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FFF Fest review: Tenacious D

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Ramon Ramirez

Editor’s note: This article was originally published November 9, 2013

The fiery heart of a champion cannot be crushed, and so the “D!” chants started early.

Fans of Kyle Gass and Jack Black’s enduring comedy music project Tenacious D planted up all afternoon — long enough for couples to stew, fight publicly and make everyone uncomfortable. At 5:52 p.m., the acoustic duo hit the comedy tent in dueling T-shirts, a fan on “high” and in general, powered on for 50 minutes or so.

“Austin, Tejas, (expletive),” Black said, “I like to call you ‘Tejas.’ You deserve a sexy little nickname.” One riff about the nice weather turned into a great one-liner curveball about global warming and then a song about how we need to build a Death Star. Things got higher four songs in when the duo dusted off “Kielbasa,” the barnstorming opener from 2001’s masterful eponymous debut, and The D’s most complete and funny work.

“The History of Tenacious D” set the chronological record straight: “We walked with Jesus and his crown, he did not die in vain.” The pair’s 2006 film, “Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny,” was represented with the monstrous “Kickapoo” but sans the Meatloaf and Dio (R.I.P.) vocal solos. No matter: Black and Gass make a strong alliance and the world’s most awesome band.

The duo played self-empowerment gurus (“Quit your day job and focus on your craft”) and dispensed epic advice. There were red lights, jokes about roadies, hellfire on screen; I also caught a lyric about making lemonade in the shade, and on the wings of an eagle. Dave Grohl didn’t show up to play drums on “Tribute” (“the greatest and best song in the world”), but the room exploded with the home stretch classic.