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ArcAttack At Beakerhead: Singing Tesla Coils Produce Electrifying Show

09/16/2013 02:05 EDT
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AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Episode 519 -- Pictured: ArcAttack -- Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

When the band ArcAttack took the stage at Calgary's Beakerhead, they promised an electrifying show.

And while the audience wasn't exactly blinded by the science of it all, it's safe to say they were astonished by the thousands of lightning bolts produced.

The band's brave guitarist took to the stage Saturday night and stood directly between two large Tesla coils.

As he began to strum, the coils began to fire, sending large lightning bolts shooting at his head and body. When the rest of the band -- including a robot on drums -- kicked in, the bolts got bigger.

Don't worry, though. The guitarist was not electrocuted. A head-to-toe chain mail suit kept him safe from the sparks.

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The dramatic show, which took place on the river walk in the East Village, was the Canadian premiere for the U.S. band, which have been travelling with their act since they invented the unique use for Tesla coils back in 2005.

According to Wikipedia, a singing Tesla coil "is a form of plasma speaker... that has been modified to produce musical tones by modulating its spark output."

The resulting sound is likened to an analog synthesizer. In other words: The Tesla coils are actually creating music.

ArcAttack was featured on America's Got Talent in 2010, making it to the final before being voted off by judges.

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The band was invited to Calgary to play for the first annual Beakerhead – a five-day event merging science, engineering and art into dozens of street exhibits, talks and performances.

According to the band's website:

"ArcAttack is all about putting on a show that is not just a concert, but an otherworldly experience. In doing so with the technology that we've created, we hope to inspire minds, the young and the old, to take up an interest in science, the arts, and their applications, to examine where they intersect, where they are going, and to re-examine the works of past researchers and performers such as Nikola Tesla and Delia Derbyshire in light of the ever evolving face of this amazing world."

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