Live Review: Tenacious D @ the Tabernacle, June 25

By Jhoni Jackson, Photo by Hillymonster Photography

When a giant inflated winged creature with a huge, err, phallus for its centerpiece is the least loud, absurd and vulgar thing onstage, it can only mean one thing: You’re watching Tenacious D perform.

The mock-rock duo (Jack Black and Kyle Gass—but you already knew that, right?) hit the Tabernacle on the heels of the release of their third LP, Rize of the Fenix.The dudes sold out the place—that means a crowd of about 2,500. And on this night, most of that crowd was male, super hyped and really, really sweaty.  No joke, the wall of heat reached about a foot out
But if you’re a devoteside the standing-room-only floor. Two feet back, cool air. Within a foot of the mass of metal horn wielding fans, absolute…moisture. Yuck.

d Tenacious D follower, it’s worth it. The Black and Gass don’t just present their cartoonized take on metal to the crowd—they involve them. Between tunes the pair joked with their fans, even pointing at one guy who was (presumably) jokingly flipping them off.“F**k you!” laughed Black. “Middle finger love!”

The sing-alongs here rivaled that of dieha
rd fans at a legit metal band’s show. Tenacious D fans are serious. And though it’s somewhat clouded by the silliness, Black and Gass’ musicianship—plus the backing band behind them—is impressive. The gestures may be oversized, but their playing is often intricate. Even Black’s vocals, although theatrical, are mighty.

When the pair hit the first few notes of “Tribute,” Tenacious D’s first single and still one of the most beloved, everyone went wild. A few people began to escape the steamy floor, most of them red-faced and apparently drained by the good time.

Before the final minutes of the show, Black left the audience with some feedback about their performance: “The closest thing there is to rocking an audience is the physical act of lovemaking…We certainly received our satisfaction.”


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