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8 Reasons Fans Love Greta Van Fleet

Despite the Critics' Disdain

Many music critics disparage Greta Van Fleet, yet the band remains very popular. This article outlines eight reasons fans love Greta Van Fleet despite some critics' derisive reviews.

1. Exuberant, Authentic, & "for the Love of Rock"

You'll need to see Greta Van Fleet live—or check out the scores of live performances recorded by fans and posted on YouTube—to appreciate this one. These guys love playing kick-ass, blues-based rock 'n roll and it shows.

You see their joy:

  • when they smile (especially Josh Kiszka, but really all four of them);

  • when with eyes closed, concentrating, they're immersed in the music (bassist Sam Kiszka & lead guitarist Jake Kiszka in particular);

  • in their glorious intensity (drummer Danny Wagner); and

  • in their not-trying-to-be-cool, genuine groove on stage. Sure, it might look awkward at times, perhaps, but there's no doubt it's authentic.

2. Dynamic Attractiveness

Back in the day we might have used the term "sex appeal", although that's really too narrow an adjective.

A phrase coined by psychologist Dr. Ronald E. Riggio, dynamic attractiveness, describes the band's appeal more accurately. 

As applied to Greta Van Fleet, dynamic attractiveness describes how the band members express their personality via physical movement, stance, body language, and by exhibiting positive affect (emotion).α

The three Kiszka brothers and Danny Wagner also possess what professor Riggio calls static attractiveness, i.e., a person's physical appearance, such as the shape of one's face, physical features, and general body shape.

In addition, the band members often perform shirtless or close to it, in what comes across as a natural and relaxed mode of dress, and only enhances their appeal to female (and, I assume, some male) fans.

3. Greta Van Fleet Does Not Use Auto-Tune

I am not referring to the creative use of Auto-Tune, but to its original purpose—to correct off-pitch sound. Particularly for rock music, Auto-Tune sounds fake.

We want our rock raw, rambunctious, and real. Greta Van Fleet serves it up just like that.

4. Cross-Generational Appeal

Snarky hipster critics enjoy labeling Greta Van Fleet's music in various derisive ways, such as:

  • "made for rock 'n roll Dads and their kids";

  • "trying to appeal to the younger generation never exposed to classic rock"; or

  • "tunes for nostalgic baby boomers";

as if broad appeal is somehow a bad thing.

Appealing to the under-30 demographic seems to be a particular strength for Greta Van Fleet, as a post on the Greta Van Fleet subreddit demonstrates.

5. Family

The Kiszka brothers and Danny Wagner come from loving families.β Their parents expected their sons to do well in school, to not be total idiots as they traversed adolescence, and the parents support their sons' music careers.

Danny Wagner played golf for his high school team and was good enough to pursue a career in the sport. When he chose music instead, his father, who is also the high school's golf coach, supported his son without reservation.

On the Kiszka side of the fence, not only did the parents introduce their boys to a wide variety of musical genres, their chemist father, known affectionately as "Papa Kiszka", plays a mean harmonica and occasionally joins the band on stage, often playing classic Doors or Cream.

Papa Kiszka jamming with the band"Papa Kiszka" jamming with his three sons, Sam, Jake, & Josh Kiszka, and drummer Danny Wagner of Greta Van Fleet

6. Musical Prowess

By almost all accounts, the band members play their instruments with dexterity, artistry, and passion.

7. Fan Appreciation

The members of Greta Van Fleet appreciate their fans, and it's not lip service.

If you're skeptical, ask a few GVF fans if they agree with this statement or not.

8. Exciting Live Shows

Greta Van Fleet's live performances are even better than their studio music.

In fact, you cannot truly appreciate GVF fans' excitement and attraction to the band unless you at least watch several Greta Van Fleet live performances on YouTube.

Actually attending a live performance would, I wager, change some critics' minds if they dared to experience the show with an open mind.


α. Riggio, Ronald E., Keith F. Widaman, Joan S. Tucker, and Charles Salinas. "Beauty is more than skin deep: Components of attractiveness." 12 Basic and Applied Social Psychology, no. 4 (1991): 423-439.

βI know that "loving families" doesn't sound cool to the elitist critics, who impose a rock 'n roll litmus test on bands, requiring perpetual adolescent rebellion. I suspect this insistence on an adolescent outlook reflects these critics' developmental stage rather than anything inherent in good rock music.

What Do You Think?

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