That above friends is proof of purchase that the Mechanical Resonance Cowboys known as Tesla rolled into Tbay playing a full on (kinda) Unplugged Set.
Fellow Blogger J asked for this review…so here we go!
So when Tickets went on sale Tbone pounced on Tickets quick as this show was gonna be sold out and by golly it did. Kinda funny and cool in the same breath that it took 15 years after the original 5 Man Acoustical Jam to reach these parts but then again up to this point Tesla never really played Canada that much. Sure me and Tbone caught em opening for Motley Crue back in 1990 in Winnipeg but for them to come here was a good score. Tesla played this dump called Warp 9 which is long gone in which originally was a movie theatre(Odeon Court). Little known fact that this was the building I had seen Star Wars back in 1977 with my Dad! Movie Trivia time Mikey Ladano!
So the Tesla dudes that being guitarists Tommy Skeoch/Frank Hannon,vocalist Jeff Keith,bassist Brian Wheat and drummer Troy Lucketta stepped up to the stage and the crowd went nut’s and the boys launched into Cumin Atcha Live and I tell ya it was like it was off the record. Keith’s vocals 15 years after the original release were clear and crisp and the dude did not lose an octave in that throat of his.
Once the opening tune was finished it was onto the current album and title of said record and that would be the tune Into The Now. Tesla was firing on all cylinders and this continued throughout the show as all of Tesla’s catalogue was played. Edison’s Medicine/Gettin Better/Paradise and one of the coolest ever swampy acoustic like opening riff’s and that would be Heaven’s Trail. Not to be outdone Heaven’s Trail was followed by Hang Tough.
A real cool part of the show was when Keith announced to the crowd that they were gonna jam around in which they did and when Bassist Brian Wheat hoped on the keyboards Guitarist Frank Hannon took over on lead vocals and sang The Beatles Get Back.
One of my personal fav’s from the Acoustical Jam album was Tommy’s Down Home in which Skeoch takes the lead vocal over for a quick hilarious acoustic rip of a track. The Lyrics are funny and Tommy man he ain’t no lead singer but man he can make a tune fun! I will say that Tommy is the real deal of Rock N Roll and Tesla has missed his edge since he left over the fact I do believe was he could never handle the Bass Player running the business part of the band. Too bad …Anyways below is a clip of Tesla unplugged from 2005. Since there was no decent Tbay footage(there is but the audio is brutal) Caught In A Dream I posted…Check it out!
The boy’s took a breather and returned for the encore but wait they put down the acoustics and returned with the electric guitars and cranked out a bad ass version of War Pigs that was played with perfection! So cool and So loud as our ear lobes had gotten accustomed to the twang of the acoustic guitars. From there Tesla brought out some local fella who jammed the huge hit Signs with the band and the whole place was rocking in a huge sing along with Keith.
Tesla ended the night with Little Suzi and bid adieu to TBay!
Loved how the band stuck to the whole Acoustic Jam vibe and ramped up electric on War Pigs only to go back to the acoustic’s to close out the show..
This was a great show and not to many of its kind make it here especially a band from California. But even though it wasn’t until 2005 that the Tesla Tour Bus made it here it was well worth the wait.
By the way if your interested …I did review Tesla on there 1992 Psychotic Supper Tour that is around somewhere on this site…..
Smart move by Tesla to release a Live Album saluting their debut from 1986!(all the songs from the 1986 studio album are given the live treatment 30 years later) I first heard of these guys back at the time of the original studio album when I used to watch on a local Tv station a show from Detroit hosted by Doug Powell. The name of the show I can’t recall but was on late Fridays. (Thunder Back than got U.S stations from Detroit and Duluth! )
One episode they played Tesla’s leadoff single Modern Day Cowboy and I was hooked instantly as the vocals by Jeff Keith were real good and also the dual lead guitars of Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch we’re very solid as well. Plus the fact that smack dab in Hairmetal Hairspray Land(1986) bands were becoming the norm but here’s Tesla in T-shirts and jeans plying their own brand of Tesla Rock!
The first time I caught Tesla Live was 1990 on Motley Crue’s Dr Feelgood Tour when it touched down in Winnipeg(review is on this site) Tesla were awesome that night! They opened with CoverQueenwhich blew mine and Tbone’s minds like…..Whut? But it worked.
I was fortunate to have seen them headline in 1992 on the Psychotic Supper Tour in Duluth(review of this show is on this site as well) and again in 2006 when Tesla showed up in Tbay and jammed out a 700 seater and did a whole acoustic set(one day I will get around to reviewing that show)and Man they were so good!
Shortly after Tommy Skoech split Tesla and was replaced by Dave Rude as he joined original dudes Keith/Hannon/ Troy Lucketta and Brian Wheat.
Tesla also had a real good run of 4 albums( 1986-1994 which included Mechanical Resonance/Great Radio Controversy/Psychotic Supper and Bust A Nut) and to this day they still put out occasional albums as they tour none stop.
So here we are 2016 and Here’s the Live Album …
“Mechanical Resonance Live!” track listing:
01. Rock Me to the Top (live)
02. Ez Come Ez Go (live)
03. Gettin’ Better (live)
04. Comin’ Atcha Live (live)
05. Changes (live)
06. Before My Eyes (live)
07. 2 Late 4 Love (live)
08. We’re No Good Together (live)
09. Love Me (live)
10. Cover Queen (live)
11. Lil’ Suzie (live)
12. Modern Day Cowboy (live)
13. Save That Goodness (bonus studio track) (written/produced by Phil Collen)
Boom! So the running order of the Live album is different from the studio one of course and even though the crowd is included in between tracks you can hear a quick change of crowd noise as I think these songs may be have been pulled from other shows and tossed together.
I’m cool with this as it’s live and I have said it before that at times Jeff Keith can wail like a male Janis Joplin. Always dug the man’s voice and why not as here we are 30 years later with his voice still intact. The boys behind him can play. The one thing I did notice is Tesla misses the Loose Cannon style Riff Rock Guitaring of Tommy Skeoch. Make no mistake new boy Dave Rude can play and he plays’s Tommy’s parts but it’s a little more refined whereas Tommy was the renegade on the 6 string. Not a fault to anyone just a different style to my ear’s….
Real cool to hear some of these tracks live(some were on Replugged Live From 2000 but others like Love Me and especially Cover Queen are real good especially during the groovy verses ramping up into the chorus.
Must also mention opener Rock Me To The Top is areal good ass kicker of an opener as Hannon and Rude drive the song with the guitars and I always have and still to this day dig this track!
Save That Goodness is a new studio track produced and co written with Phil Collen (Def Leppard) and its the last track and for Tesla 2016 it’s a good song and its neat to see the boy’s moving forward with a real cool opening like riff that carries the tune. It would be interesting to hear a whole album produced by Collen mixed with Tesla.
As a music lover of hard rock I gotta give some long overdue credit to Tesla and after 230 posts here at Arena Rock it’s about time I drop a studio review on these cats!
For a added bonus check out my very good Blog Pal Mike Ladanos spin on Tesla’s very first album Mechanical Resonance! Click here Peeps….
From Sacramento California comes Jeff Keith,Frank Hannon Troy Luccketta,Brian Wheat and the guy with the coolest name in rock which no one can pronounce Mr Tommy Skeoch!
Mechanical Resonance comes out in 1986 and they hit the ground running with Modern Day Cowboy as the leadoff single and holy hell these guys are fuggin ugly but man they take there craft serious and all the cool rock action is stuffed into the 4 minutes of Modern Day Cowboy! Cool groove cool drums,cool production,good lead and backing vocals,real good dual lead guitar players(take a bow Frank and Tommy) plus they just dressed like normal dudes,t shirts,jeans and you didn’t have a hard time figuring out there image! Unlike Poison with the cover of Look What The Cat Dragged In from 1986 as well I mean we’re the Poison guys dude chicks ?? Geezus Murphy!
Anyhoo 1989 and The Great Radio Controversy is released and its stuffed full of a hour of Tesla rock and some day I gotta slam some words down on that great album but today it’s …..back to 1991 and Tesla feeds us Psychotic Supper(yeah that was a pathetic lead in)
CHANGE IN THE WEATHER-Put this in your pipe and smoke it! Hey man that’s the Tesla boys chirping that through the speakers and Hannon and Skeoch play some funky wah and it jams along with a real cool groove! Tesla man could play there instruments and Change In The Weather is just that! A great friggin opening number and we’ll crank the friggin video! Geez sorry for my tone there folks I think I gotta put something in my pipe and smoke it!
EDISONS MEDICINE- some real crazy wild playing at the beginning and man that has to be Skeoch for me this band has not been the same since he split or booted or whatever the problem was with him. This song has a real good verse and Jeff Keith the fucker can sing I mean to me at times he sounds like a dude version of Janis Joplin he can sing when he wants to and he can screech when he needs to! The chorus is real good and thats the others thing with these guys as they could also sing backing vocals real well not just studio but live! Read about it here when I caught the Psychotic Tour back in 1992 live at Mike Ladanos favourite city Duluth Minnesota….https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/5-man-loud-electrical-jam/
DONT DE-ROCK ME-straight Rock track and at the 2 minute spot Troy The Drummer dude smashes down a 30 sec drum solo where he pummels the crap out of his kit! Of course with Tesla there bread and butter are in the axe chops of Skeoch and Hannon and well they do what they do best they guitar dual Til the end of the track! Don’t De Rock ….Don’t De Rock Me ! Got it!
CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT-cool mid tempo tune and Jeff Keith sings some real cool lines on this song! The prechorus,chorus all jive and the boys play some neat Pickin guitar patterns with some good old power chords tossed in for added musical pleasure.
SONG AND EMOTION-Tesla back in 88 opened for Def Leppard on Leps Hysteria tour and thanks to Joe and the boys Tesla were well on there way! Song And Emotion is dedicated to the late great Lep guitarist Steve Clark who passed away early 1991. Song And Emotion is a 8 and half minutes of a solid slow burner that goes all over the musical rock map! Starts,chills,builds up,power riffing,ends chill it’s all here and a great tribute to a fallen comrade!
TIME -has a real 1975 Aeromithy vibe to it especially the way Troy plays them drums! The song just grooves with and oooozes cool especially during the chorus! Skeoch and Hannon groove the guitars and push the song until Keith screeeeeeeeches Time at the end! Great track!
GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL-I love me Acoustic Tesla and this tune applys in our election year here in Canada (October 19th 2015 goooooo vote readers!) This is a short real catchy just under 90 seconds of classic Tesla! Love the barking dog at the beginning of the track and Yep “Give me a home where the deer and Buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play bet your ass we’ll blow EM all away!” Great track crank it as I posted the vid!
FREEDOM SLAVES-a mode tempoish Tesla driven number featuring Keith during the verses. The dude has a flair for kinda singing kinda talking through the songs and making them sound cool! Freedom Slaves is a great track!
HAD ENOUGH-man this tune has Skeoch all over it! Frazzle Dazzle Speeding Finger Picking Whammy Bar Workout Extravaganza! Had Enough ramps it back up into Tesla Rock Mode!
WHAT YOU GIVE-boom out just like that comes the acoustics! Big sweeping 7 minutes plus of Tesla acoustic rock! Big builder of epic perportions as that’s how many a Tesla tune is built.
STIR IT UP-mid tempo Tesla rock! Hannon and Skeoch one punch this bad boy out as they do on many a Tesla tune. Keith tosses down the vocal while Troy plays the beats….
CANT STOP-Tesla ramps it up and keeps the party Groovin and Shakin with late night snacks and after all the hits are done out comes ……
TOKE ABOUT IT-the album starts with putting it your pipe and smoking it and ends with Toke About It! Ha it’s High Tide and Tesla Grass! (Get it?) This is just a good time end of the album chill out tune! Grab the Doritos and were off …Skeoch and Hannon can play many styles on there 6 strings and they were a great guitar team. Cop a buzz c’mon on down and join the party…..
IN CONCLUSION- Tesla are a great no frills hard rock act and by that I mean they show up,plug in and friggin let it rip! Psychotic Supper continues Tesla’s string of solid studio records. This was there third there next one Bust A Nut is a kicker as well! Tesla is currently still going strong (opening for Def Leppard)and too be honest I haven’t bought any product of theres since they released the live album (Coming Atcha Live)back in 2000 or so…..don’t know why …..
Bang,Bang Shoot em Up! Here comes Tesla headlining (Pyschotic Supper World Tour)with support act Firehouse playing Ladanos favourite American City Duluth to a half filed arena (2500) or so.
Myself,my bro Todd,Al ,Cementhead and Anvils biggest world wide fan Tony Gallo shot down to see the show. Well here comes Firehouse you know em they had a little decent run for a few years at which time they were plugging there current release which was Reach For The Sky which the title track was very good road slamming tune. There focus that night was mainly the debut which was played songs like Shake an Tumble,Don’t Treat Me Bad, Overnight Sensation in other words the rockers I liked but for me I could not handle any Firehouse ballads I mean shit all these bands were doing it too the point Of overkill as all the bands would you know release a heavy single followed by a ballad and quite frankly I thought Firehouses ballads were like REO Speedwagon cast offs . Hey if you love ballads more power to ya but man when the lead singer CJ Snare pulled his Casio keyboard to the front of the stage to play Love Of A Lifetime I thought I was gonna puke! Having said that the guitarist Bill Leverty is really good…
So basically it’s time for Tesla….everyone you know in the crowd is meandering about,house lights are on and well I’m paying attention to the stage and I tell my bro check it out. With the house lights on Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch walk out and go right into the opening trade off riffing of Cumin Atcha Live….wow did Tesla pull the plug on the lights nope…as soon as the drums kick in the house lights go off and the Tesla light show begins! Man what a a cool way to open a show. Never ever have seen it done that way and will never again unless Tesla does it!
Jeff Keith reminds me of a male Janis Joplin and man can the dude sing. Troy Lucketta and Brian Wheat handle down the rhythm and Tommy and Frank nail down the leads.
Tesla as a live band is like going to Mcdonalds. You know in a way what your getting but your gonna be surprised as Tesla is a serious rock machine live . I mean talk about quality songs,performance,no bell and whistles just straight ahead rock n roll delivered loud!
I just remember there set list being like if I had made a set list myself on the songs I wanted to hear. After the opener Cumin,it was Change In The Weather,Hang Tough,Heavens Trail,Song And Emotion,Call It What You Want,The Way It is ,Paradise,Love Song(ok ok ,I know what I said earlier about ballads but when Tesla did em they do em with style not some re manufactured pomp junk . And of course they had acoustic portion of the show with Signs,Had Enough,Before My Eyes ,What You Give and now back to the electric with Edison’s Medicine,Let’s see oh yeah Modern Day Cowboy and Gettin Better were played…..cool stuff man….great great live band…..these cats could and can play check out the vid of Cumin Atcha Live. This is a perfect representation of Tesla, great lead and backing vocals and Hannon/Skeoch are very very good here and man this is the first tune dude! Great video by whoever filmed it back in 92!
Totally enjoyed this show as it was a awesome set list performed by a great band and I was lucky to have caught em twice live in two years by this point
So one of the biggest arena tours of 1990 was Motley Crue. Tons and tons of copies of there latest works Dr. Feelgood were moving out of the stores quicker than you could say Cheese! So when the Crue announced the Feelgood show in Winnipeg I and TBone pounced on tickets and got some good seats and an added bonus was the inclusion of Tesla who was a very good band with two very solid albums in the racks with Mechanical Resonance and The Great Radio Controversy. So we were pumped what a double bill.
So come June were ready and we are sitting in the Winnipeg Arena out go the lights and outcomes Tesla and they open with Cover Queen off of the Resonance album. Cool never would have guessed that one as an opener! They played tracks of course like Hang Tough, Love Song, Modern Day Cowboy, Little Suzi, Heavens Trail, The Way It Is, and closed it out with Cumin Atcha Live! Holy crap what a great opening band! Hey, Nikki Sixx you better bring your A-game tonight!
After a quick set change…the lighting rig lowers down and on it you can see a laser print of Allister Fiend and he introduces the Crue and up from below the stage comes the 4 LA Tattooed dudes tackling Kick Start My Heart with there two backing singers on prerecorded backing vocals(I think) and were off. You want pyro, check. You want Flames, check, check. You want to cuss, three checks. This show was over the top. Man the Crue blasted out hit after hit, Red Hot, Looks That Kill, Shout At The Devil, Live Wire, Same Ol Situation, Wild Side, complimentary Mick Mars guitar solo, Girls, Girls, Girls, and of course an over the top Tommy Lee drum solo where he rode along a rail and played a second drum set and drummed along to samples of his favorite songs ie.Houses Of The Holy. I still remember him telling us that this was no Bon Jerk-Off (Bon Jovi)show! Slick looking stage. Man, this is the 90s….and I and TBone are lapping it up and so is the sellout crowd of 12,000.
Dr. Feelgood the song ended the Crues regular set and TBone made the comment that the Crue in the first 90 minutes of there show did not play one ballad! Holy crap TBone your right it’s just one rocker after another. I think the Crue was smart with that move. They just rammed pyro, fire, smoke, and lasers into our senses! Tbone and I were declared legally brain dead.
The Crue came out and for the encore played Home Sweet Home(had too) and Don’t Go Away Mad with the house lights on! Cool effect. The Crue were on top of there game back in 1990 more importantly Vince Neil actually showed up and performed before he morphed into well…you be the judge!
Why the Crue never documented this tour via video/cd/cassette back then who the hell knows! The Crue was never or better than they were at that point. Especially when the following year when they put out Primal Scream(song) which was a lot of people’s favs and then Vince quit/booted and that was that! All upward momentum was lost…
Me and TBone had heard at the show before Winnipeg which was in Calgary that the Crue ended there show after 55 minutes due to what they called ‘not feeling comfortable” whatever the hell that means! Fortunately, I and T got our money’s worth in the Peg!