Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009

05/14/2018

Tesla at Chinook Winds on May 11/12, 2018 Photos

By BRENT ANGELO //

Tesla first came on the music scene in the late 80s with their first record, Mechanical Resonance. At the height of the “hair bands” era, Tesla were simply T-shirt and jeans kind of guys.

They put their focus on writing good songs and giving it their all-in concert. Tesla worked hard, toured heavily, and they built their fan base the right way. Tesla turned out great follow-up records like The Great Radio Controversy, Psychotic Supper to name a few with their most recent being Simplicity. Their career in music spans 30 plus years. During that time, they also took time to “unplug” and released their Five Man Acoustical Jam, which included their hit cover of “Signs” by Five Man Electrical Band.

The blending of acoustic and electric guitars is one of Tesla’s music strengths. Frank Hannon (guitar) and Dave Rude (guitar) complement each other nicely. They are backed by a strong rhythm section in Brian Wheat (bass) and Troy Luccketta (drums). At lead vocals, Jeff Keith is their charismatic, lead singer. Tesla is currently putting their final changes on their new album that is being produced by Def Leppard’s lead guitarist, Phil Collen. The new album is due this summer and they will once again be hitting the road in support of it with Styx and Joan Jett.

In the meantime, Tesla just played two headlining shows at the Chinook Winds in Lincoln City. They filled up the place both days and treated their fans to a mix of electric favorites like “Modern Day Cowboy” and “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)”.

Tesla also did an acoustic set that stripped down some of their electric classics like “Cummin' Atcha Live” and “Lazy Days, Crazy Nights”. The shows would dig deeper into their catalog with rare versions of “Song and Emotion” (in tribute to Def Leppard’s guitarist Steve Clark) and “Paradise”. These two shows gave fans different sets of music and a chance to get up close and personal with them. After 32 years, Tesla proved they are still a force live and the devotion by their fans is equally as strong.

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