Concert review: TESLA Dominates Boise
I’m sure somewhere along the course of Tesla‘s quarter-plus century career they have performed a show or two that have not been up to their standard, but to date I have yet to experience one. Having lived in the Bay Area during their early career peak I have seen them more than most. Over the last decade another half-dozen shows have gone in the books for me, and still, not a complaint, ever.
The band, which remains Jeff Keith (vocals), Frank Hannon (guitars), Brian Wheat (bass) and Troy Luccketta (drums), and now also features Dave Rude (guitars), is simply one of the most consistent and entertaining live acts one could hope to experience. Friday night at the Boise Knitting Factory was far from an exception. But I digress…
Before Tesla took the stage, local melodic hard rockers, Gypsy Saints did more than kick off the night’s event. Prior to the first resonating note from Ken Mansfield’s guitar rang out, the raucous crowd were cheering so loudly one would have thought it was the headliner taking the stage early. Tesla supplied the dynamite, but Gypsy Saints lit that fuse…
Frontman Gerrard Anthony owned the audience from the moment he hit the stage, while the rhythm section of bassist Dan Garrett and drummer Marlon Roubideaux propelled each song forward. Keyboardist Phillip Sumpter added the perfect touch. Mansfield’s fretwork was nothing less than stellar. The group played several tracks from their forthcoming eponymous debut full length album due out this summer.
Then there was Teslafication:
The quintet from Sacramento, California gave fans everything they could have asked for Friday night. The 15-song set was loaded with hits and highlights from their various albums going back to 1986’s platinum debut, “Mechanical Resonance” to the most recent, 2008’s “Forever More“. Even better, they performed a new song as well.
The show kicked off with “I Wanna Live” from “Forever More” before dipping back to 1989’s “The Great Radio Controversy” for “Hang Tough”. From that same album they also performed the crux of their set with; “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)”, “Love Song”, “Lazy Days, Crazy Nights”, “The Way It Is” and an acoustic rendition of “Paradise” with Wheat handling keyboard duties.
The set’s third track was a new song, “Taste My Pain”, which Hannon and Keith were recently in the studio working on. It has that classic Tesla vibe, and it grabbed the crowd instantly.
From 1994’s “Bust A Nut“, Tesla gave an inspired performance of “Mama’s Fool”. This was the track stuck in my head at the end of the night. They tapped “What You Give” from 1991’s “Psychotic Supper”, and I have to admit I’d hoped for another track or two from that brilliant record, but one simply cannot complain with the song selection overall.
Midway through the set they sat down for a few acoustic tracks which included the aforementioned “Paradise”, the title track from 2004’s “Into the Now” and “Comin’ Atcha Live/Truckin'” from 1990’s “Five Man Acoustical Jam“. And of course they also tuned up an acoustic/electric rendition of “Signs”.
Tesla closed it all out to a crowd on fire with two songs from their debut album; the band’s first hit single, “Modern Day Cowboy” and finally, “Little Suzi”.
It was another amazing performance by a timeless band that blends classic hard rock with a bluesy bent. A new album cannot come soon enough. Gypsy Saints and Tesla made Friday, June 21, 2013 a night to remember for the hundreds of Treasure Valley rockers in attendance. It was a treat and an honor to witness.
All photos by and © 2013 Suzette Mansfield Photography and Rustyn Rose for Metalholic.
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