“Tesla rocks the Adler Theatre.” – Concert Review.

(Adler Theatre, Davenport, IA)

By Jason Tanamor

One of my favorite bands growing up was Tesla. Growing up in the hair band era, Tesla was a group that definitely stood out, not because of its high hair, but because of the music they put out. The other day, I decided to pop in “The Great Radio Controversy.” Listening to that album, today in 2009, made me realize that if Tesla released this album now instead of back in 1990, it would still be a terrific, rocking album.

With guitar fueled songs like “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)” and “Did It For The Money,” Tesla showed why they were a force to be wrecking with. Tesla’s music seemed to transcend through time. It transcended through grunge, gangsta rap, and hip hop, until the music industry finally saw the reemergence of metal.

Fast forward to 2008 with the release of Tesla’s 10th album, “Forever More.” The album, much like “Great Radio” in terms of heart pounding bass drum and kick ass guitar riffs, is easily one of the best releases in recent years. Fans picking up the album not knowing that Tesla has been around for more than 20 years will undeniably see why the band has longevity.

The tour with the same name came through Davenport, Iowa on Friday, October 23rd to the Adler Theatre. The venue, filled at near capacity (around 2,000 people), was the perfect stage for one of rock’s greats. With songs like the self-titled, “Forever More,” (the song they opened up with) and “Breakin’ Free,” Tesla did not disappoint fans. Jeff Keith and company played a good mix of older songs and tunes from the band’s new album.

What I loved about the band and nearly two hour show was the fact that the group had been doing this for many years. It was obvious in the songs they played, the show they put on, and the way they got the crowd into it. Even more, singer Jeff Keith, lead guitarist Frank Hannon and bassist Brian Wheat all seemed to have a big smile on their face, as if they couldn’t believe they get to do this for a living. At one point during the show, Keith, after Tesla had played “Signs,” pointed up to the large banner behind the stage and said, “I see a sign. It reads T-E-S-L-A.” After this, the crowd went crazy with applause. This statement signified the band’s saying, “We’re still here!”

The rest of the set consisted of Tesla’s biggest hits from previous albums. “Modern Day Cowboy,” “Hang Tough,” “Heaven’s Trail,” and “Love Song,” were among the songs that night.

Tesla hit on all cylinders, which was attributed to the band staying in tact all these years. The only exception was the new kid on the block, Dave Rude, who plays guitar and is about as old as the band has been around. He replaced Tommy Skeoch, but after watching the show, fans wouldn’t have been able to tell he was new.

The Adler’s sound was right on as well, adding to the Tesla experience. During several parts of the show, Hannon, Rude, and Wheat played side by side by side to the front row, giving lucky fans an up close look at their playing.

Overall, Tesla rocked the house, ending the night with “Rock Me To The Top.” It was a perfect ending to the performance, although I would admit that Tesla is already at the top. And they always will be – “Forever More.”


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.

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