After what seems like the longest winter in recorded history, summer music festival has finally arrived for those of us in the greater Boston area. Few and far between are the occasions for those of us who are into music with a harder edge to actually cover one of these festivals, as they’re typically awash in a dizzying array of alt-pop and alt-country and neo-folk acts. Thank God, then, for Tenacious D.
Backed by a three-piece band that included none-other than Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion fame on the drums, the acoustic-metal duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, served as headline act on one of the Boston Calling Music Festival’s two stages, essentially serving as direct support for festival headliners (and hometown favorites) the Pixies.
Gass and Black took to the stage in full-on, cocksure strut as they prepared to lay waist to what was, admittedly, a very vocally supportive crowd. There’s a tendency amongst music critics and fans alike to overlook Tenacious D as a gimmicky joke band, a sort of faux-metal Smothers Brothers. To do so, however, is to ignore both the legitimate homage that Black and Gass pay to the metal world, and to the legitimate rock chops that the duo and their backing band bring to the table.
From the opening notes of the band’s now fourteen-year-old debut single, “Tribute,” Black and Gass led the band through a high-powered set that never really provided them the opportunity to remove their collective foot from the gas pedal, save, maybe, for the set’s humorous and well-performed jazz-fusion interlude. By the time Gass and Black had bid the band adieu and closed the set with the hilariously – dare I say – sweet track “Fuck Her Gently,” they had triumphantly won over all but the most callous of doubters. Case in point: yours truly had gathered in main stage’s photo pit alongside forty or fifty other photographers from varied media outlets great and small in the photo pit in anticipation of the Pixies set by the time “Fuck Her Gently” began, and halfway through the song song, ¾ of the pit, and the crowd at-large, were singing along in full-voiced unison.
Check out our photo gallery from the Tenacious D set at Boston Calling below.