Concert review: Tesla, January 6, 2012 Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ
Ted Hansen, Mesa Classic Rock Music Examiner
January 9, 2012
When a band chooses a concert venue, it is a little like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Some places are too big, some places are too small and some places are just right. For Tesla's current Twisted Wires Acoustic Tour, which came to Phoenix on Friday, January 6, 2012, choosing the Celebrity Theatre was just right. With the Celebrity's rotating stage and its farthest seat being only twenty five rows back, the intimacy of the crowd combined well with Tesla's "unplugged" version of their ninety minute long playlist.
It's easy to think of an acoustic set list as laid back and mellow. But this is Tesla. Although you might hear the occasional power ballad, such as "Love Song," the band hit the stage running with its opening number "Comin' Atcha Live" which blended into the Grateful Dead's "Truckin" just like Tesla performed to open their ground breaking Five Man Acoustical Jam album over twenty years ago. With Tesla's current tour continuing to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of that album's release, the evening was a combination of that album and Tesla's latest acoustic release Twisted Wires and The Acoustic Sessions. The latter album offered two new releases, "2nd Street" and "Better Off Without You," both of which were solid songs to add to the Tesla repertoire.
Musically, Tesla was in fine form. Lead singer Jeff Keith, dressed in jeans and his football jersey with the number one on it, had the crowd and certainly the women, up and dancing throughout the night. Guitarist Frank Hannon got to continually show his skills, be it a jazzy intro to "What A Shame," or even a chance to "replug" on occasion. Bassist Brian Wheat and drummer Troy Luccketta formed a solid rhythm section and guitarist Dave Rude took over nicely for former Tesla guitarist Tommy Skeoch.
Like all good concerts, this one kept building momentum and it was a testament to the material and to the band that they could remain seated as the audience remained standing. Only Hannon, Rude and Keith were on stage for "Modern Day Cowboy," and yet the audience frenzied response and sing along was as if they were hearing a full blown electrical version, not the stripped down, but solid, acoustic interpretation. There was no sitting down once the band launched into "Heaven's Trail," and the regular set ending "Love Song" saw the band at its most animated, with Keith walking around the stage, shaking hands with those in the front row.
The encore was the highly anticipated "Signs" the Five Man Electrical Band cover song that catapulted Tesla into their acoustical fame. Despite Tesla having played that song live thousands of times, it still seemed fresh. Although the song is an acoustic stand out, there was plenty of electricity in the air.
Like Goldilocks, Tesla fans are faced with a dilemma. Should they go see them when they play hard? Should they see them when they play soft? Fortunately, either way is probably just right.
Set List: Comin' Atcha Live/Truckin' | Into The Now | Hang Tough | First Time | Thank You | A Lot To Lose | What A Shame | 2nd Street | Better Off Without You | Caught Up In a Dream | I Love You | Modern Day Cowboy | Paradise | Heaven's Trail (No Way Out) | Love Song | Encore: Signs
For Immediate Release
TESLA'S TWISTED WIRES ACOUSTIC CONCERT
PRESENTED BY 93.3 KDKB
MOVES TO CELEBRITY THEATRE
SHOW DATE REMAINS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18
All tickets can be exchanged and purchased beginning this Wednesday, October 19
17 October 2011. PHOENIX, AZ – Due to popular demand, Tesla's Twisted Wires Acoustic Tour Presented by 93.3 KDKB has been moved from The Foundry to the Celebrity Theatre. The concert date remains November 18, 2011.
If you already purchased tickets, The Celebrity Theatre will hold excellent reserved seat tickets in your price range and can be exchanged beginning this Wednesday, October 19 through the night of the show at the Celebrity Box office between the hours of 10-6, Monday through Friday. For further info please contact Celebrity Theatre at 602.267.1600.
Tickets ($52 rows 1-5 and $37 rows 6-25) will be on sale at Celebrity Theatre or online at www.celebritytheatre.com starting this Wednesday, October 19th. To charge by phone, call 602-267-1600 ext. 1. All tickets are subject to a surcharge. Celebrity Theatre is conveniently located just south of the 202 freeway, at 440 N. 32nd St., in Phoenix.
Tesla's Jeff Keith, guitarist Frank Hannon, bassist Brian Wheat, drummer Troy Luccketta and guitarist Dave Rude invite you and all your friends to their Twisted Wires Acoustic concert celebration of the 20th anniversary of the band's iconic Five Man Acoustical Jam.
Not only did Five Man Acoustical Jam reach the Top 20 and go platinum, it also helped directly inspire MTV's wildly successful "Unplugged" series.
The band's latest release, Twisted Wires & the acoustic sessions... features two brilliant new tracks and ten classics culled from the last recorded acoustic recordings with former guitarist Tommy Skeoch and acoustic versions from the Tesla vaults. Twisted Wires & the acoustic sessions... is available at Tesla's online store or iTunes.
For additional information concerning the Celebrity Theatre, ticket purchases or exchanges, please contact Alycia Klein, AKlein@celebritytheatre.com
For information on Danny Zelisko Presents, please contact Maria Brunner, Insightmgt@aol.com.
For additional information concerning Tesla and/or a selection of hi res photos or CD artwork, please contact Janie Hoffman, all things possible, email@example.com
To the people of Sacramento, Kings fans and Tesla fans,here's what happened straight from my mouth unedited.When the Kings played their last game in Sacramento, the band was approached by he Kings if they could use our song, "Love Song" to end what could possibly be their last game as the Sacramento Kings.We were honored and said yes and went to the game to cheer the Kings on.Fast forward a couple weeks later, I get a call from a guy called Carmichael Dave asking if the Kings stay, would I get the band to play "Love Song" at their rally. Again I said yes - I would do everything possible to make this happen.We then started talking with the Kings themselves and their representative Craig.With only three guys in the band still in the Sacramento area a lot of things had to be coordinated people flown in to Sacramento with us leaving the next day to go play shows on the east coast.Everything was beautiful ...Kings are happy …Carmichael Dave is happy and Tesla is happy to be invited to take part in this great event.Now the truth of what happened and not some edited version to make some certain person feel justified ...Tesla is doing a sound check, and yes I was wearing a Blackhawk's jersey because I love hockey jerseys and live 16 blocks from the park. I was going home after the sound check to shower and get ready to play the two songs that evening.All of sudden, I start getting text messages from several people saying that this guy Don Geronimo and his crew are pissing all over Tesla on the radio ...saying I was fat, Frank looked like Garth from Wayne's World and Jeff Keith looked like a 50 year-old woman…and hey all this may be true! BUT I think it's very inappropriate to insult a band from Sacramento who are trying to do something nice for the fans of Sacramento Kings and Tesla ...obviously lots of fans of both in Sacramento.And then he started calling us Telsa not Tesla and being even more of a smart ass.So, me growing up in South Sacramento and being passionate about my family called Tesla, I went over to see this Don Geronimo.He sticks a microphone in my face like he's my best friend, so I slapped the mic out his hands and preceded to tell him what an asshole he is being. He told me I had no sense of humor ….as hard as I tried I couldn't find the humor in what he was saying about Tesla.Was he making fun of the Maloof brothers? NO! The Kings players? NO! So, why Tesla?????Neither Tesla nor I never said we wouldn't play the event at any point.This is something he is saying to make himself seem like the victim. Tesla is not that petty!Bottom line is this…Tesla is family to me and I don't take kindly to some dumb ass shock jock meathead trying to discredit a band that comes from Sacramento and has made Sacramento very proud at times.Some people may think I was wrong to react the way i did and some have applauded me for it.Regardless if it happened tomorrow, I would do the same thing again to protect the honor of TeslaRegardsBrian Wheat the fat bass player of Tesla
NEW TESLA ON THE WAY!
Tesla's Brian Wheat, Frank Hannon, and Jeff Keith have reviewed the tracks from the last recording sessions with former guitarist
Tommy Skeoch from the 2005 "Acoustic Jam" tour, as well as the
recently recorded tracks featuring the new TESLA song "Second Street" to be released this year.
TESLA'S RECORD COMPANY has signed a deal with EONE distribution to release this new CD..tentatively titled "TWISTED WIRES"...(the acoustic sessions).
Troy Luccketta, will be joining Frank and Brian at Sonic Ranch studios where the REAL to REEL sessions were recorded and they will collectively wrap up the recording and mixing of "TWISTED WIRES"simultaneously, utilizing the studio's amazing analog equipment to record and mix down the tracks. The album will consist of 6 tracks recorded back in 2005 at Brian's J STREET Studio (luckily these tracks survived the infamous fire!) and 6 newly recorded tracks recorded at Frank Hannon's studio including acoustic remakes of songs from "Bust a Nut" and a brand new song "Second Street". During all of this JEFF KEITH and his wife will be welcoming the arrival of their baby boy due at the end of February! After all this mayhem is finished...
TESLA will be writing a follow up studio album of all new material with guitarist Dave Rude starting in March 2011 and performing select dates across the USA. In the meantime Dave Rude Band, SoulMotor, and FHB will be finishing up some tour dates supporting their solo efforts.