Tenacious D Rize again in Glasgow

Tenacious D: it's only mock 'n' roll.
Tenacious D: it's only mock 'n' roll.

Their early start meant I missed the first ten minutes of their set, which one can only assume was when the giant, inflatable, phallic phoenix that crowned the stage was erected, for want of a better word. It was an ode to their latest release, Rize of the Fenix, (there's no spelling on the curriculum at the School of Rock), and, although far from capacity, a bulging audience worshipped their rotund heroes, Jack Black and Kyle Gass, from beneath the monster.

Take a second and conjure up a mental image of the expected stereotypical crowd for a mock rock band. If you've got a mass of teenage boys wearing black band t-shirts with a special aptitude for personal hygiene avoidance, give yourself 10 points. If you've got that same mass but spanning a wider age range and with a lot of hair thrown in, give yourself 20. There might have been a bit of a must in the air but, boy, were those fans dedicated with every word in Jack Black's quick-lipped repertoire recited.

It was difficult at times to make out the jokes in less well-known tracks, though everyone around me was chuckling constantly during the show. I was very much the outsider in a lot of in-jokes, though, after a brief chortle at Jack Black's sax-a-boom being thrust around his neck, I was quickly envious of his skills on the plastic kids toy - Raphael Ravenscroft for the new generation.

The graciously titled Kickapoo from their flopbuster film began an acoustic adventure, before pumping into a Rolling Stonesque full band strut, then cartwheeled into Nirvana grunge territory, and back again. Although comic to the core, tracks like this also portrayed the versatility and skills of the band behind the duo, including John Spiker on bass, who mixed and mastered their new album. Although a certain Mr Grohl, who features on the album, was absent from tonight's proceedings, his sit in was far from second best, displaying an appropriate level of self-indulgence through a thundering drum solo later in the show.

Ridiculous and often vile, the band remained light-hearted with favourites Tribute and Wonderboy sending the arena wild for the big licks that roll around in similar territory to System Of A Down, Metallica and AC/DC.

Pulling a few more guitar windmills before bed time, Black thanked the crowd, having "rocked them extremely hard". Wishing "multiple eargasms" all round, the filth-fuelled Double Team finished proceedings, or so we thought...

Just when a confetti cannon exploding through the head of the phoenix seemed like the end of the props budget tonight, dimmed lights on stage brightened to reveal the band being reborn for the encore. Here the ...um.... complementary item of anatomy had been constructed from the ashes of the phoenix, super-sized enough to span the whole backdrop of the stage, and easily deliver Black, Gass and their ample stomachs.

With both classes of genitalia crossed off the list of potential stage decor, Tenacious D, "the greatest band in the world",  frolicked through their own schoolboy anthem, F***  Her Gently, leaving fans grinning all the way home .

There's not a lot serious about Tenacious D, and I won't be joining the fan club. But in small doses the duo are seriously good fun.


 

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