Tesla live at Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois, USA Concert Review


Date: February 1, 2017
Venue: Arcada Theatre
Location: St. Charles, Illinois, USA
Reviewer: Jake Warkel
Photos: Jake Warkel Photography

Arcada Theatre in St Charles, Illinois, USA, is approximately 42 miles west of Chicago, Illinois and here I was sitting in on Tesla‘s soundcheck, which only made me more excited for the upcoming show.

I was listening to the Tesla band members talk about every detail of how they wanted the show to be including what they expected from the sound to the lighting to the playback screens to the intro music before they were to hit the stage. Everything said was for the fans — they want a great show, they expect a great show and they make sure it happens. I totally respect the attention to detail that Tesla were giving as there are many bands that just don’t put in the extra time and effort as these guys. Now Tesla were ready for the VIPs to come in who would get a special intimate soundcheck song. But before that, the Tesla band members were being personable with the fans asking the fans questions as well as letting fans get some questions and answers in too. After the question and answer session, Tesla played their soundcheck song, which I won’t reveal in case they continue to do the same song for rest of the VIPs down the road on this tour. I don’t want to be a spoiler… Once Tesla finished the song for the VIPs, the VIPs joined Tesla on stage one by one in front of the drum riser for their photo opportunity.

This was the first night of a five month 2017 tour as Tesla will be joining their friends Def Leppard and Poison this spring for three months of ass kicking shows across the United States kicking off April 8th in Manchester, New Haven. But until then, Tesla will be on their own tearing it up for their fans. Tonight, Tesla were kicking off their 2017 tour at the historic Arcada Theatre located in downtown St Charles, Illinois, which is a beautiful building and a must go to place for concerts. Thanks to Ron Onesti who has taken ownership of the Arcada Theatre building in 2005 and who has been bringing great acts through the Chicago land area since his inception. Tesla fans from new to old piled into the sold out Arcada Theatre in anticipation to watch, listen and be amazed by this well rounded talented group of musicians called Tesla, which consists of lead vocalist Jeff Keith, guitarists Frank Hannon and Dave Rude, bassist Brian Wheat and drummer Troy Luccketta. With thirty years now of music and touring sold out venues, this Sacramento, California band can’t be more proud of what they’ve built and they are more importantly appreciative of having a loyal fan base. I myself have seen Tesla over 10 times and counting. I was as excited to be there as the rest of the Tesla fans and to be part of this musical journey that Tesla have taken us on.

The lights were out as the crowd was stoked and ready as the intro music played and Tesla hit the stage kicking the night off with “MP3” — a hit off their Simplicity album, which went to number 24 on the Top 200 Billboard Chart after its first week. Dave Rude and Frank Hannon were just on fire right out of the gate playing their guitars.

Tesla playing “MP3” at Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois, USA on February 1, 2017:

Tesla- 1. MP3

2-1-17 Arcada Theatre St. Charles, IL

Jeff Keith as usual was nothing but a ball of energy. I love watching Jeff perform since he is always having fun and engaging the crowd. The crowd was on their feet loving every minute of the first song until it ended. Tesla then rolled right to “Into The Now” for their second song which is one song that I really dug when that first came out. I feel that the whole album Into The Now and song “Into The Now” were completely fresh and solidified that Tesla in 2004 as a band was not going anywhere. “Hang Tough” and “Heaven’s Trail” were the next two songs performed off of The Great Radio Controversy album released in February 1989. This album generated and rocketed their career which the likes of “Love Song” which was one main driving force of Tesla’s boost in popularity. The sixth song on the night was a 1994 song “Mama’s Fool” from the Bust A Nut album. Troy’s drumming was like a machine. He’s so solid precise, clean and underrated.

Tesla playing “Hang Tough” at Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois, USA on February 1, 2017:

Tesla- 4. Hang Tough

2-1-17 Arcada Theatre St. Charles, IL

The crowd was most pleased with the three song acoustic set that consisted of “Comin’ Atcha Live / Truckin,” “Paradise” and “Signs.” Most bands can’t pull off an acoustic set in the middle of their rockin’ show but Tesla can make an acoustic set rock just as hard. Arcada Theatre erupted once Frank Hannon started strumming the guitar to the song “Signs” and Jeff Keith was now sporting a Chicago Cubs baseball hat on his head, which is so suiting for this song. As Tesla was performing and playing their hearts out, I looked around and you couldn’t find one single person not singing to “Signs”along with the band. The sold out standing room only crowd was definitely getting its money’s worth enjoying and everyone in the audience seemed to be remembering their youth as memories came crashing in of the music they’ve enjoyed for the last 30 years.

Before we knew it, we were back to the loud drums, bass and guitars. “What You Give” steamrolled into “Save That Goodness,” “Edison’s Medicine,” “Cover Queen” and one of the most popular Tesla songs of all time — “Love Song.” Tesla closed off their set with “Little Suzi.” I was impressed with what Tesla offered on this night from the light show and background large screen monitors that created awesome visuals to Dave Rude and Frank Hannon’s tremendous guitar solos and riffs, singer Jeff Keith’s crazy antics on stage all night while singing his ass off, and bassist Brian Wheat and drummer Troy Luccketta providing a rhythm section every band would want to have.

The encore of “Modern Day Cowboy” would be Tesla’s last song of the night for this sold out standing room only crowd at the Arcada Theatre. Tesla should be proud that their first night of the tour was a sell out with extremely happy fans that couldn’t get enough of them. The fans were on their feet cheering, yelling, screaming and not wanting it to end. These fans will now have to wait until June 24, 2017 when Tesla will be back in Chicago with Def Leppard and Poison.

Tesla’s setlist:
01. Mp3
02. Into The Now
03. The Way It Is
04. Hang Tough
05. Heaven’s Trail
06. Mama’s Fool
07. Comin’ Atcha Live / Truckin’ (acoustic)
08. Paradise (acoustic)
09. Signs (acoustic)
10. What You Give
11. Save That Goodness
12. Edison’s Medicine
13. Cover Queen
14. Love Song
15. Little Suzi
16. Modern Day Cowboy

Tesla playing “Modern Day Cowboy” at Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois, USA on February 1, 2017:

Tesla- 12. Modern Day Cowboy

2-1-17 Arcada Theatre St. Charles, IL