Tenacious D

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author AP date 12/08/13 venue Tap 1, Copenhagen, DEN

This self-proclaimed mockrock duo (supplemented tonight by session musicians John Konesky on electric guitar, John Spiker on bass guitar, and Brooks Wackerman on drums) has never visited Denmark before, so it is understandably an enraptured audience they face at Carlsberg Tap 1 tonight; and it makes it all the more amusing when, after Jack Black remarks upon this fact, Kyle Gass blurts out: "but we know we have fans here." His obvious slip compels Mr. Black to burst into laughter and retort, "is there anything worse you could say right now?" Sadly this spontaneous exchange remains one of the few genuine moments during the D's long due performance here, together with Black's penchant for cracking out his gratitude with "tak you very much!" or "tak yeah!".

Indeed, the show to which we bear witness tonight is, to me, a somewhat disappointing experience. With a revered comedian like Jack Black, a show this rehearsed seems almost an insult; the humour that dictates the inter-song banter is not only a decade old, it also comes across as trite when delivered as though read up from script. But thankfully, rather than letting the evening descend into tragic stand-up comedy, Tenacious D have decided to put together a much more rock concert-type experience for us, with the rambling between songs kept to a minimum across the 22 songs aired. It all begins on a high, with an enormous dick-shaped phoenix inflating behind the band during the title track to last year's "Rize of the Fenix" LP, and the colours of the Mexican flag shone on them during "Señorita", despite that song, according to Mr. Black, being about a Spanish lady he once knew.

But while tracks like "Dude (I Totally Miss You)" and "Kyle Quit the Band" function well in the movie ("Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny", 2006), they don't so much in concert, with Gass' abrupt exit from stage coming across as positively predictable, although Black's subsequent 'private' exchange with the tour manager regarding the need for the show to go on because he needs the money for cocaine does send waves of chuckles resonating through the 6,000-strong audience. Speaking of which: Tap 1 itself contributes to my dampened reaction to the show, as the stage has been built way too low for a crowd as populous as this. The absence of any LED displays means that at the best of times, I can just about glimpse Black's mussed up hair or Gass' glistening scalp; and at the worst, the experience is reduced to listening whilst gazing at the neck of the person in front of me.

But such is life sometimes, so instead I focus on standing on my toes to glimpse 'an evil alien squid' - as Black calls it - wobbling on stage during "Deth Starr"; and a robot marching on stage to throw severe glances at us during "The Metal". I also focus on formulating an analysis of the actual music, which is infamously ironic and takes the piss out of every convention in folk, rock and heavy metal music whilst still sounding exactly like those genres. Paying no mind to the lyrics, songs like "Friendship", "Kickapoo" and "Beelzeboss (the Final Showdown)" could well pass for mainstream songs pertaining to those genres, and this, I feel, is the essence of Tenacious D: sarcastic stadium rock.

The crowd is of course in ecstasy by the time "Baby" and "Fuck Her Gently" close the proceedings, and one must whole-heartedly commend the people here for showing such enthusiasm and knowing all the inside jokes such as calling out The Roadie, who is allegedly waiting for Tenacious D to die so he might take over. The sheer amount of crowd participation makes this a solid performance, but on the flipside one could be forgiven for expecting the D to have rehearsed their jokes a little less, and to amuse us with actual, heat-of-the-moment style humour. Nonetheless, this show must go down as an acceptable Denmark-debut for these masters of mockrock.

7

All photos by Lykke Nielsen

Setlist:

  • Rize of the Fenix
  • Low Hangin' Fruit
  • Señorita
  • The Road
  • Roadie
  • Dio
  • Throw Down
  • Dude (I Totally Miss You)
  • Kyle Quit the Band
  • Friendship
  • Saxaboom
  • Kielbasa
  • Kickapoo
  • Deth Starr
  • The Metal
  • Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)
  • We Beat the Devil
  • Wonderboy
  • Tribute
  • Double Team

--Encore--

  • Baby
  • Fuck Her Gently

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