by Joe Dolan
– Guest Columnist —
August 2, 2014 at at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA. —
On a muggy Aug. 2, 2014, packed venue saw and listened to Bay Area rockers Tesla perform their 90-minute show of their headline 2014 Simplicity tour. The show started at 9 p.m. with no opening bands and once they were on stage, they opened with “MP3” from their new album Simplicity, then to “Edison’s Medicine.” It was non-stop with the audience standing, jumping, dancing and some sitting because the venue is a dinner theater. The crowd sang the songs with the band which got louder, especially when they performed “Signs,” “The Way It Is,” Modern Day Cowboy”, “Love Song” and “Getting’ Better.”
Jeff Keith controlled the stage with Mick Jagger-like moves while Frank Hannon and Dave Rude traded off between acoustic and electric guitars and solos. Brian Wheat and Troy Luccketta were locked on the tempo. The songs performed from their new album Simplicity we also “Burning to Fade” and “Life Is A River.”
The show ended with the encore “Little Suzi,” though they could have played for 3 to 4 hours if adding more songs from their debut and earlier albums.
Touring in support of their seventh studio release, Tesla performed to a sold out crowd at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA on August 2nd, 2014. The new album, titled Simplicity, features 14 original songs with two bonus tracks on the Japanese released version of the CD. Gaining immediate traction upon release, the straight forward hard rockers landed on the Billboard Top 200 at number 24 with first week sales boasting over 14,000 copies; a more than admiral feat for a band that got it’s legs during the MTV Headbanger’s Ball generation.
Simplicity was released to the general public on June 10th through all music retail outlets. The bands easily identifiable logo graces the jacket in black and white and the songs feature founding guitarist Frank Hannon’s unique and straight from the gut blues laden rhythms and melodious solos. Throughout the CD, songs offer hook laden acoustic guitar rhythms that delicately blend with clean distortion to create an evolution of sound for the band that holds true to their history in creating hard rock classics.
Front man and vocalist Jeff Keith shares, “We always make a record we love and you guys say, we don’t like it, but we like it and that’s good enough for us.”
When asked about the recording sessions, where rumors have circulated about the band having recorded 28 tracks for CD, Keithshares, “We decided on the bus the other day that all these demos songs that didn’t make the record, for our 30th anniversary we can put out a box set. The problem is, we have to find all those old recordings.”
On June 7th, the band released a video for the song So Devine, a chilling homage to a close friend of the band that had recently passed away. Response to the video has earned more than 86,000 views on YouTube and Vevo in the first two months and has gained a new following for the band in both listenership and concert turnout.
On stage, four of the founding five members of the band performed with guitarist Dave Rude who has been the consistent rhythm guitarist in the band since replacing Tommy Skeoch, who took time off for personal reasons in 2006. The set list offered tracks from the new album and a friendly reminder of the music that broke the band in the 80’s, ending with three tracks from the bands first CD,Mechanical Resonance.
The set was performed as follows:
02. Edison’s Medicine
03. I Wanna Live
04. Hang Tough
05. So Devine
06. Heaven’s Trail
07. Mama’s Fool
08. Life Is A River
09. The Way It Is
10. Burnout To Fade
11. What You Give
13. Love Song
14. Getting’ Better
15. Modern Day Cowboy
16. Little Suzi
The show at the Canyon Club marks the end of the western leg of the tour and offers the band an eight day reprieve before continuing at the Hampton Beach Club Casino in New Hampshire and crossing the Midwest to bring the band back to California, and as scheduled, a finishing performance in Las Vegas at the East Side Cannery Casino.
Tesla is also scheduled to perform as part of the line-up on the Monster’s Of Rock Cruise Miami on April 22nd, 2015.
Follow the band online by visiting their official website at www.TeslaTheBand.com. Social media links are available on the website.