Post-Memorial Day and shows are everywhere, this weekend offering one of the widest varieties of the season.
The big opening is that of Thunder Valley’s Outdoor Amphitheater Summer Concert Series, a steady stream of acts through October, including comedy (Jim Gaffigan, Steve Martin and Martin Short), classic vocals (Michael Bolton, Diana Ross) and plenty of rock (Beach Boys with Chubby Checker, the Avett Brothers, Barenaked Ladies).
The opener Saturday night, June 4, brings California hard rock to the stage with the teaming of Tesla and Y&T. Both bands were at the forefront of the heavy metal phenomenon, and both underwent name changes in their early years. Y&T was called Yesterday and Today when it formed in Oakland in 1974. The memorable songs followed the name change – “Forever,” Rescue Me,” “Summertime Girls.”
Tesla, which formed seven years later, was originally City Kidd, but while recording “Mechanical Resource,” their first album, their manager said it wasn’t a good-enough name, so the group decided to pay homage to inventor Nikola Tesla. The band name has been overshadowed on Google by the car company, but the group remains prominent both in rock history (through albums such as “Great Radio Conspiracy” and “Psychotic Supper”) and certainly in home city Sacramento, where many still remember the band’s 2000 reunion concert. (6:30 p.m.; $34.75-$179.75; thundervalleycasino.com)
Y&T likes to play small venues as well and will show up Friday, June 3, at Cargo, the nightclub in Reno’s Whitney Peak Hotel (8 p.m.; $18; cargoreno.com)
Music of an entirely different sort is featured Saturday, June 4, at Harrah’s Tahoe. The Midtown Men consists of members of a core cast from the original “Jersey Boys” Broadway musical. Having played more than 1,000 performances together, they decided to go on their own, but they could hardly do so billed as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. They’ve been seen lately on PBS with their concert filmed at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and their debut CD is “Sixties Hits.” (7:30 p.m.; $63; Ticketmaster)
Jackson Rancheria goes country with Frankie Ballard on Friday, June 3. His album “Sunshine and Whiskey” yielded an impressive three No. 1 songs – the title track, “Helluva Life” and “Young & Crazy.” This is country of the smooth sort. (7 p.m.; $40-$50; jacksoncasino.com)
One of the most unusual singing stars and a strong feminist voice in the musical world, Paquita La Del Barrio, arrives at Reno’s Silver Legacy on Saturday, June 4. (8 p.m.; $69.50-$89.50; silverlegacy.com)
Added to the Harveys Lake Tahoe Summer Concert Series is Stevie Wonder on Sept 2. (7 p.m.; $99.50-$249.50; Ticketmaster)