Greta Van Fleet’s Starcatcher World Tour Transcends Concert Goers Beyond the Sound

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Photo by Andrea Garman

Embarking on their Starcatcher World Tour, Greta Van Fleet transcended concert goers beyond the sound as they stormed through the Oakland Arena last Tuesday evening. Eager fans filled the seats as nightfall blanketed the city, while the sounds of bright exuberance echoed throughout the arena. Fans illuminated while subtle lighting began to shine over the crowd, reflecting off impeccably detailed outfits. The Starcatcher tour has proven to truly have an exceptional energy all its own, and this show was no exception.

Photo by Andrea Garman

As Teddy Swims and his band took to the stage, the audience cheered and warmly welcomed his bubbly demeanor. Performing “911” from his 2022 album, Tough Love, he had the crowd bopping their heads to the funky rhythm of this catchy tune. Groovin’ behind amber tinted sunglasses and dancing across the stage beneath the moody hued lighting, he and his band were completely in their element. Seamlessly segueing into a cover of “Don’t Stop Believin’”, from Journey’s 1981 album Escape, they electrified the crowd’s mellow energy with a surge of infectious nostalgia. Jumping to and fro, the audience sang along with Teddy, who was all smiles. He and his band perfectly captured the essence of this rock classic and playfully engaged with fans and pit photographers. Teddy tossed special peanut butter and jelly goodies to fans at barricade as he and his band continued to perform their set; a set filled with roaring applause, laughter, and an overall good time.

The infamous “A” logo appeared on a desert night banner that slowly lowered to cover the stage front. Shimmering sands rippled across the banner as warm and cool toned hues harmoniously danced across the flowing fabric. Instrumentals of Greta Van Fleet’s popular hits serenaded the audience as fans eagerly awaited for the headliner to take the stage. Captivating siren like vocalization held the attention of the entire house as lights went dim, centering on the banner logo. As the fabric descended to the stage floor, unveiled silhouettes of all four band members were highlighted by the elevated center staging. Each member glowed as they raised welcoming hands into the air.

Photo by Andrea Garman

Soaking in the outpour from adoring fans, lead vocalist Josh Kiszka signaled his twin brother to strike the axe. Guitarist Jake Kiszka began to play the enticing intro of “The Falling Sky” from their 2023 album Starcatcher and drummer Daniel Wagner kicked off the heartbeat of the drums, throwing this chest pounding song into full swing. A sudden explosion of golden pyrotechnics had fans looking to the sky as this shimmering and striking display showered above the stage. This song selection proved to be the perfect way to open this show as the audience went wild with stars in their eyes. Bassist and keyboardist Sam Kiszka provided enchanting supporting vocals while Josh took to the wind of the harmonica, entering a bluesy reed solo. The band immediately transitioned into the cyclone that is “The Indigo Streak” from their 2023 album Starcatcher. Sam and Daniel both taking to the mic at separate times, adding to Josh’s impeccable vocals. Surging with high energy, all four band members performed through glittered, smokey liner, and embellished threads.

Josh playfully spoke his well-known catch phrase into the mic, “smoke ’em if you got ’em”. The house was lit with roaring bursts of flames, mesmerizing lighting, and faceted rhinestones reflecting off the mirrored staging as the crowd entered the ether with these four rock and roll trailblazers leading the way. The band began playing “Lover, Leaver (Taker Believer)” from their 2018 album Anthem of the Peaceful Army. There was a sudden stillness on stage as Josh looked to his brother Jake signaling him to step forward. After displaying his powerhouse vocalization, Josh playfully directed Jake to then “have sex”. With that queue, the talented guitarist performed what can only be described as a euphorically skilled shred. It was truly a spectacle to witness and a testament to Jake’s boundless abilities as a guitarist. The reaction from the audience ranged from complete bright-eyed excitement to speechless astonishment.

Photo by Andrea Garman

Sam and Jake both taking to the reflective stage walkways, their guitars speaking to one another in instrumental harmony while the attention of the audience went from stage left to stage right. An invited case of musical whiplash, ultimately rejoining back at the centered heart of the drums. The band then channeled their calmer side. Josh walked out onto the stage right walkway in his signature midnight blue velvet jumpsuit with sliver toned stars as Jake played an acoustic guitar on the stage left walkway. A night sky background displayed on the center jumbo screen accompanied by starburst lighting while the band beautifully performed “Meeting The Master” from their 2023 album Starcatcher. Through the foggy haze and soft white lighting, these gentlemen had the entire house transfixed.

Taking to a mini stage in the center of the audience, the four band members serenaded the crowd with acoustic renditions of “Waited All Your Life” from their 2023 album Starcatcher and “Black Smoke Rising” from their 2017 album From The Fires. Enjoying some clear bottled libations and playful banter with one another and nearby fans, they continued this relaxed garage like jam session. Josh often taking breaks to address the crowd, gleefully smiling in his white feather sequined jumpsuit. As the band made their way back to the mainstage, each member engaged with fans, getting up close and personal. Coveted white roses soared through the audience and fans reached towards band members as they made their way through the crowd. Infusing the audience with a second dose of high energy, the band performed “Sacred The Thread” and “The Archer” from their 2023 album Starcatcher. Walking towards fans in a gilded sunburst duster and matching pants, Josh was a vision in the stars, shining through colors, gems, and trim.

Photo by Andrea Garman

Proving to be made for the stage, he dazzled beneath dreamy violet and blue lighting, cloaked in freedom sewn. Tossing his duster to the wind, the now shirtless lead singer sang of the archer as the crystal white lighting moved to the rhythm and fog crept towards the audience. The stage turned to fierce red with warm orange undertones as Jake took to a lifted stage, behind Daniel. Set ablaze by a fiery arrow, he played riff after riff through the flames that emitted dragon like smoke behind him. In a dreamlike trance, the guitarist took to center stage and tossed his guitar behind his head, not missing a strum. Fire canons sent flames soaring as Daniel effortlessly played percussion, his drums booming through each dracarys like flare. Fire and brimstone left the stage sizzling, aglow in embers.

As the stage cooled, a starlit moment filled the arena as cellphone lights accompanied cheering fans, chanting for an encore. The band reappeared, performing “Light My Love” from their 2021 album, The Battle At Garden’s Gate. A technicolor moment as rainbow hues filled the eyes of the audience and pride flags swayed amongst fans. The light emitting from the band glowed as bright as the sun, creating a land of infinite wonders. Filling the house with warmth and love, the delicate intro of “Farewell For Now” from their 2023 album Starcatcher began. In brotherly fashion, Jake walked towards Josh’s mic, singing the chorus of this bittersweet song together. Smiling at one another as they lightly embraced, it was evident that it truly means the world to play.

All in attendance that evening wandered through the venue doors, many having been there before. A peaceful army joining the band, wishing they all could stay as the band bid a farewell.

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Review and photos by Andrea Garman @themusiclens.

Keep up with Greta Van Fleet and Teddy Swims:

Greta Van Fleet:
Instagram // Website // Facebook // Twitter // TikTok

Teddy Swims:
Instagram // Website // Facebook // Twitter // TikTok

 

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