Tenacious D Fills Palace With Laughs, Smiles And Uncomfortable Jokes At First Of Two Sold Out Shows

July 30, 2019 - Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States - Tenacious D live in concert at the Palace Theatre along with Wynchester as the openers. (Photo by Seth Steffenhagen/Steffenhagen Photography)

Was going to a show last night my greatest idea? Absolutely not. While driving to Saint Paul, all I could hear was my mother’s voice in my head, “You’re never going to get to feeling better if you don’t just stay home and rest!” Well, I’m sorry mom but Tenacious D was in town last night and that just wasn’t a show I was willing to miss. I didn’t care if I had to sniffle and sneeze my way through the show, I was going to do it with a giant smile on my face. I mean, come on, it was Tenacious D…. can you blame me?

Kicking the night off right at 7:30 was Wynchester. Their quirky country-based songs matched their comedic banter that sometimes edge on the border of painfully awkward and cheesy. Their set was short at only thirty minutes long but I feel like that was the perfect length. People were clearly anxiously awaiting Tenacious D and attention spans were short because of it. It must be hard opening up for such a legendary band but the two men in Wynchester (who happen to be band members of both the Kyle Gass Band and Tenacious D) held their own and made the best of it while clearly making a few fans on the way.

The set changeover between Wynchester and Tenacious D may have been a half hour but honestly it seemed to only take a second. Blame it on the anticipation, blame it on my stuffy head, blame it on whatever you want but time was zooming by and before I knew it, the lights were dimming and the roar of chatter from the sold out audience turned into a deafening cheer. There was a short DIY animation that played across the sheer sheet that was concealing the stage (which would happen multiple times as the dynamic duo played through the almost the entirety of their new album “Post-Apocalypto”) and then, out of nowhere, the two men that make up Tenacious D (along with their backing band that was just as talented) were spotted at center stage and honestly, at that moment, my night turned into a bit of a blur.

You know Tenacious D. Maybe you don’t know their music or their always hilarious antics but you know them. Tenacious D is Kyle Gass and the one and only Jack Black. Yes, that Jack Black from all the movies– from School Of Rock which is hands down one of the best movies of all time (and no, that’s not up for discussion and yes, I still have a huge Hollywood crush on this man). The last time I saw this pair was back in 2008 when they played for the Rock The Vote festival in Saint Paul alongside Beastie Boys (yeah, that’s a concert I will never forget) so I was super excited to finally have a chance to yet again sing along to the hilarious songs that these two have put out there.

As mentioned, the first part of the show was an “almost play through” of their new album “Post-Apocalypto”. I haven’t had a chance to listen to this album at all so this was a nice introduction to it. There was a story line in there somewhere, I’m sure of it, but I don’t think I could tell you exactly what it was. There was some sort of a journey through space that left the two men in a cave with a three headed dog, some savage women who blamed men for ruining the world (the most believable part of the story), a giant robot, lord, I honestly don’t even know but I do know that 99% of it was completely inappropriate and, at times, was down right awkward. That’s kind of the charm of this band though. They are completely off the wall, childish at times, and remind you that it’s okay to laugh at dick and fart jokes no matter what your age is.

After the play through, the band went on to play “nothing but the hits” and although that was a funny comment being that this band has never really had a “hit” in the classic radio play sense, it had the audience screeching with excitement as the sheer screen that had aided in the visuals that came with “Post-Apocalypto” fell to the ground and the two superstars stepped out to the edge of the stage. The set continued with favorites from all four of Tenacious D’s releases.

Regardless of what song they were playing, there was a sense of fun that radiated not only from the crowd, but also from the stage. Being able to watch Jack Black in all of his quirkiness as he captivated the audience with ease was definitely a highlight of the night for me. There was something familiar and friendly about both Jack Black and Kyle Gass’ stage presence. Sure, they are larger than life characters that many people have put up on a pedestal but, as they played through their nearly two hour set last night, they seemed more like just some friends horsing around on stage.

The 23 songs that Tenacious D performed were perfect but it still wasn’t enough. They could have played for four times as long and it wouldn’t have been enough. A sign of a good show is a show that allows you to forget everything going on in your life and lets you just be in the moment with a smile on your face. For two hours last night everything was perfect in my life (other than the constant sneezing and sniffling) and I can not thank Tenacious D enough for that.