Smoke on the Trainwreck

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Hair today: Kyle Gass (left) looks like a wreck.
What Tenacious D is to the overblown conceits of metal, Trainwreck -- featuring Tenacious D's other half, Kyle Gass -- is to 1970s southern cock rock: plenty of fatuous soloing, roots flavor (more Toto than Black Crowes), and excursions into prog. It's pouring out and it's Monday night, which keeps the crowd at the Beachland Tavern small -- around 30 to 40; Gass is directing the audience where to stand in front of the stage for optimal enjoyment (and to fill in the gaps). Fortunately, the light attendance doesn't hinder their performance. It's the first show of the tour, but the band's tight, and Gass continually displays the kind of wide-eyed enthusiasm and deadpan delivery that makes him such a great straight man for his Tenacious D mate, Jack Black. He banters with the girls in the front row, he invites one onstage for a picture during the set, and asks another if she ever "dreamed of being a welder by day and a stripper by night?" -- which later leads to a cover of Irene Cara's "Flashdance . . . What a Feeling" in the encore. After the show, a wigless Gass hangs out with fans beside the band's RV. After a time he slips away for a second, and the fans turn to leave. I walk over toward the RV, and one of the fans hesitantly steps in front of me, as his girlfriend a few feet away tells him, "Go ahead. You gave him pot. You can say goodbye." We duck our heads around the open RV door, where Gass is sitting. The fan sticks his head in, quickly waves, then turns toward the street. I stand there, believing for a moment that I might get a little one-on-one time. Gass stands up from the couch. His shorts are half-unbuckled and sliding (and it's boxers, not briefs). He reaches around me to pull the RV door shut, which is the last I see of Kyle Gass. Guess we won't be getting high tonight. -- Chris Parker

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