There are plenty of fans who remember the 1980s fondly, that era when disco fell and punk rock tanked commercially; guitars and drum kits were largely left to gather dust while synthesizers, drum machines, and special effects were brought into the studios and onto the stage in abundance.
Pop and dance music were presented by such bands as Duran Duran, the Eurythmics, and the Cure. Others came and went in record time, like Modern English and Gary Numan. How many out there remember Dexy’s Midnight Runners?
The decade has been the brunt of humor since, but the music persists, and a group out of San Francisco has been bringing it back in all its splendor for some years now. They appropriately call themselves Tainted Love after one of their anthems (the song was written in 1964 but a cover of it by Soft Cell in 1981 brought it back to the fore), and they fill the stage with keyboards, outrageous fashions and flowing hair.
The band returns to one of its favorite stages this Saturday, the South Shore Room at Harrah’s Tahoe, bringing a set list that usually includes standards like “Hungry Like a Wolf,” “Obsession,” and “Safety Dance.” At the beginning of 2018 it might just be time to return to the 1980s. Mostly it’s just about the fun. (7:30 p.m.; $29.50; Ticketmaster)
For further proof that the ’80s never died, Sinbad, who reached one of the peaks of his career in “The Cosby Show” spin-off “A Different World” in 1987, is still doing stand-up and remains a reliable draw which he will prove once again at Cache Creek Saturday. Another peak was a run of “The Sinbad Show” which featured a young cast member by the name of Salma Hayek.
His real name is David Adkins, but he chose his stage name based on his fondness for Sinbad the Sailor. He’s appeared in a raft of movies (“Jingle All the Way,” “Unnecessary Roughness,” and voicing the character of Roper in Pixar’s 2013 “Planes”) and television series. (8 p.m.; $45-$59; cachecreek.com)
Engelbert Humperdinck actually predates the ’80s and there aren’t many entertainers still working from the time he first scored big. Now, if anything he proves the decades have given him mastery of a showroom environment. He sings at the Grand Sierra in Reno on Friday. (9 p.m.; $29-$137; grandsierraresort.com)
That showroom follows with an evening of superior guitar artistry. The G3 Tour this year features Joe Satriani, John Petrucci and Phil Collen, a trio of contemporary greats with the instrument. (7 p.m.; $55-$75)
Also up this week is Tracy Morgan who continues his revitalization following his horrendous traffic accident. His show at the MontBleu Saturday is appropriately called “Picking up the Pieces.” (8 p.m.; $45-65; Ticketmaster)