Tesla Plays the Palace; ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ Opens at Pittsburgh CLO (Tues., 8/8/17)

1) Tesla formed in Sacramento, California, in the 1980s and was originally called City Kidd. However, their manager didn’t like the name, plus there was another band with that name, so they found inspiration from inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla. The band really hit its stride in the early ’90s with a tight group, the rich vocals of Jeff Keith, and the ability to craft some popular power ballads. Breaking up in 1996 and reuniting in 2000, the band remains popular and continues to create new works. Their latest album was 2014’s Simplicity. They are currently working on a new one scheduled for release this year. Tesla’s best known songs include “Love Song,” “What You Give,” and “Signs.” The band has sold over 25 million albums. Opening is The Cringe and Voices of Extreme. 7:30 p.m. The Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St., Greensburg. 

2) Thank Jack Clement. He was an engineer at Sun Recording Studios in Memphis, Tenn., when Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley started an impromptu jam session. Clement hit record, capturing what became known as the Million Dollar Quartet. Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott wrote a musical based on the session. It premiered at Florida’s Seaside Music Theatre in 2006 and ran on Broadway from 2010 to 2011. The musicians are dramatized as is Sam Phillips, founder of Sun Studio and Sun Records. He explains between numbers how he discovered each musician. Although the session featured mostly gospel numbers, the musical includes the artists’ respective hits, such as “Walk the Line,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “Hound Dog.” Sure to be a toe-tappin’ sing-along. Performances continue through August 13. Benedum Center, 237 7th St., Cultural District. (CM)