May 3, 2015
Back in 1988 a little ol’ band out of Californ-i-a made its way into my life with a song called “Modern Day Cowboy.” At 15 years old, Tesla made a huge fucking impression on me with a sound that was so different from any of their peers. They were making this really kind of organic, natural sounding hard rock/metal music that was very no frills and just balls to the wall good. Over the years I would follow Tesla’s career from opening act to seasoned headliners as they put out three of my all-time favorite albums: Mechanical Resonance, The Great Radio Controversy, and Psychotic Supper along w/ the stellar acoustic live album Five Man Acoustical Jam.
In those years I saw Tesla three times and those live shows have been forever embedded into my head as some of the greatest live experiences of my life, the last being on the Psychotic Supper tour in Atlanta on May 17th, 1992. It would be just weeks shy of 23 years before I would see Tesla live again and I can honestly say that I haven’t been this excited to see a band live since maybe Iron Maiden. The anticipation grew and the impatience did as well so when May 4th finally rolled around I felt like a giddy kid on Christmas morning.
I made my way to the Tabernacle where I parked my car and footed it over to the will call window. I picked up my ticket and after show pass (yeah, I know. Major fanboy moment) and headed into the venue. I made my way to the merch and I was a bit bummed at the lack of merch that the band had available. This was the last show of their makeup dates so this is not uncommon for any band to bet honest. I politely passed on the $11.00 beers and instead opted for the $5.00 water (up yours Tabernacle) and made my way to my seat situated center stage in the lower balcony. I knew absolutely nothing about the two bands opening so I was eager to give them an honest listen.
The first band up was a band called NoMara and their claim to fame is that their guitarist is former Evanescence/We Are The Fallen guitarist John LeCompt. Well, at least we know who we can blame for this because this band was absolutely terrible. First off, they looked and acted like a bunch of Affliction clothing/Axe body spray wearing, redneck frat metal dudes. Their songs were just horrendous and it was downright painful. They even had a song called “Tesla” which I’m guessing they thought was clever as it was full of hair band references throughout the song. Hell, in my opinion, the band should sue them just for dragging them into such a crappy song. I just had to say No Morea of NoMara.
Sledd was up next and these guys were quite the joke. Their singer looked like a white hip hop graffiti artist in cycling clothing while their keyboardist looked like someone’s dad who was just excited to be out on the road and awake past 9pm. This band, much like NoMara had ZERO redeeming qualities. They even have a song called “People Watching” which is to a “t” the main riff for the Iron Butterfly song “In A Gadda Da Vida.” Either these guys just think that nobody would recognize it or they just don’t give a flying fuck about ripping off one of the most iconic rock songs of all time. My guess is that I just don’t care because I’ll never listen to these clowns again. Why Tesla picked these two bands (if they indeed did) is beyond me but they definitely picked two bands that they would have ZERO problems making us all forget the minute they walked out on the stage.
Tesla took to the stage to a roar from the crowd as the band launched right into “MP3” off of their latest album, Simplicity. When a band like Tesla, with such a history behind them, opens with a new song off of a new album, that is a band that is making quite a strong statement. The song was an absolutely perfect opening song but then things just got shot through the stratosphere as Tesla slid right into “Edison’s Medicine.”
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