TENACIOUS D ***
THRASHED at the box office by Borat and James Bond, Tenacious D strove to set the record straight with this live show, re-enacting scenes from The Pick of Destiny to a more appreciative crowd. A clichd film plot can appear wildly imaginative and even witty compared to the majority of po-faced rock concerts, and this musical duel with the devil benefited hugely from Jack Black's charisma.
Black and partner Kyle Gass appeared on stage from beneath a blanket, like a latter-day Morecambe and Wise. Their acoustic opener, Kielbasa, with its lyrically profane sexual food metaphors and acclaim for the use of soft drugs immediately established the tone for the evening, and the duo's platonic love-in continued until their breakdancing friend Lee spilt beer on the electrics, sending them straight to Hell.
A cover of Queen's Flash had already betrayed their appetite for rock operatics, to be reprised later with a heady rush through Pinball Wizard, and in fiery Hades they were joined by the anti-Christ on lead guitar, Charlie Chaplin on bass and Colonel Sanders on drums.
The band hammered through tracks such as Explosivo and Master Exploder, making up for their knuckle-headed lack of variety with a tight, thundering sound. A gifted physical performer with an enviable vocal range, Black is a far better frontman than many so-called gods of rock.