TESLA CHARGES CANYON CLUB

FALL TOUR 2018 CA  By William Derham 

It’s always a exceptional treat when a band capable of filling stadiums and arenas plays a small venue like the user friendly Canyon Club in Agoura, allowing fans to connect intimately with their high voltage, melodic, hard rock.

Formed in Sacramento in 1984 during the height of Glam Metal, Tesla bucked that scene for a more blue-collar, the genuine vibe that has served them well ever since. Their debut album, “Mechanical Resonance” released in 1987 was a gem, loaded with polished, hard-driving jams and a splendid mash-up of acoustic and electric guitar majesty. Tonight’s show caught the boys in good form and high spirits.

Charismatic frontman, Jeff Keith oozes rockstar magnetism with his raspy vocals, infectious enthusiasm, commanding stage presence, beaming smile, and just plain cool guy swagger. During the course of the evening’s festivities he flawlessly executed an array of badass moves including a behind the back hat-toss that landed accurately 20ft away in the lap of the mixing board dude stage left and a stool spinning stunt while in mid song.

They came out blazing with a slew of smokin’ tracks from the first album, “I Wanna Live”, “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)”,  and my personal fave “Hang Tough.”  Six songs into the show they shifted into acoustic mode for a nod to their 1991 release “Five Man Acoustical Jam” that included “Cumin’ Atcha Live” and a big crowd pleaser/sing-a-long “Signs.” Included in the set was a cover of “Blue Sky” paying homage to the Allman Brothers Band.

Original guitarist, Frank Hannon traded riff-tastic licks with showy axe meister Dave Rude creating dynamic dual twin leads with the greatest of ease. Rude is the newest member joining in 2006 replacing Tommy Skeoch adding ample sonic muscle and primal power to the fray. Hannon busted out his theremin (an electronic instrument that generates a unique tone from two high frequency oscillators controlled by hand movement toward and away from the circuit) producing some interesting cosmic contours to “Edison’s Medicine (Man Out of Time).” Hannon also took a moment to express their heartfelt thanks to the Tesla fans for supporting them for the past 30yrs. Super cool this band was able to weather some very public drug issues and not only survive but thrive and continue to kick ass!

Tesla is scheduled to release new music in 2019 entitled “Shock” produced by Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen and the band will perform at the Rose Club in Pasadena in Feb.

SETLIST

I WANNA LIVE

HANG TOUGH

HEAVEN’S TRAIL (NO WAY OUT)

MAMA’S FOOL

THE WAY IT IS

CUMIN’ ATCHA LIVE

LAZY DAYS, CRAZY NIGHTS

PARADISE

SIGNS

WHAT YOU GIVE

EDISON’S MEDICINE(MAN OUT OF TIME)

BLUE SKY 

LOVE SONG

LITTLE SUZI

MODERN DAY COWBOY