When ‘dreams in gold’ become reality

Greta Van Fleet rocked the stage at the Resch center after rescheduled tour date

By Rachel Sankey

Twin brothers Jake and Josh Kiszka performing “When the Curtain Falls” at the Resch. Rachel Sankey Photos

After a rescheduled tour date and four long months of waiting, the time finally came for rock band Greta Van Fleet (GVF) and its Green Bay fanbase to come together and celebrate the gift of music and connecting with one another on Tuesday, July 26, at the Resch Center.

As the curtains fell and revealed band members Josh Kiszka, Jake Kiszka, Sam Kiszka and Danny Wagner on the stage – donned in glimmer, gold and stardust – the sold-out crowd immediately erupted into cheers.

One could say the fans’ dreams in gold finally became a reality.

The fire on stage made for a great photo of Jake Kiszka performing.

I spent the first three songs (“Built by Nations,” “When the Curtain Falls” and “Safari Song”) up at the front between the pit and stage, snapping shots.

Let me tell you – ear plugs were no match for the energy the band members and fans volleyed back and forth.

As Josh and the audience belted lyrics together, the fleet continued to turn up the heat – quite literally – with fire shooting up on the stage, illuminating the gold and glitter and Josh’s face.

Listening to Greta’s music through earbuds is one thing – experiencing the songs live is another.

The one word that keeps coming back into mind is ethereal.

The conglomeration of the musicians’ celestial outfits, to the array of colors and lighting and the times where the crowd rocked back and forth with their hands in the air to solo and instrumental portions of the performance, made the entire arena turn into a place where the line that defines reality from paradisiacal disappears – and that feeling didn’t stop until Josh, Jake, Sam and Danny took their final bow.

What also struck me as particularly special to GVF’s concert was the span of generations that were in attendance.

Young or old, fans of rock music or new to the scene – everyone came together to celebrate music, love and the trials we’ve all faced over the last few years.

Greta Van Fleet’s drummer, Danny Wagner, agreed with my sentiment over a phone call I had with him the day after.

Wagner said being in Green Bay brought back some nostalgia, as he and the rest of the band grew up in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

“It was just super special,” Wagner said. “First of all, these types of venues – the size of the little arenas – are definitely a first for us. So, it’s a bit of an adjustment. But Tuesday night’s venue in particular was super special. I think we all agreed after the show that it was one of the best sounding shows for us; everything worked in everyone’s favor, and the intimacy with the crowd was absolutely there.”

All four members are fellow Midwesterners, and grew up in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Wagner said to be back in the Midwest territory offered some nostalgia.

“Green Bay was beautiful,” he said. “The weather was gorgeous. It was exactly how we remembered it.”

The drummer was even able to spend some time golfing the morning of the concert, a hobby he said he enjoys.

After a short hiatus from the Dreams in Gold tour in the spring due to illness within the band, Wagner said being back on tour has been a wonderful feeling, and is most grateful that both him and his band mates and their fan base have remained healthy.

“We are putting all of ourselves into it,” he said. “It’s been so long since we’ve really done this, and we’re just finally getting settled with the touring atmosphere and lifestyle again.”

Josh summed up the overall message of the concert before playing “Heat Above.”

“Life itself is a celebration of love,” he said to the crowd. “And if there is no love, you must provide it. That’s what we’re doing here tonight – we’re celebrating in this place together.”

GVF closed out the night with “My Way, Soon.”

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Rachel Sankey is the editor of Green Bay City Pages. She can be reached via email at [email protected]

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