The honour of headlining day one of the inaugural HRH AOR festival fell to Sacremento legends Tesla, making a rare trip across the pond to visit their substantial UK fanbase.
I Wanna Live got things underway, with the band rolling back the years and demonstrating that they still undeniably have “it”. whatever “it” may be. Hang Tough got things flowing along nicely, with the band looking like they were enjoying it every bit as much as we were out front.
For all the axe-wielding (and sliding) skills of Frank Hannon, for me it’s always been Jeff Keith’s voice that has defined Tesla’s sound, and stood them apart from the competition. Now whereas some of his contemporaries may have lost the edge they had in their younger days, Jeff is as entertaining and engaging a frontman today as he’s always been.
Things slowed down through the middle of the set, but the band were just giving us a breather before the inevitable. Edison’s Medicine is a song sure to get a venue rocking, and here Tesla were definitely in their natural environment. Always good to see bands who can still rock, and equally good to see that many a more mature audience member hasn’t entirely forgotten either, with more than one going everso slightly mental for Modern Day Cowboy.
Tesla were undeniably one of the bands of the weekend, and that’s high praise indeed considering the embarrassment of riches the organisers had assembled. By the time the shortened set closed with encore Little Suzi it was very much “job done” for Tesla.
They came… they saw… they rocked.