Last Wednesday night at the Revolution Concert House and Events Center was a night full of great rock music. Let me start by saying, both bands have special places in my heart for different reasons. Let’s start with Vault7.
Vault7 is a local band who have stolen the spotlight and hearts of many. They put in a lot of work both on stage and off stage to get their music out there for people to enjoy. They have done some touring, and have been one of the most dedicated bands in the local scene. Vault7 consists of four members: Brian Hoyt – Guitar, Nathan Polnow — Vocals and Guitar, Dennis Goodman – Drums, and Paul Blair – Bass. These four men are not only hard workers, they are also goofy and kind.
Vault7 came out to the song “Undaunted” by Adrenaline Mob and gave a heartfelt statement about the tragedy that had recently occurred with the band’s members. Vault7 had recently played a show with Adrenaline Mob and quickly became friends. Adrenaline Mob lost their bassist player, David Z in a bus accident and their tour manager, Jane Train, is in critical condition. There is a GoFundMe account set up to help her with hospital bills. Vault7 started their set off with a track titled “Digital Heart”. This song created a buzz in the crowd who quickly got into the music. Nathan belted out the vocals, and despite suffering from a strep-throat that night, he powered right through it. Brian and Paul entertained the crowd with their stage presence demonstrating how much they were clearly enjoying their time. Dennis kept it all flowing with a stellar drum rhythm. They continued with “Unplug”, “Touchstone”, “Fear Nothing”, “Soulgo”, and ended with “Come to the Deep” — their the heaviest song of the night, showcasing their diversity. You could tell by the end of the set, Vault7 had impressed the crowd and developed a whole new fanbase.
Next came the mighty Tesla…
Where do I begin…..Tesla has been around for many years, yet you can tell by watching them, they still very much enjoy what they do. The energy this band continues to display is always amazing to me. They laugh, hug, and involve the crowd continually throughout their shows. This night, was probably the best I have ever seen them. This was Tesla’s 30th Anniversary Tour. They played songs from many albums, early and late. The first song was off their most recent, Simplicity album, “MP3”. They followed this with the heavier title track to their Into the Now record. Guitarist Frank Hannon shredded through these songs with his stellar fret skills. Jeff Keith sang with his distinctive voice that is always shockingly exactly the same as you hear on the albums. Dave Rude played six-string counterpart to Hannon, kicking out riffs to help create the guts to the songs. Brian Wheat set the rhythm with his amazing bass playing, and Troy Luccketta completed the structure of the rhythm and meat of the songs with his excellent drumming.
Now to say Tesla doesn’t have a bad song is an understatement, and this night reminded me, once again, they will continue this legacy. At this point, people are already pumping their fists and showing this band just how much they are loved in the Boise, Idaho area. The jam packed venue was energy infused by people that had clearly been Tesla fans for many years. The quintet slowed it down by song three with “The Way It Is” off The Great Radio Controversy album released in 1989. Once again, fans showed their love by singing along with the lyrics of this classic early Tesla track. They followed this with two more vintage tracks from the same record, “Hang Tough” and a personal favorite, “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)”. They went on to Bust a Nut with “Mama’s Fool”. After this, the setting changed, and an acoustical set was added. The band discussed their album, Five Man Acoustical Jam, and showed the crowd how “Comin Atcha Live” would sound acoustically, which then transformed into The Grateful Dead’s “Truckin”. “Paradise”, another personal favorite, followed beautifully with Brian Wheat playing the keyboard and an emotional vocal rendering from Jeff Keith. Tesla then jumped into what some would call their anthem, “Signs”, where Dave Rude took over the guitar solos. This increased the energy in the crowd as people sang their hearts out to a clear Tesla favorite.
The magic continued with “What You Give”, a song Keith hails as a personal favorite, followed by their latest single, “Save That Goodness”, which was written and produced by Phil Collen of Def Leppard) who is also producing their upcoming new studio album. The band then shifted to their thir third studio album, 1991’s Psychotic Supper for a blazing and powerful “Edison’s Medicine”, followed by a poignant performance of “Song and Emotion”, a track penned for the late Steve Clark of Def Leppard who had passed away earlier in 1991. This masterpiece of a song created an emotional reaction in me, and I am sure many others, with its tear jerking lyrics and heartfelt message. This is the first time I had heard this song live, and it was not a disappointment. They tugged at my heart and soul as they hammered out one of the most beautiful songs they have written. Hannon and Rude dueled back and forth with incredible guitar solos that rang out through the venue. It was a beautiful moment in a night full of pure talent and awe.
The ever popular “Love Song” concluded the slower songs of the night and Tesla ended their set with the spirited “Little Suzi” and their iconic first single, “Modern Day Cowboy” where Keith saluted the crowd as he sang. Both songs continued the guitar solos between the two extremely talented guitar players, Hannon and Rude. Can you tell by now I am a guitar gal? This night was full of many emotions. One thing I can always say about Tesla, they never put on a bad show, and you never walk away unsatisfied. If you have never had the pleasure of seeing them live, it is an absolute must for music lovers.
All photos © 2017 Katarzyna Cepek Photography