Tenacious D – Palace Theater – St. Paul MN – July 31st 2019

7/31/2019 Tenacious D @ the Palace theater by Todd Johnson
I have to admit I had never heard any Tenacious D songs before today. Of course I knew that actor Jack Black was in the band and a guy named Kyle was also in the band, but that was about it. So I came to the show with a very open mind. The stage show was very, very unique! When you see the stage there is what looks like a drawing of a curtain on the sides and above the stage. There is also a translucent skim in front of the entire stage set-up. The opening band, Wynchester, performed in front of it so I thought it was just to cover it up before Tenacious D came out. However, when Tenacious D started they used the big skrim to play animation in front of the entire stage for their new concept album and movie “Post-Apocalypto “ which involves drawings of Terminators, Nazis, flying parts of the body you never imagined flying before and cartoon versions of Jack Black and Kyle saving the world. All the drawings were drawn by Jack Black himself. The animated movie, which lasted around 40 minutes, was something reminiscent of what South Park has done, but to an entirely new extreme. It kinda reminds me of something you would draw in high school as a teenager but would get you kicked out of school once the teacher saw it. That being said the Post-Apocalypto part of the concert and music were pretty hilarious! During that portion of the show, Jack Black, Kyle Gass, and the rest of the band played behind the skrim so it was sometimes difficult to see them because the skrim gave it a murky look and they were further back on stage than normal during the sold out general admission show. When the concept album part of the concert was done and the skrim was finally raised, it was like going from looking at the band through dirty eyeglasses to seeing them in 3D (which incidentally the show was being streamed worldwide to people who owned Oculus Rift VR headsets which explained why they had a huge satellite dish on the side of the venue.)
The energy that Jack Black had was intense and Kyle countered it with calm & collective cool being the yin to Jack Black’s yang. The crowd got really wild when Tenacious D starting playing “Rize of the Fenix” with projections of cartoon flames surrounding the stage and a ‘phoenix’ that looks like eerily familiar (the  album cover shows a ‘phoenix’ that looks like a certain body part.)  The band played all the fan favorite songs ranging from “Low Hanging Fruit” to songs from the epic “Pick of Destiny” album. Everybody was singing along to every song and laughing their butts off at the lyrics. It was a fun concert and seemed like something I would’ve went to in high school. While the lyrics did seem sophomoric at times, it did seem to work as a rock concert for people who didn’t take themselves too seriously.  If they come to town again, I highly recommend seeing them in concert (especially if it is smaller venue like the Palace in St. Paul.) Maybe Jack Black & Kyle Gass will come back to perform next year for the 2nd annual Mpls Comedy Festival in 2020 and, if they do, it will probably sell out even faster than this one.