Review of their gig in the Ambassador, Dublin, 6 July 2002
'Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Actors who want to be
Rock stars, you may remember me from such shows as Presidents who want to be
Porn stars, and Footballers who want to be fashion icons?'
Keanu Reeves, Jared Leto and Russell Crowe ('The Fake Plastic Three' springs to mind?) have all attempted the seemingly impossible and failed. It's a well-known fact that actors can't resist the lure, the ego-massaging thrill of being a rock star - it's all about insecurity when you get down to it. Actors just aren't cut out to be Rock stars, simple as that?
Anyway enough hors d'oeuvres, on to Tenacious D, the greatest band in history! Formed in Los Angeles in the early 90s, by Jack Black (better known for roles in the movies High Fidelity, Enemy of the State and The Jackal) and Kyle Gass (who? oh you know the guy? He was one of the two drug-smuggling cargo handlers in the Foo Fighters' video, Learning to Fly)
The D - as they affectionately call themselves - perform comedy rock songs, of the Denis Leary ilk, with a smidgen more grossed-out lyrics and less social realism. Common words in their songs are: 'rock', 'motherf**ker' and 'cock'. And every so often, Satan gets a mention.
Despite a seemingly interminable wait (no opening act), The D received a huge response when they finally graced the stage. Black, was instantly at home, basking in the crowd's adulation. Armed only with acoustic guitars and jokes for every occasion, they started with a cover of the Queen song, Flash. Thereafter, Gass acts as foil to Black's manic outbursts, interjecting where appropriate, but for the most part, concentrates on his guitar playing.
All the favourites are played including, Tribute - 'the greatest song in the world' -, F**k her gently, Kielbasa and Wonder boy. The recently released self-titled debut album contains numerous between-song comedy interludes, (Drive through, and Inward singing, have got to be heard) which are intelligently modified to fit the live audience format. Three short film sketches, which are unbelievable in their content but extremely funny, judging by the contrasting appearance of disgust and implausibility on the audience's faces, further lengthen the set.
Mr. Brownstone, and Sunday Bloody Sunday complete with dance steps for both are no less funny, with Black insisting that the latter had been stolen from him.
The reason why The D, have and will do better than other actor/rock stars, is that they don't take themselves too seriously. Black and Gass don't try to be anything they're not - they know their limitations - I mean who could imagine two more unlikely rock stars?
Somehow it works. They came to rock our socks off, and they did. 'Actors just aren't cut out to be Rock stars?' Wel, Jack Black has just set a new precedent.