For close to 20 years now, singer-guitarists Jack Black and Kyle Gass have pushed rock parody to the limits with their duo Tenacious D. You would think the joke would have run its course by now. But the two always find a way to breathe new life into it. Last night before a sold-out crowd at the House of Blues, they put a political spin on their presentation as they played a show they dubbed “Rock the Mother Lovin’ Vote.” For 90 minutes, the two portly guys, who dressed as if they were headed to gym, delivered a hell of an entertaining show and they only needed a pair of acoustic guitars to pull it off.
Initially, Black and Gass would play a song, take a bow and exit the stage, only to return once the crowd ushered them back with thunderous applause. While the trick definitely wore thin after about the fourth time, it was a funny way to begin the concert. “Give me a blues jam in A,” Black joked at the beginning of “Rock is Dead,” which the band delivered as a send-up of a down-and-out blues number. Black then did his best Axl Rose impression for the woozy “Throw Down” and found some time to banter with the audience. “Welcome to our one stop tour,” he said. “We just wanted to come to Cleveland. It had nothin’ to do with nothin.’” Well, that most certainly wasn’t the case. Even Black admitted, “I can only imagine what must feel like to be swingin’ like you guys are swingin.’”
Toward the set’s end, the duo pretended to have an argument and Gass announced he had quit the band. Black acted like it was a struggle to carry on without him and told the crowd, “The good news is that you saw that last show.” Gass eventually returned to the stage and the band ended the set with some of its best known numbers, including “Dio,” a song Black dedicated to “the greatest heavy metal singer of all time,” and “Tribute,” the band’s signature song that is brilliant in its sheer stupidity. As the set concluded, Black told the audience “You know who we want you to vote for — that one dude changes his mind every fucking second. Fuck that.” The guys began the two-song encore by playing snippets of everything from Michael Jackson to Led Zeppelin before concluding the concert with the ballad “Fuck Her Gently,” a song that Black said “goes out to the ladies but is sung to the dudes.”