The self-proclaimed “greatest band on Earth” gave the proletariat a treat by slumming it at the State Theatre in Detroit Monday night. Tenacious D, in the personage of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, took the nearly-sold-out crowd on an acoustic odyssey through their souls, in the process playing most of their new album and several cult favorites from their short-lived HBO series.
Before The D transcended the stage for their nearly two-hour feast on the senses, opening act Sounds of Urchin brought the crowd to a seething frenzy for humor-tinged hard rock. Complimenting The D”s more folksy riffs, Urchin”s lead guitarist (The Reverend B. Ill) sent volts of electric energy out through the crowd. The good Reverend was kind enough not to talk in rhyme, and let his fanatical shred on his Fender do much of the chatting.
After a thorough warming-up, the crowd frothed for the greatness that was the night”s main attraction. The soundtrack to “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” emanated through the speakers, occasionally heard over frenzied cries for The D.
The tenacious ones began their set with crowd-pleaser “Wonderboy,” their first single. While this pleased many, die-hard fans could be heard mumbling about a “sell-out.” Motion picture and music video master Spike Jonze has filmed a clip for the song, which is sure to catapult band to the forefront of the Total Request Live, teeny-bopper sect that has yet to be receptive to their music.
As fans cried for their own favorite taste of The D , Black angrily asserted that they don”t do requests. Gass then reminded that they would, on the other hand, play every song that they had ever written.
While this was not entirely true, the boys did rip through both obscure gems and classics, such as their career-making “Tribute,” a tribute to the “best song in the world,” which they had also written but subsequently forgotten. They also commandeered a few songs from other, lesser bands, including Guns “n Roses (“Mr. Brownstone”) The Who (From Tommy) and The Beatles (including a closing medley from Abby Road). The portly pair even found time to spontaneously treat the audience to “Eye of the Tiger.” Ivan Drago was unable to make an appearance.
The music intermingled seamlessly with the some famous D sketches (“Inward Singing,” lots of oral sex jokes). Yet it was their musical and lyrical genius that made this the best concert Detroit has ever been privy to. “Fuck Her Gently” is the perfect anti-love song, and “Kyle Quit the Band” and “Kyle Took a Bullet For Me” are pitch-perfect odes to The D”s quiet guitar prodigy.
Black admitted that the concert really began in Detroit, at their biggest venue thus far, and their excitement was tripled by the D-loving audience, who received the duo for what they are, the homely, humble “greatest band in the world.” And in true rock form, The D were treated to a host of female chests at stage left while they mercilessly kicked out the jams.
Afterwards, fans of the D who had purchased the CD that evening were granted a meet and gree with the Two Kings. Patrons were funneled up a staircase where the scepters held by KG and JB were Sharpie pens and treated to an autograph and a kind word. It was more than a kind word though which made the D”s trip to Detroit worth each fan”s while.