If you’ve experienced the energy of a Tesla show over the course of their thirty-odd-year career, you might feel a nine-track live album plus a bonus is a bit of a tease considering their hefty arsenal of material. Omissions from front-of-house tracks like Love Song, Modern Day Cowboy, Signs and Cumin Atcha Live could be viewed as borderline rock ‘n’ roll sacrilege. While it may not touch the sides, it’s still hard to get the hump with Tesla.
Tesla – Full Throttle Live
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Brian Boyle
I mean, you can’t help but love the infectious smile of vocalist Jeff Keith which can be seen from outer space, bassist/cuddly teddy bear Brian Wheat and the flame-haired curls of their guitar god Frank Hannon.
But aside from all that, what they’ve delivered since their unrivalled 1986 debut album Mechanical Resonance has never disappointed, and neither have their live performances, whatever the setlist.
Full Throttle Live was recorded at the Full Throttle Saloon during the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota last year, an event the band have always held dear. So what could be better than bikes, burgers, beer and a revved-up set from Tesla?
Miles Away kick-starts the action with an immediate release of pent-up rock ‘n’ roll energy, with Keith’s trademark rasp slicing through every note. The more familiar sound of Changes still hasn’t lost any of its zest 37 years on from its original release, and once again, the ever-engaging Keith is right on point in delivering a performance that rolls back the years.
Unleashing new music on a crowd hellbent on a night of classics is dangerous territory to be entering. But new boy Time To Rock is a revelation and a return to form after Def Leppard’s Phil Collen ripped their soul out in 2019 on the meatless Shock album.
The timeless trio of Call It What You Want, Lazy Day Crazy Nights, and Edison’s Machine raises the nostalgia thermostat with gutsy blue-collar deliveries and classic Tesla all the way.
A take of a lesser spotted Aerosmith track S.O.S. (Too Bad) may seem, before listening, as a bit of an imposter considering the paltry amount of tracks, but if you’ve listened to Tesla’s cover albums Real To Reel Volume 1 and 2, you’ll know there’s no one better at doing justice to someone else’s creations. And this tidy run-through gloriously tips its hat to Tyler and co.
It beggars belief as to why Tesla never hit the heights on a global level. Are they too genuine and honest for their own good?
Most will say that’s part of their charm, and Full Throttle Live tells you that in spades. A short but old-school, no-nonsense live album from Sacramento’s finest.
Tesla has added five additional dates to their Las Vegas Residency at House of Blues Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, celebrating their 36 years of entertaining rock audiences around the world.
“We are very excited to be able to perform consecutive nights residing at the same venue because we plan to dig into our catalogue and change up our set lists for each show,” said Frank Hannon, Tesla lead guitarist. “This will make it interesting for our loyal fans who will attend in the spectacular city of Las Vegas!”
“We, in Tesla, are very excited to be doing our very first ever residency in Las Vegas, of all places, where Elvis did his residency,” said Brian Wheat, Tesla bassist. “We look forward to bringing the legacy of Tesla’s music to you all!”
The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino shows begin on Friday, 29 September 2023.
- Miles Away
- Time to Rock
- Breakin’ Free
- Call It What You Want
- Lazy Days Crazy Nights
- Cold Blue Steel
- Edison’s Medicine
- S.O.S. (Too Bad)