Well, the hugely anticipated gig has arrived and I went into the venue, Academy One, Manchester, with mixed feelings. Having listened to Greta Van Fleet’s latest album “Anthem of the peaceful army” and rating it quite high, I was still hearing average reviews. Personally, I like Led Zeppelin so to hear that this band has been called a Led Zeppelin tribute band did not bother me.
First up though was Goodbye June – who I have also listened to and really enjoy their music. The boys, from Tennessee, are inspired by classic rock and gospel and they have mixed the two really well with their powerful gritty alt-rock set. Lead singer Landon Milbourn produces really strong vocals while Brandon Qualkenbush (rhythm guitar), and Tyler Baker (lead guitar) played really well together. Now added to my Spotify playlist, I shall be catching this band again when next in town.
The main band arrived on stage a little later than scheduled, to a loud crowd welcome. With Josh Kitska throwing a handful of white roses into the crowd, and also sharing a joke with a fan who gestured towards his watch. Bursting into the first song ‘Highway Tune’ shortly followed by ‘The Cold Wind’, they had the crowd in the palm of their hands. They continued their strong start with ‘Flower Power’ and ‘You’re the one’ the crowd roaring when Josh’s twin brother Jake rocked the guitar at the front of the stage. This lad has energy! He moved around for the full set, putting lots of feeling into his performance and playing half of a song with the guitar behind his head! Bare-footed younger brother bassist Samuel puts on a great performance and along with family friend drummer Daniel this band really have a great connection. ‘When the curtain falls’ lifted the crowd even more admittedly this is one of my favourites too. Following this was Melanie cover ‘Lay Down’ ‘Watching over’ and ‘Brave New World’ and an encore to a delighted crowd.
They played in very low light at times, and the band were silhouetted against a smoke screen but I think this adding to the atmosphere this young band created. When listening to the band play it is definitely easy to forget their ages; Josh and Jake are 22, Sam 19 and Danny 19. In summary, this was a lively energetic set from a young up and coming band. Yes, they do sound Led Zeppelin-esque in parts, but so what, they’re good rock n’ roll. They certainly have my vote, and my advice would be – don’t listen to the critics, buy the ticket, go see the band.