Local Wire

Keith Emerson, Scorpions, and Tesla

How can you pack this much arena rock into one arena? Wait 35 years and you can have Keith Emerson as a supporting act. In his day, rock's key showman would stab daggers into his synths, strap himself to a Steinway piano spinning upside down, and rig his piano with more explosives than Wile E. Coyote. Don't expect any pyrotechnics, but do expect to see him haul out his monster Moog patchboard and the more lightweight harmonica.

At this point, the men of the Scorpions have about as much collective hair as one of Vince Neil's extensions, but unlike Samson, this only seems to make them stronger. Their latest album, Unbreakable, is a healthy retreat from power ballad senility and back to the boneheaded rock anthems of yore. As for the guys in Tesla, they came in on the last hair-farmer bus to MTV but got sidelined when grunge became the heavy music of choice. Their new album, Into the Now, is a return to form, with tracks like "Heaven Nine Eleven," a Ground Zero charity record just begging to happen ("Teach the children what it means to love/Show them why we can never give enough") but which probably won't fly in Bush country because Tesla refers to God as "it."

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic