Tenacious D : Toronto Kool Haus

Was it good while it lasted? Not really....

You have to credit Tenacious D frontman Jack Black. From the smart-arsed used record store assistant in ‘High Fidelity’ to this, the entertainer has created his own 15 minutes of fame. Regardless of the fact he and his acoustic strumming partner Kyle Gass (AKA KG) have created a trendy ‘Warning: Explicit Lyrics’ album which will serve as a future delete bin staple, he is striking while the iron is hot.

The band played last year with [a]Weezer[/a] and has been chummy with Dave Grohl. The fact is two recent leading roles in the films ‘Shallow Hal’ and ‘Orange County’ has resulted in a sold out North American tour. And tonight, in the band’s first ‘international’ gig and last night of this leg, the hordes are witnesses to Spinal Tap 2.0, minus the wit and innuendo.

From the onset, this is Black’s baby, although KG is doing his best to make a good impression. Resembling a Franciscan monk on a sick day, he plays the good straight man to Black’s maniacal yet controlled, well-rehearsed mood swings. Singing about mind bullets and asking to [I]”take me away from the mucky-muck”[/I], Black shows hints of comic genius, but too often the show becomes little more than an unplugged [a]Bloodhound Gang[/a]

performance. ‘F**k Her Gently’ and ‘Cock Pushups’ won’t be found in musical anthologies, but the ditties have their instantly

gratifying effect.

‘Lee’, sung by a devoted fanatic turned webmaster named, you guessed it, Lee, is slightly amusing, as is the brief ‘Spiderman’ song and mock fight. Fans are also perplexed by what they wanted from the night. Are they here for the music or for the gags? Only a few diehard fans have each song memorized, like ‘DIO’ but those in the back stare like obese chipmunks caught in the headlight, holding their nuts and anticipating the end. A video timed for the period before the encore screws up, but being the last night, who cares?

A few more songs are played and then the video plays, showing Black and Gass in compromising situations. With each other! By midnight, Tenacious D has left the stage. Was it good while it lasted?

Not really.

Jason Macneil