Gig review: Tenacious D, Edinburgh

Kyle Gass and Jack Black of Tenacious D. Picture: Getty
Kyle Gass and Jack Black of Tenacious D. Picture: Getty
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Subtitled the Old School Acoustic Style tour, this latest jaunt for Hollywood comedy actor turned musician Jack Black and his more taciturn, musically capable partner Kyle Gass was a masterpiece of making a little go a long way.

Tenacious D - Picture House, Edinburgh

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There were, for example, only two of them on stage at most points, barring occasional drum interventions from a hairy guy known as Sasquatch and the occasional induction of Black’s guitar tech.

It seemed strange, then, that two men whose style obviously stems from a shared love of classic rock and heavy metal music might try to hold an audience’s attention with just a couple of acoustic guitars and Black’s astonishing, if somewhat overblown, vocal ability. At times it was hard to discern if this show was more about the music or about his chops as a comedy performer, and if it was the latter, then it was unsurprising that the law of diminishing returns had already kicked in on big, jokey and well-played hits like Wonder Boy and F*** Her Gently by the time only a few notes had been played.

By the same token, their less intentionally comedic songs are musically somewhat staid, a tribute to rock’s glory days. The sensation was of a single joke which isn’t funny anymore, but there were enough moments to recommend alongside the pair’s essential likeability – including Black’s Robert Plant holler during The Road, his shrill Bee Gees falsetto amidst To Be the Best and his powerful a cappella of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs, not to mention a mighty audience singalong to Tribute.