By Jim Davis
TROY — The familiar fan base is there, but Tesla drummer Troy Luccketta has been noticing plenty of new faces in audiences wherever the band plays.
That’s great news for the iconic hard rock band, which recently embarked on its 47-city spring/summer tour that includes several gigs with Def Leppard and Poison.
Tesla will visit Troy on Saturday for the second stop on the tour — an 8 p.m. performance at historic Hobart Arena — with special guests The Cringe and The Raskins set to get the evening rolling.
“I think back in the day we were lucky enough to have enough radio stations that supported our music and our tours. But now you have a lot of new people — younger people — coming out and discovering the music themselves,” Luccketta said. “I notice a lot of younger fans in the audience. Sometimes fans are bringing their kids to the show now — and that’s great.”
The veteran drummer, 57, will be joined onstage by lead singer Jeff Keith, guitarists Frank Hannon and Dave Rude, and Brian Wheat on bass guitar and keyboards. Together they’ve sold more than 14 million albums on the strength of hits ranging from the power ballad “Love Song” and a popular remake of the Five Man Electrical Band’s 1971 hit “Signs” to ’80s radio staples “What You Give” and “Modern Day Cowboy.”
Tesla first played at Hobart in early 2015 — just 10 days before lead singer Jeff Keith underwent hip replacement surgery. Luccketta said Keith is back in form these days and ready to roll.
“You can’t keep Jeff down. He was in a lot of pain (before the surgery), but he seems to be fine now. He has a lot of energy,” Luccketta said. “It’s always nice to be invited back … and the nice thing is we’ve updated the show and brought in video and lights. We’re bringing some of the history with us and we’ll show some footage from the past … it ties it nicely together.”
After 30-plus years, Luccketta said he and his bandmates still enjoy doing what they do best — making music together.
“The nice thing is, we like each other, we like touring and we like working together,” Luccketta said. “We’ve been doing this a long enough time that we’ve figured it out … and it’s a real blessing that we can do what we do. We don’t take for granted what we do.
“We’ve been able to keep the dream alive for 30 years, and we know fans have dreams of their own,” he continued. “Hopefully when they come out they’ll have a good time and leave the troubles of the world behind for a little bit.”
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the concert slated to start at 8 p.m.
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