In the end, everyone that picks up a guitar and wants to rock is part of a long tradition of everyone from Chuck Berry to Elvis to The Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin to retool the blues and hammer it into whatever shape their generation is burning to forge. People that compare GVF to Led Zep act like a) that’s a bad thing and b) it’s easy.
Greta Van Fleet (max. age 22) came roaring out of the where-the-heck-is that town of Frankenmuth, Michigan a couple years ago, soared to the top of the Billboard Rock Charts and garnered a Grammy for Best Rock Album. They meld the gleeful joy of kids picking up their instruments for the first time with the stage presence and skill of seasoned professionals. It’s about time somebody grew their hair, tightened up their trousers, stopped moping and turned the crunch up to 11.
It’s reassuring to know rock is not only still alive, but it can still kick hard. As David Letterman used to say, “Kids, do you like the rock and roll?” Hell yeah. The kids are always all right.
Not to be missed.
Catch Greta Van Fleet at Bunbury Music Festival on Saturday, June 1stat 9:45 on the Monster Energy Stage.