D Is for Droll

Tenacious D. At the Arlington Theatre, Tuesday, February 13.

Reviewed by Levi Michaels

Jack_Black.jpgFusing the power of Kyle Gass’s mighty guitar and actor Jack Black’s theatric vocals, Tenacious D introduced a homemade brand of mock rock with its eponymous release back in 2001. Five years later, the D returned, this time on the big screen in the recently released motion picture, Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny. But for those who didn’t catch the movie, Gass and Black decided to transform it into a part-musical, part-theatrical onstage odyssey for their show at the Arlington.

The evening began in a recreation of Gass’s own living room as he and Black awoke to the theater’s screaming audience. Donning their acoustic axes, they hit the ground running with classics like “Kielbasa,” and, rather appropriately, “The History of Tenacious D.” It was not long before Black urged Gass into the “23rd dimension” by going electric with the “ultimate guitar,” which appeared to be fashioned from a toilet seat and extension chords. Long story short, they plugged in, got electrocuted, and jumped from the stage to the projector screen, where they found themselves in hell.

The D made the most of the situation, enlisting the instrumental help of the anti-Christ on electric guitar, Colonel Sanders on drums, and Charlie Chaplin on bass (who was apparently condemned to hell for being gay, in case you were wondering).

The road was not easy for the newly formed Fellowship of the D, who encountered a giant robot that embodies metal music, a bad batch of suspicious “shiitake” mushrooms, and even conflict among the warriors themselves that resulted in Gass quitting the band. Many a fan dabbed at their eyes during the resulting “Dude (I Totally Miss You)” and triumphant return in the form of the tune “Kyle Quit the Band.” In the end, Black and Gass must face Lucifer himself in a rock-off for their very souls. The devil does a formidable job of rocking, but no one can stand in the way of the newly reunited D. To celebrate the victory, D finished off with renditions of “Tribute,” as well as the soft serenade “Fuck Her Gently.” All in all, the D got an A.

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