Fans of Tenacious D were unsure if the band would ever dive back into visual media after their 2006 film “Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny” failed commercially and critically. Over the last 10-plus years, Jack Black and Kyle Gass have waited patiently for their time to finally jump back into that medium of storytelling. It seems that the current political climate was just the inspiration they needed to jump back into movies, and not just jump in, but dive completely headfirst into wacky and just plain insane stories once again.
After their return in 2012 with “Rize of The Fenix,” comedy rock duo Tenacious D took another long break from the road and the studio. Jack Black has become a bonafide superstar and had movies to make, and Kyle Gass had plenty of side projects and personal things to attend to. However, early in 2018 it became clear the band was becoming active again, and little did fans know it would be another movie. However, what ended up coming out was much different than many had in mind. “Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto” was released as a series of animated short films on Youtube, rather than as a fully realized film. The shorts featured crude hand drawn animation done by Black himself, and an even cruder and crazier storyline involving the apocalypse, a cave full of warrior women, a robot, space travel with Yo-Yo Ma and an evil Donald Trump Jr. They decided to take this movie on the road, and brought the music from the film and some of their greatest hits to The Fillmore Nov. 8.
The show began with an opening set from satirical country band Wynchester, featuring the talents of Tenacious D’s backing guitarist John Konesky. The group was extremely talented, working as both a great live country experience and a satirical view at typical country tropes. When they were finished, an opaque curtain was drawn in front of the stage.
In a kind of foreshadowing, the preshow PA music included selections from “The Wall” by Pink Floyd. While the general seriousness of both albums is extremely different, the live experience was very similar. Pink Floyd built a wall between them and the audience which they then projected visuals onto to tell the story. In Tenacious D’s case, there was no wall to build so they rather used this opaque curtain to project the visuals from their animated film. While they only projected snippets of the entire animated film, the storyline and songs were kept entirely intact. In between snippets from the film, the curtain became see through in order to allow the audience to see all of Jack Black and Kyle Gass’s manic acting and playing. Generally, the visuals and storytelling were very enjoyable, especially the various characters and personalities portrayed by Black and Gass.
During the final track of the album, roadies came out and took away the screen and allowed the band to connect with the audience. The second set featured the band going through their back catalogue and playing a few songs from each album. One of the highlights was “Beelzeboss” from their 2006 film, in which the guitarist Konesky was possessed by Satan and the duo had to beat him in a “rock off challenge” to not be dragged down to Hell. Another highlight was “Double Team” from the duo’s debut album. This track featured band introductions and solos, in which every member got to show off their skills. Once again, Jack Black stole the show, delivering a hilarious vocal solo and singalong featuring a fun snippet of “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Philadelphia legends Hall and Oates.
Over 20 years into their comedy career, it’s refreshing to see that Tenacious D is still willing to take risks for comedy and put on a wonderful live show as they have consistently throughout their career. I would highly recommend seeking out “Post-Apocalypto” on Youtube just to see the absolutely insane storyline in action, and especially if you are a fan of the band or Jack Black. If you do enjoy the band and want to get the chance to see them live before their retirement, I would highly suggest seeking a show out, as it was a once in a lifetime experience.