Tesla recently played a rockin’ headline set at the 20th Anniversary Grand Nationals TT Motorcycle race weekend in Peoria, Illinois. After a full day of motorcycle parades, stunt bike demonstrations, music, swap meets and of course food and beverages, everyone was tired of hearing about potential thunderstorms and 2-3 inches of rain and were ready to rock. The rain held off through opening act Iron Cowgirl Missy and a powerful set by Saliva of ‘Click Click Boom’ fame. As the road crew set up for Tesla it began misting but that didn’t bother the steadily growing crowd. Tesla took the stage and led off with the first song ‘MP3’ from their new release ‘Simplicity’. It’s a song about how we are becoming too attached and dependant on technology and how simpler times may be better. Not sure I can disagree with that sentiment at all.
Jeff Keith’s vocals were amazing and the whole band sounded great. Frank Hannon actually played a set at a pre-party show just a couple hours prior but you wouldn’t know it by his energetic performance. His playing is always so smooth and passionate. Tesla’s set was made up of 5 songs from the killer new album and 10 songs from their earlier offerings. The new songs blended in nicely and no one was screaming for their old favorites as sometimes happens. I think everyone in attendance enjoyed the show (except the 5 people who got to try on a set of Peoria City handcuffs) despite the increasing rain, which caused them to turn off the spotlights for the last couple of songs and cut out the break between the last song and the encore.
The new album is incredible and I highly recommend that eveyone check it out. The band can still crank it out after 27 years. Tesla is one of the most fan friendly group of guys out there as well as being very talented. Sometimes even a photographer gets lucky enough to have a band member sign one of his photos of them. photos & review by Michael McMillen