My friends and I quickly became Greta Van Fleet fans after listening to their viral hit “Heat Above” in 2021. So, when we heard the group scheduled a stop in Indianapolis in 2023 for their “Starcatcher” tour, we purchased our tickets excitedly. The concert took place on Friday, Sept. 22 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis, and I have several thoughts about the whole experience.
Parking downtown was surprisingly (and pleasantly) not a struggle. After a quick seven-minute walk from the car, we were already at the venue. Gainbridge’s security was standard and efficient enough to get elaborately-dressed fans into the building quickly. The facility looked clean and the staff helped keep the crowd and processes orderly.
Indie Rock band “Surf Curse,” which I was unfamiliar with until then, opened the concert at 7:15 p.m. as fans piled into the pit, floor seats and other stadium seating areas. As attendees found their assigned seats, we were handed slips of colored paper special to our pertaining seating sections with instructions to shine our phone flashlight through the paper when the song “Light My Love” was played.
For around $80 per ticket, our seats rested on the second level directly across from the stage, where we had a great view. Greta Van Fleet opened with a dramatic music score and drop of a curtain, singing and performing passionately. Although, I must admit I am more of a casual fan compared to my friends and did not know all of the songs they played, the band put on a great, entertaining show for everyone. I loved the ABBA/Elton John-esc costumes the four donned and watching main singer Josh Kiszka change between magnificent outfits was a blast. I felt as if the members had a great dynamic. Each performer was able to display his respective talent throughout the night with the active support of the other three. The band also did something unique in which I have not seen at any other concert I have attended before—they all moved to a smaller stage at the other end of the stadium for a few songs so the people farther away from the main stage could have a chance at a better view of the performance. That move showed how much the band values their fans and attendees, in my opinion.
Despite the overall wonderful experience I had that evening, I do have two complaints about the overall concert. Firstly—and this is more of a personal issue—I thought the volume of the concert was overwhelming. I feel like some of the clarity of the audio was lost to the sheer loudness of it. Secondly—and most importantly to me—the performance included an abundance of flashing strobe lights. I feel like the lights were overused, and they disrupted my ability to open my eyes and actively watch what was going on during a large portion of the concert. It is also an important factor to consider that those fans in attendance with epilepsy may be negatively affected by the excess of flashing lights, as well.
All-in-all, I loved the performance Greta Van Fleet put on in Indianapolis. The group’s modern take on classic rock-n-roll is a breath of fresh air for fans of Queen, Elton John, ABBA, Rush and more. Additionally, it was awe-inspiring to see that my green glow from the slip of paper was only one of many colors around the stadium in a rainbow “Light [of] Love.” In the end, watching Greta Van Fleet perform live in concert only makes me want to listen to their music more.