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Tesla: Mystic Showroom, Prior Lake, Minnesota
2nd February 2017

8th February 2017

jeff kunze
Words and Pictures: Jeff Kunze


For thirty years the band hailing from Sacramento have become a touring staple of American hard rock. Tesla launched in 1986 with the release of the iconic album 'Mechanical Resonance' and thousands of shows and a catalog loaded with hits later, Tesla remain as relevant as ever.

The Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and its beautiful Mystic Showroom was the next stop on Tesla's Winter Tour 2017. It's a Las Vegas style venue that seats 2,100 people and features state-of-the-art sound and lighting. The place was packed and the band utilized every ounce of the remarkable amenities.


The band tapped 'Mp3' from 2014s 'Simplicity' album as the opener, then 'Into The Now', a powerful song that sounds gigantic live. Three songs off 'The Great Radio Controversy' took the crowd to another level of excitement and 'The Way It Is', 'Hang Tough', and the brilliant 'Heavens Trail' have never sounded better. 'Mama's Fool' closed out the first portion of the set.

Bringing alive the 'Five Man Acoustical Jam' days, Tesla pulled out the acoustic guitars as Troy Luccketta moved to a smaller kit closer to the front of the stage. They kicked into 'Comin' Atcha Live/Truckin' before playing the ballad 'Paradise'. Whenever you have Tesla in the same sentence as acoustic, one song immediately comes to mind... 'Signs'. It became a giant campfire sing-along as everyone was letting his or her voice be heard.


The band then plugged back in and played 'What You Give' and 2016s 'Save The Goodness', best song of the night being 'Edison's Medicine'. Frank Hannon uses his Theremin like a Witchdoctor, summoning a magical healing remedy while 'Cover Queen' kept things moving at rocking pace and then it was time to bring out the big guns to close the set.

On lead vocals Jeff could have just let the crowd take over for the big fan favorite, 'Love Song', while 'Little Suzi' further amplified the intoxication of the congregation that had fully lost itself within the audio waves that suffocated the showroom. The night ended with the song that put Tesla into everyone's living room via MTV thirty years ago, 'Modern Day Cowboy'. This song still sounds as fresh and lively as it did the first time you heard it. That iconic starting riff is the biggest signature sound in their catalog and tonight, just like every other night, the song captivated every single person in the room.


Jeff Keith was as scintillating as ever, his voice sounded great and he engaged the crowd throughout the night. He's always been one of the premier frontman out there with a big personality that draws people into the show. Frank Hannon and Dave Rude supply the six-string attack with the guitar dynamic duo playing off each in perfect unison, also providing the backing vocals to compliment Jeff's voice. The rhythm section of Brian Wheat (bass) and Troy Luccketta (drums) were solid and provided the musical backbone of the music.

The Mystic Showroom provided the backdrop for a great night of rock'n'roll as Tesla played a fantastic show and I highly recommend catching them on this tour. They may be three decades in but they still Come Atcha Live every night!

beer beer

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Into The Now
The Way It Is
Hang Tough
Heaven's Trail
Mama's Fool
Comin' Atcha Live/Truckin' (Acoustic)
Paradise (Acoustic)
Signs (Acoustic)
What You Give
Save The Goodness
Edison's Medicine
Cover Queen
Love Song
Little Suzi
Modern Day Cowboy





Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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