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Originally published February 17, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified February 18, 2007 at 6:55 PM

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Concert review

Funny? You bet, but they're tight, talented

No matter how much Tenacious D fans insist it's not Jack Black who makes the band, it really is Jack Black who makes the band. Kyle Gass — the...

Special to The Seattle Times

No matter how much Tenacious D fans insist it's not Jack Black who makes the band, it really is Jack Black who makes the band.

Kyle Gass — the other half of The D — is an able musician and an affable straight man to Black's antics. But you can't take your eyes off Black — even when Satan himself makes an appearance to challenge the duo to a rock-off.

Covered in sweat and bounding across the stage, Black is the consummate rock frontman — but one you could see yourself having a burger with. Without Black's wide-eyed, impish smirk and "I'm-so-serious-it's-funny" posturing, there's no way Tenacious D could pull off their brand of dirty-mouthed folk metal and come away with so many fans.

The first of a two-night, sold-out stay at the Paramount was fast-paced, energetic and downright silly. The antics come as no surprise if you've heard either of D's two albums — the 2001 self-titled debut or their November release "The Pick of Destiny," the soundtrack to an equally silly movie starring Black and Gass.

Review


Tenacious D, Paramount Theatre, Seattle, Friday night. Repeat performance Saturday (sold out).

The appeal of Tenacious D for many is the fact that the two look like a couple of ordinary guys just hanging out. They are so far from being pretentious that Gass wears white socks and sandals, sans irony. Their live show — replete with lots of scripted dialogue, a break-dancing God of Metal, steaming towers of hell and a frolicking giant mushroom — is ridiculous. Something you and your buddy might dream up if, like, dude, you had your own metal band.

The show opens with Gass and Black in front of a California living-room backdrop strumming the raunchy "Kielbasa." After a handful of acoustic songs, the two are electrocuted by a guitar made of a toilet seat and end up in hell where they recruit Colonel Sanders, Charlie Chaplin and the Antichrist to back them up. The plot's preposterous, but who cares? They know how to rock. The crowd threw their hands into devil horns, sang along and bobbed their heads to the driving beats of the speedy 15 remaining songs.

Take away the profanity-strewn lyrics about sex, bodily functions and being "the greatest band of all time," and you still have solid music. The addition of the full band kept the set from getting too repetitive, and, man, that Antichrist (aka guitarist John Konesky) can really wail. But without the ridiculous lyrics, Tenacious D would just be another nondescript metal band. Their silliness is what defines them and makes them so easy to relate to.

Is Tenacious D the greatest band of all time? Well, no. Is Jack Black the most entertaining frontman of all time? On that claim, I'd be more willing to wager my soul.

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