Mock-rock is something of a lost art these days, but don’t say that to Tenacious D. A television show, three albums, and a full-length feature film haven’t steered the duo of Jack Black (JB) and Kyle Gass (KG) clear of any more opportunistic visions as they continue down the long and lonesome road with music more along the lines of mock-metal. They rock hard, they play hard, and the fans will eat it up for as long as it lasts. And that’s really what made Tenacious D’s show at The Wiltern Tuesday night most memorable: the fans.

The show started with the devil’s pentagram and “The D” ascending the stage dressed in lengthy robes and wrapped with light-up string. With every song and every antic came the loud, deep-hearted roar of a crowd eager for the band to keep the torch burning. The majority of the audience raised their fists in glory and created the devil’s horns, signifying that this praise was not for a band whose mock-rock stylings had defined them, but rather a band whose intense skill and orgasmic love for all things rock had brought fans together in ways you could only imagine.


Photos by Melissa Karlin

Having said that, however, it was a bit hard to hear JB and KG over the din of the crowd at times. I’m sure there was some technical interference with the levels of balance between instruments and amplitude, but their lyrics are a big part of what makes their music so fun and great to begin with. This was a only a minor issue for me as I knew the lyrics of each song, back and forth. I was able to mentally fill in what they were saying as I sang along with everyone else in the crowd, and The D made up for it by displaying an awesome stage presence and wild theatrics.

I had not been to The Wiltern previously, but after seeing Tenacious D perform there, I can say that it was the perfect venue for them. The rather large proscenium was practically made for them, as they filled the stage with supporting tourmates, tons of lighting and, yes, the veiny, throbbing phoenix from the cover of their latest offering, Rize of the Fenix. With songs about Sasquatch and friendships and the Beezleboss, not one part of the stage looked empty as characters joined the duo on stage for added hilarity.

Tenacious D played a majority of their material from Rize of the Fenix, but you could tell the crowd was clamoring for old favorites like “Kielbasa,” “Wonderboy,” and “Tribute,” which the duo performed without a hitch. Even Mad Men’s Jon Hamm was in the crowd, enjoying the atmosphere and always grinning at the banter between JB and KG.

Tenacious D performed a new swanky jazz number, appropriately called “Jazz,” that they said would appear on their next album, set to be released in January 2015. While they insinuated that this was a joke, the idea that they still want to record and perform and keep their style of rock in fashion is quite endearing. It proves that Tenacious D has the heart to continue on in the genre, and the support of their fans at the concert should be everything The D needs to march on into the next battle.

Be sure to take a listen to Rize of the Fenix, out now on Columbia Records.

For more info: Tenacious D’s Official Website