Tenacious D fans unable to secure tickets to Tuesday's sold-out concert at the Uptown Theater might howl in a combination of delight and dismay upon learning that a twenty-foot phallus served as the backdrop for the comedic rock duo. The overtly vulgar display might have offended the uninitiated, but the act's deeply devoted fans smiled throughout Tenacious D's one-hour-and-forty-five-minute performance.
Black and Kyle Gass, who plays the straight man to Black's animated grandstanding, have issued three albums in 11 years. Unlike opening act the Sights, a Detroit-based band dedicated to reviving rowdy garage rock, Tenacious D cover a variety of styles. The band played affectionate parodies of heavy metal, amusing spoofs of sensitive love songs and ridiculous pastiches of rock operas. A mean-spirited but deft lampoon of self-indulgent jazz musicians was augmented by Tenacious D's excellent three-piece backing band.
Undeterred by the stifling heat inside the venue, fans reacted to every selection with crazed zeal. In truth, only a portion of the material merited such boisterous responses. The lusty "Low Hangin' Fruit" and the lowbrow gag "Deth Starr" contained musical merit and genuine hilarity. The skit that preceded the self-referential "Dude (I Totally Miss You)" and "Kyle Quit the Band" was also amusing. "Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)" was even better. Aside from its sacrilegious concept, alarming profanity and scatological humor, the song was good clean fun.
While it wasn't a transcendent experience, the scandalously raunchy concert was undeniably entertaining.
"I don't think you can deny that we've rocked you extremely hard this evening," Black asserted.
The concert reached its, ahem, climax when the salacious stage prop spewed white confetti at the conclusion of the lewd "Double Team." The 14-year-boy lurking inside every Tenacious D fan cheered mightily at the irredeemably juvenile display.
Setlist: Rize of the Fenix; Low Hangin' Fruit; Senorita; Deth Starr; Roadie; Throw Down; 39; Jazz; Kielbasa; Kickapoo; Dude (I Totally Miss You); Kyle Quit the Band; Friendship; The Metal; Wonderboy; Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown); The Who medley; Tribute; Double Team; Baby; The Road; F*** Her Gently.
| Bill Brownlee, Special to The Star