Very rarely does the hype ever live up to the expectations.

Rarer still is when the real thing surpasses those expectations like a  runaway train rolling fast and furious past stations and crossings leaving nothing behind but molten steel rails.

Much hyperbole? More simply the truth.

Greta Van Fleet has caught tremendous buzz in a music landscape that has little to offer of it, yet so desperately needs it.

The band’s very first single “Highway Tune,” released at the end of  March has caught fire with radio, something that just doesn’t happen anymore. Or until Greta Van Fleet tapped into something that has been lacking from a lot of music over the last decade or so; reverence to the old and a talent to turn that into something familiar, yet new.

The Led Zeppelin comparisons are too easy (and lazy). The band pulls from a diverse list of artists much as Zeppelin did. Greta Van Fleet is putting the soul (and R&B) back into rock and roll. Muddy Waters,  Marvin Gaye, Queen, Creedence, The Yardbirds, Cream, Dio and Sabbath,  all are in the mix. It is not a pose or an act of imitation being the sincerest form of flattering. The young band from Frankenmuth,  Michigan less than 100 miles away from Motown, gets and understands how the past informs the present and future in a way that so many bands never get even the slightest feel for.

The band laid down a searing 60-minute plus set in the equally hot and humid Funhouse at Mr. Smalls on Oct. 5. A band playing with only one single and four-song EP sold out the Funhouse on a weeknight. There are established acts that can’t do that.

And the EP only hints at the talent of the band live. Improvising and watching each other for cues, the band plays with a swagger and skill that surpasses their young age.

Vintage Trouble has done it. So have Fitz and the Tantrums. Both bands are now playing large venues with a plethora of fans. Both have moved from the small clubs to headlining festivals.

You can add Greta Van Fleet to that list. If you were at the Funhouse on Thursday night, you’ll have that fabled tale that all rock fans crave (no matter how much they deny it) that you saw the band play a  175-cap room. Next time, the band comes through Pittsburgh, they will be playing to much larger crowds and deservedly so.

For more photos, check out The Swerve Magazine’s Instagram page here

To read our interview with Sam Kiszka, click