The Rock God Says: Greta Van Fleet and the fabulous Arroyo Seco
I MIGHT TELL YOU ABOUT SOME COOL ROCK BANDS.... IF I FEEL LIKE IT
A weekly take from our resident rock critic and expert, The Rock God.
Greta Van Fleet is nothing more than a cheaply made Disney fairy tale about a young band sent to revive classic rock in the 21st century. With the help of the popular media, the band exploded into the public sphere in 2017. Rolling Stone magazine praised the group’s first release, From The Fires, and even suggested they were the band to save rock n’ roll. Sadly, Rolling Stone gave up on originality decades ago. If the Hard Rock Cafe had a house band, it would be Greta Van Fleet. They perfected the art of imitation, and took advantage of the desperation for rock in the industry.
The group’s greatest defect is the lead singer: a young teen from Michigan who belts out lyrics like a young Robert Plant. His on-stage mannerisms are also heavily influenced by the Led Zeppelin frontman; so much so that the band receives considerable attention for this comparison. Their Youtube videos are filled with comments like, “That kids spirit animal is Robert Plant,” and “Led Zeppelin is Reborn.” For popularity’s sake, this uncanny resemblance is a gold mine for the young band. For orginality’s sake, this is mercury to the ears.
Don’t get me wrong, the four kids are talented and clearly have a passion for 60s and 70s rock. According to interviews, their knowledge of classic rock is inspiring. They are also very young, maybe the youngest band playing at Coachella this year. [They graduated high school in 2017]. With that being said, the band has years to prove they are more than just a historical attraction. Until then, enjoy the teen Disney flick that is Greta Van Fleet.
Alright, I’m done trashing innocent teenagers, it is time for some good news. The rock heavens (my future home) gifted us with the Arroyo Seco Festival this June in Pasadena, California. The guitar-heavy lineup was recently announced, and it’s a thick and stiff middle finger to trendy festivals around the world. You get everything from Neil Young to Gary Clark Jr. to Jeff Goldblum. That’s right, Jeff Goldblum. Not sure what the fuck he’s doing, but the lineup rocks. Other artists include Jack White, Pretenders, Alanis Morissette, and many more. Festival organizers successfully incorporated relevant acts of all ages. Neil Young might be the oldest musician in the world who can still rock out like it’s 1975.
The president of Goldenvoice (the company in charge of the festival) was recently interviewed about the rock-heavy lineup. “I didn’t necessarily set out to say, ‘OK, you have to have a guitar to play the show,’ but the style of the show lends itself to the guitar.” In the festival’s second year, Goldenvoice hopes to attract fans across all generations. They accomplished this last year with bands like Mumford and Sons and Tom Petty. The lineup matured a bit this year, and Arroyo Seco looks to be a promising festival for the future.
“Hear my words and take heed
I was born on Olympus
To my father a son
I was raised by the demons
Trained to reign as the one
God of thunder and rock and roll
The spell you’re under
Will slowly rob you of your virgin soul”
-The Rock God