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Tesla



Date: 8/24/06
Venue: House of Blues, Atlantic City , NJ
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
 

As the early 90's rolled in and grunge rock took over the radio and MTV, and even to this day, many of Tesla's hard rockin peers either disappeared or cut there hair and changed their sound to accommodate the current rock trends. Look at Tommy Lee now with his “hip” spiky red streaked do on the Supernova TV show and Skid Row with their modern punk tainted/Green Gayish sound with Rachel and Snake trying to be cool with spiked/dyed hair cuts. What about Warrant and Firehouse with their current clean cut image and weak guitar sounding albums ready to play an episode of Dawson 's Creek. How hard are these guys trying to appeal to a younger audience. Need I say more its sad.

After disbanding for several years to pursue other musical projects, here we are in 2006 20 years later and Tesla still look the same sporting blue jeans and T shirts and they surely did not alter there hard rockin sound. Right down to guitarist Frank Hannon's double neck Gibson which is a key to their sound and singer Jeff Keith's bluesy vocals these guys proved their music is timeless. Unfortunately long time guitarist Tommy Skeoch apparently, according to Jeff, is no longer in the band and not just for touring. He is replaced by more than a capable player Dave Rude who oddly enough looks almost like Tommy while his playing is as n synch with Frank as this once great two guitar attack team of Hannon/ Skeoch was.

Prime examples of Tesla's talent is in…. well….just every song. But you can really get a grasp on the two guitar work with show opener “ Comin at you Live” as the leads are a veritable shred feast and Frank and Dave play everything note for note, especially Frank. Dave does do slight variations of Tommy's parts. And I never say note for note when it comes to guitar leads. Its uncanny how on the money their musicianship is. Same with the guitar tones, its like listening to the album.

Their set was basically all the obvious including “Little Suzi ”, “Love Song”, Signs”, “What you Give”, “Edison's Medicine”(which sounded a little flat is the vocal harmonies and lacked the energy of the original), title track off “Into the Now” and “The Way it Is”. Too much down time was taken up with four ballads in the set and they just rock so much better with heavier songs like “Modern Day Cowboy” and the slide guitar southern vibed “Heaven's Trail” which are still highlights for me.

They also did a cover of Lynyrd Skynard's “Saturday Night Special” mentioning it will be part of an all covers album to be recorded in the new year along with a new studio album.

I am so glad Tesla never succumbed to the pitfalls of peer pressure and wuss out their music. Even with their latest release “Into the Now”, which does have a slight updated feel, is not weak. The guitars are still in your face unlike some of the other bands previously mentioned. O….shall I name a few more who should be carrying around pocket books?

 
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