by Kathy Kindred
– Editor in Chief —
Feb. 3, 2015 at the Midland Theater in Kansas City, MO. —
As expected, Tesla brought its A-game to Kansas City. The band has been coming to Kansas City for 28 years, and Tesla’s diehard Kansas Citian fans keep the band coming back year after year, sometimes more than once a year.
Tesla is known for being loud, and at the Midland Theatre, the band’s sound was explosive. There were ticket-holders seated right in front of the speaker stacks; it’s amazing their ears weren’t bleeding from the booming basslines, which made your heart feel like it would beat right out of your chest.
The band kicked off its set with “MP3,” the first track off its recently released Simplicity album, which brought the crowd to its feet, and heads started banging. Dave Rude and Frank Hannon dazzled the crowd with their tight and perfectly synchronized guitar playing. Surprisingly, Jeff Keith’s vocals have not deteriorated over the course of Tesla’s long career. He continues to have that throaty, sultry sound and still can hit the higher notes. And it has to be said that Keith is one of the most animated, crowd-interactive vocalists of any band. Even during guitar solos, Keith always is moving and grooving to the music.
The band’s set included an equal mix of new material from Simplicity and its classic hits, such as “Edison’s Medicine,” “The Way It Is,” “What You Give,” “Signs” and, of course, “Love Song.” Obviously, the crowd loved hearing Tesla’s older hits, but the band’s newest material also had fans cheering and hollering.
Hannon noticed that fans sitting near the stage were wearing dated Tesla shirts; ones from 1987, 1992, 1997, 2001, 2012 and 2014. He commented that it was like seeing the band’s career flow right in front of the band members; it was the perfect segue into the band’s song, “Life Is A River” off of Simplicity.
Musically, guitarists Hannon and Rude, bassist Brian Wheat and drummer Troy Luccketta remain tight as ever. The guitar duets of Hannon and Rude simply were amazing, and Luccetta was phenomenal on drums. When Tesla performs, the band gives its all with every performance, and the Kansas City show was no exception. The only negative about the show is that there was no photographer pit, and photographers were forced to stand in front of the side speaker stacks. It’s unclear whether Tesla or the venue requested that set-up, but it was cumbersome for those covering the show. However, Tesla never fails to deliver a great show, and it was well worth covering.
• Jeff Keith – lead vocals
• Frank Hannon – guitars, vocals, piano, bass
• Brian Wheat – bass, vocals, piano
• Troy Luccketta – drums, percussion
• Dave Rude – guitars, vocals, bass
Tesla Concert Photo Gallery
2. Edison’s Medicine (Man Out of Time)
3. I Wanna Live
4. Hang Tough
5. So Divine…
6. Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)
7. Mama’s Fool
8. Life Is a River
9. The Way It Is
10. What You Give
11. Signs (Five Man Electrical Band cover)
12. Love Song
13. Break of Dawn
14. Gettin’ Better
15. Modern Day Cowboy
16. Little Suzi