Rock and roll took center stage Thursday night as Greta Van Fleet became the first non-country artist to make headlines at the FirstBank Amphitheater.

The new Franklin, TN site officially opened on Tuesday with a country jamboree celebration. Entry to this venue was by invitation only, however, so Thursday’s show marked the first-ever paid performance of the FirstBank Amphitheater. Franklin’s newest addition offers a beautiful place to catch a show. The open-air concert hall is a former amphitheater turned into a quarry and is a wonderful environment.

Cedric Burnside led the evening with a blues-style performance as the crowd entered the FirstBank Amphitheater. As beautiful as the new venue was, traffic was an issue as it took customers almost an hour to walk the 5 mile stretch to the vicinity of the theater. Those who arrived on time saw a quick but engaging performance from Burnside. The Memphis native, 42, helped turn the crowd up in the early evening by showcasing his guitar skills and smoky, gritty voice.

The southern charm didn’t stop there, as the South Carolina duo Shovels & Rope brought their American rock sound to the stage. The self-proclaimed “rock and roll mom and dad” performed a set of eight songs. The majority of their 45-minute performance featured Michael Trent on guitar and vocals, while Cary Ann Hearst did the drums and vocals. However, the couple changed things halfway through the shoot.

The highlight of their set was an acoustic rendition of “By Blood” as the duo shared a microphone. As Trent held on during the vocals, Hearst’s powerful voice, combined with his southern twang, picked up the song which was applauded by Franklin audiences.

The spirit of the 70s was alive and well even before Greta Van Fleet even set foot on stage. While Led Zeppelin undoubtedly swayed the headliners, that ’70s state of mind of peace, love and understanding caught on in a video that aired before the group performed. . If this introduction had taken place in the heart of industrialized downtown Nashville, it wouldn’t have worked out as well. However, the outer setting in the middle of nowhere provided by the FirstBank Amphitheater worked for Greta Van Fleet.

The show felt like a celebration as the rockers opened their Visit of strange horizons. Greta Van Fleet’s staging featured all-white backdrop, curtains on the floor, which was wiped and cleaned by the band’s crew before filming.

Amid the band’s guitar and jam-laden set, singer Josh Kiszka acknowledged the band’s history on Thursday. “You know, I guess technically we name this scene and this place somehow,” singer Josh Kiszka said. “We arrived here this morning, and it sounded absolutely beautiful. I can tell you now that it looks almost 1000% more beautiful with you in it.

While Josh’s vocal ability drew comparisons to Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant, it wasn’t singer Greta Van Fleet who stole the show. Instead, the instrumentals packed a powerful punch for the band, namely Jake Kiszka on guitar. After “Weight of Dreams”, Jake and drummer Daniel Wagner parted ways in a stretched performance. It wasn’t bossy, and it wasn’t too much, as fans were engaged in taking over the couple.

After an 11-song main set, the group closed the night with a three-song encore, featuring fan favorites. The band led the return to the stage with “Age of Man”, followed by their very first song “Highway Tune”. The evening ended with the live debut of “My Way, Soon”, which sounded like the end of a storybook.

the Visit of strange horizons continues later this month, with the remaining dates listed here.

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