Tenacious D at Riviera Theatre 11/14/18

In 2003 a friend of mine picked me up from my apartment in Lafayette and we drove down to Indianapolis. My obsession with Tenacious D was already a few years in the making-they were on Mr. Show With Bob & David before hitting their own HBO series, both of which I loved. They’d been doing some shows in LA but this would be the first time they would appear anywhere near where I lived. They were opening for Kid Rock at Conseco Field House (now called Bankers Life Fieldhouse). The D rocked and then we left, avoiding the horror of seeing Kid Rock again. But that’s a story for another time.

Last night Jables and KG brought their first tour in 5 years to Chicago. Post-Apocalypto finds the duo in a more political frame of mind than their previous work, but it’s done in a fun way. The first section of the show pairs clips from the animated comic strip that accompanied the album. My only issue with this was that the momentum of the show dragged every time the D stopped and the video came back on. The audience seemed to enjoy it, though. And I was shocked how many people already knew all the words to even the dialogue of the album. It just came out a couple weeks ago.

The second section of the show was greatest hits, made up of songs from their other three albums. They did this in an interesting way, working backwards through their discography. They did Rize Of The Fenix, then Pick Of Destiny, and ended with tracks from their self-titled debut. This section is where the crowd really got into it, screaming the lyrics with Jack and laughing before certain lines even came out of his mouth.

Jack brought out a toy saxophone for “Saxaboom” and guitarist John Konesky (who also opened the show as part of the acoustic duo Wynchester) played the Devil during “Beelzeboss.” Konesky proved he can wield an ax as well as anyone, and it was nice that he was able to get the spotlight in this role.

Of course, the main attraction was the final few songs, taken from the 2001 debut album. It started with “Kielbasa,” followed by “Tribute.” They closed the main set with “Double Team,” which brought me great joy. For the encore they did “Wonderboy” and finally, “Fuck Her Gently.” I was about a millisecond from buying a t-shirt that the various ways they like to get it on (softly, gently, sweetly, and discreetly), but decided not to and I already regret it.

The banter highlight of the night, for me, was when Jack talked about winning a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for “The Last In Line” in 2015. He said “Sorry Anthrax…sorry Slipknot…sorry MASTODON. I guess we rocked just a little bit harder that year.” There were also a lot of Dio references, by both The D and the opener.

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