TESLA (Live)

at The Vogue, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, July 17, 2007

Tesla is a band that has enjoyed much-deserved success and critical accolades at certain points over time, but due to not having huge egos or personalities that demand attention, have also been known to lurk a bit in the shadows of the Hard Rock scene, all the while knocking out extremely high quality music and delivering quality, entertaining live performances. On Tuesday, July 17, 2007, Tesla graced the stage of the quaint Vogue Theater, a 500 capacity live music bar in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, in support of their latest release, Real To Reel, an 2-CD set filled with cover songs from bands that made a difference in the musical lives of the Tesla members.

The Vogue Theater, though small, is an outstanding place to see a concert in an intimate setting, having a great easy-to-see set-up for the fans, and an opportunity for the band playing to gain a close rapport with the fans. Tesla took full advantage of this setting to immediately engage the crowd, and vocalist Jeff Keith and guitarist Frank Hannon quickly had the audience beckoning at their every move. Even the latest member, guitarist Dave Rude, eventually was taken aback by the audience’s enthusiasm and about halfway through the show shook off his quasi-suicidal, Neo-Grunge demeanor in favor of a few smiles and fists in the air.

The show started out with an energetic push via the songs “Hang Tough,” “Got No Glory,” and “Modern Day Cowboy.” Then, it was time to start slicing in a few tracks from the Real To Reel album: first up was “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin, followed by “Ball Of Confusion” by the Temptations. No band, and no vocalist other than Jeff Keith for that matter, could have performed “Thank You” with more respect, precision, and enthusiasm than Tesla did on this evening. A true treat that hands down helped set the tone for the rest of the set and possibly even relieved a few concerns harbored by many in the audience regarding “what to expect” from the band with respect to their delivery of and attitude towards cover songs from the Real To Reel album.

From that point forward, the remainder of the set was filled with highlight after highlight, with the most notable crowd reactions coming during the performance of the mega-hit “What You Give,” the title track for the last studio album “Into The Now,” and the outstanding version of the UFO classic “Rock Bottom.” Kudos have to be extended to the sound engineers for this show … the low end bass hammered down by Brian Wheat and pounded out by Troy Luccketta came through at a truly rare level of clarity. Actually, all of the instruments were very easy to discern and were mixed perfectly … a true testament to Tesla’s musicianship and, again, to the experience of their sound engineers.

Overall, this Tesla concert was a completely enjoyable show that left the fans both satisfied and begging for more. If you get a chance to see this band, don’t miss the opportunity … even music fans who aren’t that familiar with Tesla’s musical accomplishments will realize they’ve just witnessed true professionals continuing to master their Hard Rock art.


Hang Tough * Got No Glory * Modern Day Cowboy * Thank You (Cover) * Ball Of Confusion (Cover) * Heaven 911 * Lazy Days, Crazy Nights * Love Song * What You Give * Into The Now * Cumin’ Atcha Live * Mighty Mouse * Heaven’s Trail * Government Personnel * Freedom Slaves * Rock Bottom (Cover) * Signs (Cover) * Edison’s Medicine


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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