JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

March 3, 2017
Aztec Theater
San Antonio, TX USA
Review by Michael Insuaste
Photos by Michael Insuaste

Tesla

30 Years Burning Down The Road!

Tesla Brings Back Classic 80's Rock To The Aztec Theatre On Their 30th Anniversay Tour!

First time I saw Tesla was in 1987, opening for Def Leppard at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. Even then, I saw a young band that were determine to make it big and make it last! Now on their 30th Anniversary Tour, Tesla has proven they have made it and after 3 decades, seven studio albums and countless of world wide tours, they are still kickin' dat ass!

Performing at the Famous and beautiful Aztec Theatre in downtown San Antonio, Texas, Tesla we greeted to a packed house of devoted fans and I am talking PACKED! The house was full from the front floor to the back balcony with hard-core fans. I must say, The Aztec Theatre, located right off the River Walk, is not much from the outside, but once you step inside, you have the feeling you just walked into a ancient Pyramid from the Aztec ruins. Great atmosphere, many open bars with a great vintage feel.

Kicking off with "Into The Now," had the crowd pumped up and eating from their hands. Front man and lead throat, Jeff Keith, with his devilish smile and rocker style persona had every ones attention as he moved from side to side of the open stage. Original guitarist, Frank Hannon, with his red Gibson SG, flaunting his moves and literally placing his guitar in the hands of the fans on the front barricade. Too Cool! Second guitarist, Dave Rude, who joined the band in 2006, was also taunting the fans, getting up close and personal from the start. They really fired up the show from the get go!

This being their 30th Anniversary Tour, I knew to expect all the hits and Tesla didn't disappoint. Laying down "The Way It Is," "Hang Tough" and "Heavens Trail" right off the bat, kept the show on a high note and with much audience participation as well. The band were on their game tonight! Tesla is one of those rock groups that have handfuls of hits and still kept the talent to produce it live. Tonight seemed to be leading into another stellar performance!

Mood change after the fifth song as they brought out the acoustic set that is very familiar to fans from their 1990 released Five Man Acoustical Jam live LP. The fans knew what to expect but to me, this part of the show always makes it more characteristic from the band to the fan. Tesla kicked into an acoustic version of "Comin' Atcha Live" which they smoothly transition into a classic number by the Grateful Dead, "Truckin'" that surprisingly, had most of the audience singing along. They also did "Paradise" and finished the acoustic set with "Signs"... no surprise there!

From here you just knew the show would go from good to GREAT! The second electric set was well executed as Tesla gave the fans what they expected, the Big Hits!

Beginning again with "What You Give" and then right into "Save That Goodness" brought the Aztec Theatre up a notch as the fan and band became one! The sing along was quite impressive once again!

Closing their set with "Love Song" and "Little Suzi" were probably the highlights of the night, until Tesla returns with a final encore... "Modern Day Cowboy." Talk about a show stopper, the band gave it all on this number with great audience reaction too! One of the tightest live performances I have seen all year!