Greta Van Fleet’s Epic Homecoming: A Triumph at Little Caesars Arena

In a triumphant return to their home state, Greta Van Fleet took the stage at Little Caesars Arena for a show that was more than just a concert—it was a 2-hour, 10-minute victory lap. Five long years had passed since the Michigan-bred band had graced Detroit with their presence, and this night was destined to be extraordinary. With deep ties to the city, the Frankenmuth four-piece delivered an expansive, explosive performance that left a packed arena in awe. This article dives deep into the memorable night, highlighting the band’s journey, the electrifying show, and the significance of their Detroit homecoming.

The Band’s Detroit Roots

Greta Van Fleet’s roots run deep in Detroit, making this homecoming a particularly special occasion. Hailing from Frankenmuth, Michigan, the four-piece band has always had a profound connection to the Motor City. This show was not just another tour date; it was a momentous event in the band’s career. It marked their largest and most dazzling concert in their home state to date.

Frontman Josh Kiszka kicked off the evening with a warm welcome to the crowd, saying, “Welcome to the family reunion. You ready?!” The enthusiastic response from the audience left no doubt that they were more than ready for what was to come.

Greta Van Fleet’s Remarkable Journey

Greta Van Fleet’s journey to this momentous homecoming has been nothing short of remarkable. Not too long ago, they could be found performing at bars and street fairs in southeast Michigan, honing their craft and developing their unique take on rock music, which drew inspiration from decades past.

Their early years were marked by a relentless pursuit of their musical vision, and they quickly gained recognition for their distinctive sound. However, their ascent to the top was not without challenges, as they faced criticism for drawing comparisons to rock legends Led Zeppelin. Nevertheless, they persevered, staying true to their passion for a sound they had grown up loving.

The band’s trajectory took them from small venues like Saint Andrew’s Hall to larger stages at the Fillmore and the Fox Theatre in Detroit. The pandemic temporarily disrupted their plans, but Friday’s show at Little Caesars Arena was the next logical step in their Detroit journey.

The Grand Homecoming

Greta Van Fleet’s performance at Little Caesars Arena was nothing short of an arena-worthy rock extravaganza. The band spared no expense in delivering a show that left an indelible mark on the audience. The stage was adorned with crisply cut video relays, high-end lighting, and even a satellite stage for an acoustic set. The spectacle also included a dazzling array of pyrotechnics that lit up the night.

A drone, weaving through the arena, captured footage for what promised to be a cutting-edge concert film, adding a futuristic touch to the evening. The grand setting elevated the band’s musical personalities, allowing each member to shine in their own right.

  • Josh Kiszka: The charismatic frontman, despite an apparent bout of bronchitis, was an elfin bundle of vocal energy, captivating the audience with his presence and powerful vocals.
  • Jake Kiszka: The nimble-fingered guitarist embodied rock-guitar cool, delivering electrifying solos and riffs that resonated with fans.
  • Sam Kiszka: A multi-instrumentalist, Sam seamlessly transitioned from bass to piano to organ to Mellotron, showcasing his versatility and musical prowess.
  • Danny Wagner: The drummer proved to be the agile and hard-pounding backbone of the band, complete with an old-fashioned drum solo that left the crowd in awe.

Musical Evolution and “Starcatcher”

Since their last Detroit appearance at the Fox Theatre in 2018, Greta Van Fleet has not only upgraded their stage presence but also honed their musical skills. Friday’s performance showcased a well-drilled unit whose chemistry had become instinctive, allowing for moments of fluid improvisation. The show was filled with lengthy, sky-reaching jams and instrumental heroics, all while Josh Kiszka’s vocal prowess shone through.

Their latest album, “Starcatcher,” released in July, marked a significant milestone in the band’s musical evolution. It is the most cohesive and compelling of their three full-length albums and continues the trajectory that began with the breakout songs that captured the rock world’s attention in 2017.

Friday’s setlist was dominated by new material, with “The Falling Sky” and “The Indigo Streak” setting the stage for a night of musical excellence. “Heat Above” delivered a blast of melodic uplift, and “Light My Love” prompted an arena-wide singalong. Notably, it also led to a sea of rainbow pride flags being hoisted in salute to Josh Kiszka, who publicly came out in June, demonstrating the band’s commitment to inclusivity and acceptance.

Reimagined Classics

While Greta Van Fleet showcased their new material, they also breathed new life into their older songs. “Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)” from 2018 underwent a transformation, becoming a platform for an epic, multitentacled musical journey. “Black Smoke Rising,” a song from their breakout year of 2017, was rearranged acoustically, supported by a warm bed of three-part harmony, demonstrating the band’s versatility and growth.

A Likable Bunch

One of Greta Van Fleet’s enduring qualities is their likability. Despite their mystical lyrical concepts, flowery album titles, and retro apparel, the band members have an easygoing Midwestern demeanor that endears them to fans. During their national breakout, as they were met with accusations of being “Led Zeppelin knockoffs,” the young musicians responded with polite bewilderment. To them, they were simply immersed in a sound they had grown up loving.

The band’s evolution has taken them beyond the shadow of Led Zeppelin comparisons. While they undeniably owe a debt to the classic rock pantheon, they have matured in their own direction. Greta Van Fleet has carved out an approachable, Instagram-friendly persona that suits the modern era.

A Significant Moment

As the show came to a close, Josh Kiszka took a moment to acknowledge the significance of the night, expressing how monumental it was for all of them. This heartfelt reflection led to the evening’s closing number, a song that he noted was “written for this exact scenario.”

With his arm slung over the shoulder of his twin brother Jake, Josh led the band through the wistful “Farewell for Now.” It was a poignant and fitting conclusion to an unforgettable evening that marked a triumphant return to their Detroit roots.


Greta Van Fleet’s homecoming at Little Caesars Arena was more than just a concert; it was a celebration of their remarkable journey and a testament to their musical evolution. The band’s electrifying performance left no doubt that they have transcended comparisons and forged their own path in the rock music landscape. As they continue to captivate audiences worldwide, their Detroit roots remain a vital part of their identity, and this special night was a poignant reminder of their enduring connection to the Motor City.

Leave a Comment