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Past Theater

Milwaukee, WI.


Hard rocking quintet Tesla continue the 30th Anniversary celebration of their multi platinum debut Mechanical Resonance with a short winter headline tour before hitting the road with Poison and Def Leppard this spring.

Making their name with the aforementioned Mechanical Resonance and opening stints for the likes of Alice Cooper and David Lee Roth, Tesla burst on to the music scene with a look and sound that was the antithesis of the glam metal that dominated late 80’s rock. The band’s no-nonsense image and classic hard rock sound would take them to the top of the charts with the MTV favorites “Love Song” and “Signs”. 

Thirty years on the band still brings that same energy and straightforward approach to their live show, and the near sell out crowd at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater was most appreciative.

Kick-starting the night with a couple of numbers from this millennium, both “MP3” from 2014’s “Simplicity” and “Into The Now”, from the 2004 album of the same name, had the crowd of mostly thirty and forty somethings on their feet and singing along. From the first notes until the encore of “Modern Day Cowboy” the band seemed to be having the time of their lives and there was scarcely a moment during the 16 song set that they weren’t laughing, smiling, engaging each other in some way or shaking hands and high-fiving those in the first few rows.

Being one of the first hard rock bands to strip down and play their rocking best in an all acoustic setting with their smash album “Five Man Acoustic Jam” (1990), it was no surprise that the band brought the pace down just a bit mid show for acoustic renditions of “Paradise” from their sophomore release “The Great Radio Controversy” and a mash-up of The Grateful Dead classic “Trucking’ and their hit version of the Five Man Electric Band’s “Signs”.

From there on out it was the up tempo dual guitar rock that the band’s fans come to expect, including their recent feel good collaboration with tour mate Phil Collen of Def Leppard, “Save That Goodness”.

I first saw Tesla at my 2nd concert ever in early 1987, opening up for Alice Cooper and have seen them several other times over the years and they sound just as good as ever 30 years on.

Head over to for dates in your area and catch them on tour with Def Leppard and Poison this Spring and Summer.

Tesla is:

Frank Hannon – Guitar

Brian Wheat – Bass

Jeff Keith – Vocals

Troy  Luccketta – Drums

Dave Rude – Guitar

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Tesla Setlist Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, WI, USA 2017

Clip courtesy of Jeff Billitz via YouTube.

Clip Courtesy of  TheMizpennylane via YouTube.