TOM KEIFER, the voice of CINDERELLA was at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, TX as part of a double bill with TESLA. The anticipation of seeing him live was overwhelming as I wondered if he still had the voice he once had that brought him to rock stardom in the 1980’s. CINDERELLA was without a doubt one of my all time favorite bands from that era. Touring behind 2013 solo album The Way Life Goes (a labor of love he spent years writing), Keifer wore a long black shirt with a background of the U.S. Flag bearing a skull face, layered with a lightweight jacket with hoodie. With his black shoulder length hair, he looks well.
He began the set with “Still Climbing” and “Somebody Save Me” from CINDERELLA. I was blown away by his raspy, soulful voice that appears to be still intact as if it was yesterday. He followed up with “The Way Life Goes” and more CINDERELLA favorites like “Shake Me”, and “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone” where he took a seat at the piano facing his wife, Savannah Snow Keifer who also sings backup in the band as they passionately sang to each other.
He stood up, acknowledging his wife’s vocal ability by gesturing to her as he directed the audience applause. His admiration and devotion to her is very endearing. As the set continued they performed a mix of old and new tunes like “Nobody’s Fool”, “Solid Ground”, “Night Songs”, and “Coming Home”. Keifer is extremely intense while at the same time quite mesmerizing as his wicked vocal range is still unbelievably amazing, and he hit the high notes on every single song! He’s multitalented and his guitar playing was superb. His band was awesome and the stage set and light show were pretty much all spotlights.
While Keifer is not much on talking, he did yell to the audience “Come on, I can’t hear you, come on give it up!” He also acknowledged the U.S. flag waving in the audience and stated “That is beautiful, red, white and blue” as the audience cheered on. The set ended with “Shelter Me”, BEATLES classic “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “Gypsy Road”. While his old band is on hiatus, it is perfectly clear that the voice of CINDERELLA lives on!
TESLA was up next as they were on their 30th Anniversary Tour. For a band to stay together for this period of tIme speaks volumes. Over that time period they have released a multitude of live and studio albums. Their 1986 debut Mechanical Resonance got them started, and along the way they’ve had many hit records including The Great Radio Controversy and 2008’s Forever More. Their most recent release was 2014’s Simplicity and it rocks!
With lights flashing, the band kicked off in high gear with a heavy hitting song as lead guitarist Frank Hannon took center stage shredding his guitar followed by fellow axe man Dave Rude, then Jeff Keith strolled out singing “MP3.” They continued with “Into the Now”, “The Way It Is”, “Hang Tough”, and “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out)” while the three video panels on stage showed a blaze of fire during the chorus. These guys sound sensational and look like they have found the fountain of youth.
Keith still radiates a groovy spirit and has the moves and mannerisms to match. He was dressed in all black with a scarf draped around his neck and and heeled boots. They play with so much confidence, their musicianship seems effortless as Frank and Dave took turns playing lead and magically played off each other. Keith told the fans they were there to kick some serious ass!
The guys picked up their acoustic guitars as Keith said “It’s time to jam” with “Cumin’ Atcha Live”, “Truckin'” by THE GRATEFUL DEAD, “Paradise”, and the best rendition of “Signs” I’ve ever heard. The set was complete with “What You Give” while photos of the band throughout the last 30 years reflected on the video screens. “Edison’s Medicine (Man Out of Time)”, “Love Song”, “Little Suzi” ended the night before Keith said “Thank you Dallas, we love you guys!” and launched into megahit “Modern Day Cowboy” which brought the house down.
Jeff Keith’s voice screams “I’ve still got it!”, Frank Hannon is awesome and highly underrated, as he can make his guitar scream and sound sweet at the same time. Dave Rude, since joining the band in 2006 is an added bonus. He’s a smooth, exquisite guitar player and also fronts his own DAVE RUDE BAND. Brian Wheat is excellent on bass, as is Troy Luccketta who sits behind a Tama drum kit with a 30th Anniversary XXX Save That Goodness logo. A round of applause for this band as they celebrate 30 years together on a musical journey that sounds to be never ending. TESLA gave a performance that was most excellent as they proved to still hang tough!
LIVE IMAGES: GUZPIX
LIVE WORDS: JANICE SPICER