TESLA : January 14, 2023 @ Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth, TX

Tesla rolled up to Fort Worth’s historic Will Rogers Auditorium Saturday night for the band’s first date of the 2023 touring calendar. The show was part of the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo concert series during the duration of the annual Fort Worth event.

Joining Tesla on the show roster was Kurt Deimer and DFW locals Anything But Human.

Deimer, who is no stranger to being on the road with Tesla, will be serving as main support for the band’s first six dates of 2023. Five of those dates are Texas based with the sixth date being New Orleans.

In the Fall of 2022, Deimer joined Tesla for a run of dates that took the tour to various markets including a stop in Dallas.

DFW trio Anything But Human turned out a brief set that was well received by the diverse crowd. The band closed with a cover of “Eleanor Rigby” bringing the Saturday night audience to their feet.

Curtain Call Records recording artist Anything But Human. Photo by Brian McLean

Kurt Deimer took to the stage following a very inquisitive movie trailer for his soon to be released horror film Hellbilly Hollow. The trailer left many wondering who or what entity was about to take the stage. 

Strolling out on the stage to “Dance,” a soon to be released song, the audience quickly put pieces of the puzzle together. The man behind the microphone was the man behind the bullhorn in the movie trailer. It’s Deimer as the character Bull in Hellbilly Hollow.

Deimer and his band were clicking, dialed in on their set and the task at hand. The sound was perfect, not too loud and everything was equally represented.

The band continued with songs from Deimer’s 2021 EP Work Hard, Rock Hard with “Only Time will Tell” and “Back of the School.”

Deimer’s set included “Hero,” his nod to first responders and the notable cover of Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar.” Guitarist Phil X’s lead only made the presentation of the cover even more impressive.

With Deimer’s stage presence and persona, the band easily converted and won over new fans who were unaware. This was Deimer’s fourth show in the Dallas Fort Worth area since 2021. It’s the metropolitan area that Deimer has played the most. 

There just may be a special bond forming between the band and the DFW fans, old and new.

Kurt Deimer during the band’s final song of their set. Photo by Brian McLean

Even though Deimer’s set easily rocked Fort Worth, the crowd was ready for Tesla.

With “We Will Rock You” pumping through the PA system, there was a foreshadowing of what would take place.

Tesla launched into “Modern Day Cowboy,” the first single from their 1986 Geffen Records debut. Vocalist Jeff Keith quickly commanded the stage with his elegant grooves and smooth stage moves. Add into the Tesla equation that after 35 plus years, Keith’s voice sounds amazing.

The band as a whole looked and sounded great.

Keith stated to the audience their set would include lots of the classic tunes. Tesla didn’t disappoint with the song list.

The band followed the opener with “Hang Tough” from their 1989 sophomore release The Great Radio Controversy.

It was the third song, “Time to Rock” that those who may not have been following Tesla all these years were introduced to new music. It’s the band’s latest single.

The Tesla faithful and re-recruits were treated to a well rounded collection of familiar classics.  Tunes such as “Heaven’s Trail” (No Way Out), “Changes,” “Edison’s Medicine,” “Love Song,” “Little Suzi” and the set closer, “Signs” were devoured.

The majority of Tesla’s set consisted of songs early in the band’s discography. The band did include “Breakin’ Free” from 2008’s Forever More album.

Even though Tesla’s career started in the 1980’s the band hasn’t lost a step. Tesla has aged gracefully on the stage and their stellar performance is proof of that. Tesla’s a tight unit musically.

Catching Tesla live should be on every music related Things to Do List for 2023. 

If Tesla’s set Saturday night in Fort Worth is a hint of what’s to come in 2023, it will be the year of Tesla, the band.