I arrived early at the Verizon Center in Mankato MN, to get the vibe of the true 80’s-2000 rockers. The buzz was all about TESLA and how great they are live. I have been a huge fan since their formation in in 1981. Their california fan base is huge considering they are from Sacramento. Growing up myself in California, in the bay area Tesla was always playing shows near me. I never had a chance to finally see them live after 30 years I get my chance.
Tesla recently released their latest album “Mechanical Resonance, Live!” The album celebrates the 30th-birthday of the original multi-platinum album and features classic hits as well as a new. They have been touring with Def Leppard and Reo Speedwagon in 2016 and early 2017. Tesla embarked on their own headlining tour for the summer of 2017 and is working on a new album.
Voices of Extreme “VOX” is a true power trio from New York. The band’s history dates back to 2004 with it’s inception and now proudly lists its members as Don Chaffin (Lead Vocalist/Guitarist), Steven G. Knight (Bass) and Bobby Marks (Drums). VOX is currently touring the US in support of their latest studio album “Mach III” released July 2017. VOX opened the show for tesla. They played a 60 min set consisting of eight songs. The drummer Bobby Marks between songs decided to put on a Robert Smith Viking Jersey. The crowd went nuts !! VOX had great crowd interaction and killer stage presence. They closed their set with a cover of The Who song “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.
The Ron Keel Band was next up. As the Badlands House Band, this group saw action in nine states in 2016, including: headline slots at major fairs and festivals – bike events such as the Sturgis Rally and a headline show at the Lone Star Rally in Galveston – and backed up platinum artists like Jack Blades (Night Ranger), Mark Slaughter, Don Dokken, Kip Winger, and Stephen Pearcy (RATT).
The lineup is Keel front and center, lead guitarist DC Cothern, bassist El Diablo, Dakota Scott on keyboards and The Rev on drums. While adding new material to the show, the foundation upon which the band was built remains the same: classic anthems that everyone knows and sings along with, music that reflects the hard rockin’/hard workin’/partyin’ way of life and the American values the band holds sacred. The Keel MTV/VH1 hits like “The Right To Rock,” “Tears Of Fire,” “Because The Night,” “Somebody’s Waiting” and “Rock & Roll Outlaw” are in the mix as well as songs from Ron Keel’s acclaimed solo album “Metal Cowboy” and other projects. The production mixes theatrics (playing upon the group’s “Apocalyptic Cowboy” image) with the band’s natural down-to-earth attitude – larger-than-life characters who could just be the guys next door after Armageddon threatens to wipe out rock ‘n roll… The fans loved all of the theatrics on stage.
The intro music started for Tesla and the crowd went crazy. Tesla opened this epic night with song “Into The Now”. They played a great twelve song set pounding thru hit after hit. They played monster hits like “The Way it is”, “Hang Tough”, “Paradise”, “Signs” and “Love Song”. Wow what stage energy Tesla has after Rocking for 30+ years. Jeff Keith’s vocals were still spot on after all these years. I have to admit that I was thrilled to be in the presence of one of my all time favorite bands. When they started playing their closing song “Cowboy” I was sad knowing this was the end of the show. The crowd loved everything about this epic Tesla performance. I am looking forward to their next Minnesota at Grand Casino Hinckley on September 8.