by Robert Bell
7:30 p.m. Magic Springs' Timberwood Amphitheater. $30-$65.
Sacramento hard rockers Tesla emerged during the hair-metal heyday of the mid '80s. It was an exciting era of loud guitars, brightly colored spandex, caked-on makeup, coked-up egomaniacs run amok, sexual innuendo that was disconcertingly literal and enough hairspray to float an armada.
Tesla's music could certainly be considered of its time, but the band always seemed a bit deeper and less silly than many of their contemporaries, what with the band name and song titles that referenced the oddball genius inventor Nikola Tesla, and also by generally eschewing the tackier sartorial inclinations of their colleagues.
The group is perhaps most widely remembered for a hit acoustic cover of "Signs," a track that was originally cut and released in 1971 by The Five Man Electrical Band as a way to tell all the squares, "Hey man, stop putting up all these signs. You're blocking out the scenery."
Tesla broke up for a spell in the '90s, but got back together in recent years for a bit of touring and some albums released on their own Tesla Electric Company Recordings.