TESLA
Replugged Tour 2001
Electric factory, Philly, PA

What a homecoming! For those old enough to remember, Tesla recorded their million selling Five Man Acoustical Jam CD right here in Philly at the Troc. This time they moved up a few blocks to the revamped and redecorated Electric Factory. The tour is titled The Replugged tour in that it brings all five original members back together again after their mid-Nineties split. Frank Hannon had occupied his time with Moon Dog Mane an ode to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Bassist Brian Wheat formed Soulmotor with ex-UFO guitarist Tommy McClendon (Atomic Tommy M) and guitarist Tommy Skeoch joined vocalist Jeff Keith in Bar 7. Solo projects kept the band members busy but success and happiness eluded them.

Brain Wheat and Frank Hannon took a minute to tell us how Tesla got replugged. “This radio station in Sacramento (98 ROCK) has a DJ named Pat Martin,” says Wheat. “He’s always been a friend of ours and a fan of the band. We would see him every now and then and he would ask what we were doing and if we’d ever consider doing a reunion gig or being part of their yearly radio festival. Finally we all said ‘Yes’.”

Hannon joins in, “It was tough before we got in a room together – while it was being talked about on the phone. Everybody was a little puffed up still and we didn’t think it had been long enough but once we got past all the bullshit on the phone and actually got everybody in a room to play again, we realized the songs and volume of music are very important to us and our fans. It was our responsibility to keep it alive.”

The fans reaction to the group’s reformation was instant and alarming. Their first show back drew 14,000 people and their current tour has sold out nearly every night including Philadelphia. With those kind of numbers the band could roll out their expanded stage complete with lighting rigs and full backdrops.

Tesla’s catalogue is six albums deep and goes back to 1986, however their show caters to the first two disc’s with heavy selections from Mechanical Resonance. "Ez Come Ez Go" is the obvious opener with its dueling guitar intro and slamming chorus. Other selected bits included "Cumin’ Atcha Live," "Getting’ Better" and "Hang Tough."

Each member of the group is a seasoned pro and it’s the quality of musicanship which takes their live show to new heights. The slide intro to "No Way Out," or the piano in "Changes" as well as a liberal dose of acoustic guitar all add tone, texture and above all color to a stunning array of classics.

Almost trigger happy, there was no slowing them down when they launched into "Love Song," "Before My Eyes" and the massive radio hits "Signs" and "Little Suzi." "Modern Day Cowboy" not only brought the show to its knees it also represented a kind of unspoken lifestyle reflected in Tesla’s music. Here is a band that is uncompromising about the music they play. Glad to have ya back boys!