Laughter may truly be the best medicine. With daily news that is filled to the brim with political turmoil, a world at war, tragedies and loss, it is sometimes hard to find an escape from it all. Enter Tenacious D. Proving that the combination of Heavy Metal and Comedy can be just as potent as the two men that bring it together – Jack Black and Kyle Gass (often shortened to JB and KG, respectively) – Tenacious D is a band the likes of which has never been seen.
First making waves when their self-titled 2001 album achieved a cult-like status among fans, it featured a combination of humorous skits and the musical styling that would come to define the band. Adding to the album’s cred, former Nirvana drummer, as well as current Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl, lent his drumming expertise to the album, and that partnership continues to this day. A dynamic duo, Tenacious D has since conquered not only the music world – including a 2015 Grammy for “Best Heavy Metal Performance” – but the silver screen, as well, with their 2006 film The Pick Of Destiny. Recently heavily hinted at a sequel to the film, earlier this year, the two began releasing a YouTube series in coordination with the release of Post-Apocalypto. The six episodes were completely hand drawn by Black and told the tale of JB and KG following the fallout of a nuclear bomb. In typical Tenacious D fashion, what follows is a surreal story that could truly only come out of the minds of Black and Gass.
And so, only one day removed from releasing the final episode of their animated web series and fourth studio album, Post-Apocalypto, Tenacious D arrived in Brooklyn for their first of two back-to-back nights – November 3rd and 4th – delivering the goods to the fans within Flatbush’s Kings Theatre. The Saturday show, on November 3rd, also marked the opening of a year end tour, one that will conclude on December 31st, only adding to the anticipation of what the night might bring.
With Black and Gass surely backstage eagerly awaiting the start of their tour, Los Angeles, California Country Rock band Wynchester took to the stage to open the night for the Brooklyn crowd. Tenacious D’s own touring Guitarist John Konesky and Kyle Gass Band’s Mike Bray obviously have close ties to the headlining band and were therefore a perfect fit for the night. The two united as a side-project in 2012 and, after a short spat as a covering act, began writing their own music the next year. With their self-titled debut album released earlier this year, the band was prepared to kick of the night.
Playing in front of a plain curtain, all the focus turned to Wynchester. Two men, two guitars and two voices working perfectly in sync were all Konesky and Bray needed to capture the minds of the fans already packing out the theater’s seats. Opening “The Gospel of Good Times,” a track that headlined the band’s 2014 EP Spreading the Gospel of Good Times, it proved to be a strong opening that had fans quickly taking notice. Paying homage to their roots, the band turned to a cover of “Easy” by the Commodores, before paying tribute to Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ In The Years” later in the set.
The good times kept rolling with “Ridge Runner” and “My Glass Is Half Full” before the two closed with “High Desert Rambler.” While short on time, Wynchester took advantage of every moment granted to them on the Kings Theatre stage. Along for the ride for the entirety of the Post-Apocalyptic Tour, fans will find Wynchester a welcome edition, and the Country style they offer will surely delight through the remaining shows.
With Wynchester’s set complete, the time quickly arrived for the headlining act, the one and only Tenacious D. It had been five long years since Tenacious D had performed a full set together and as the lights went down on at Kings Theatre, the cheers grew loud anxious to see them again. That in mind, with plenty of new material at their disposal, JB and KG, along with touring members John Konesky (guitar), John Spiker (bass) as well as Scott Seiver (drums), were ready to save the world one music note at a time.
The show could best be described as a two-part experience. A transparent curtain hung over the stage for the first half of the performance, allowing bits of the YouTube series to play. Opening with “Post-Apocalypto Theme,” before introducing fans to tracks including “Hope” and “Fuck Yo-Yo Ma,” the new album was on full display through the first half of the night. The intersecting video footage kept fans laughing as they took in all the new Tenacious D offerings. While the group had made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live one night earlier, many of these tracks were actually making their live debut with the Brooklyn crowd, adding another layer of energy to the set.
After “Save The World” and a reprise of “Post-Apocalypto Theme,” the curtain dropped. Despite having been able to see the band playing through the curtain, the full reveal of the band led to a standing ovation for what felt like the true arrival of Black and Gass. From here the second half of the show became a tribute to the band’s greatest hits, starting off with “Rize of the Fenix.” Moving on, they graciously explored their earlier work while interacting and having a genuinely fun time with the audience.
Keeping everyone smiling, and laughing, Konesky joined the frontlines for “Beezleboss (The Final Showdown),” taking on the role of the Devil. The momentum was unstoppable as the band and the crowd proved that “The Metal” does indeed live on. “Dio” and “Keilbasa” followed before the opening strums of “Tribute,” immediately caused the fans to raise to a pitch fever. Reaching the performance’s climax, “Double Team” followed with Black throwing in pieces of Van Halen’s “Panama,” and the Frank Sinatra classic “New York, New York,” before they closed out with fan-favorite “Fuck Her Gently.” A fitting ending, as the song progressed, it naturally turned into a sing-along with everyone in the crowd adding their own flavor to it all before rising to their feet for Tenacious D’s well-earned curtain call.
Fear not: time has not slowed down our heroes to the apocalypse, and The D is proving to be as tenacious as ever. With the tour just getting started, the duo is sure to continue to heat up as the weather cools down through December. So, break away from all the bad news, be ready to laugh, be ready to sing along, but most of all, be ready to have your mind blown!