Tesla completes Waterfront lineup

Tesla, a recently reunited rock band, is the final headliner to complete On The Waterfront’s mainstage lineup. The group is currently touring to promote its new CD, Into The Now, and will take the Miller Lite Great Lawn stage at 9:15 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 4. Gates open at 6 p.m., and up and coming rockers Kory & the Fireflies will perform at 7:30 p.m. Reserved tickets are available through the MetroCentre Box Office and cost $22.50 in advance or $28.50 at the gate.

Tesla arrived on the music scene in 1986 with its debut album, Mechanical Resonance. The Sacramento, Calif.-based band features vocalist Jeff Keith, guitarists Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch, bassist Brian Wheat, and drummer Troy Luccketta. With its gritty blend of blues and rock, Tesla quickly distinguished itself from the many pop metal bands that characterized the ’80s. The group’s sophomore effort, The Great Radio Controversy, produced “Love Song,” a 1989 top 10 hit that went on to become the band’s trademark power ballad.

Named after Nikola Tesla, an early electrical engineer and inventor, one would think the band would never stray from its heavily amplified sound, but the group headed in a much different direction. Tesla stripped down, unplugged and began playing raw acoustic rock. In 1990, the group became one of the first rock bands to release a live acoustic record when Five Man Acoustical Jam came out. It contained a cover of “Signs,” an anti-establishment anthem for hippies that earned the band widespread respect and popularity.

Tesla recorded two more albums and released a greatest hits compilation before breaking up in 1995. The members did not get together again until October of 2001 for what was supposed to be a one-time reunion show in Sacramento. The concert rekindled Tesla’s interest and chemistry, prompting the band to pursue a full-fledged comeback. In March, the group produced its first album of original material in 10 years, Into The Now. The CD captures the essence of Tesla’s unique sound, emphasizing Hannon’s aggressive wah guitar solos and Keith’s raspy vocals. To date, the band has collectively sold 14 million records.

Although all the original members rejoined Tesla, the group is currently touring without guitarist Tommy Skeoch, who announced in mid-July that he was taking time off to seek treatment for an addiction problem. In the meantime, Scott Johnson will fill in on guitar until Skeoch is able to rejoin the band. To learn more about Tesla, visit www.teslatheband.com.

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