By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
There's no escape from Tenacious D: Jack Black and Kyle Gass are in Foo Fighters videos, alone and together in various films (Shallow Hal, Cradle Will Rock and Saving Silverman, to name a few), popping up in the middle of a Mr. Show rerun on HBO or blowing the regulars of the Saturday Night Live stage. And there's no reason to attempt a getaway. Not only do true rock-and-roll hearts beat somewhere under the chunky exteriors of the duo, but they share space with out-and-out talent, presence and a wickedly funny sense of humor. If those elements don't add up to a must-see live show, well, then live music needs a toe tag. The D has been performing like mad behind the release last fall of their self-titled debut disc for Epic Records, headlining club dates or opening for bands such as Weezer. And while Dave Grohl and members of Phish and Redd Kross helped back the band on the disc, in concert, it's pure, unadulterated D. Which means, onstage, you'll find nothing more than Kyle and Jack and their acoustic guitars. With, of course, potential appearances by Spider-Man, Bigfoot and child, "Osama bin Laden" and their "roadie" Lee, as was the case last time around.
As an opening band, Tenacious D's guitars and antics alone are enough to make you regret that a headliner will inevitably replace them onstage. But as the main draw, they're unbeatable. Their guitar-playing alone will dispel any questions you have about a band playing without the heavy backing of drums or bass being able to fill a club with sound, and Jack's physical ability to move about a stage in unnatural ways despite a less-than-lithe frame hearkens back to other such performers as John Belushi. Or Elvis Presley. So. If I haven't sung their praises highly enough yet, find a way into this show; their rendition of "Tribute" alone, an ode to the since-forgotten greatest song in the world, is enough to make you realize just how "explosivo" a show like this can be. Treat them as a novelty act at your peril--the D is here to stay. Or look at it this way: There's no better way to spend 4/20--if you know what I'm saying--than with this band.
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