Tenacious D Awe Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater

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By Alma Reed

Written by Wes Lytz

Tenacious D ran a full court press on Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater Sunday night. Read on for all the ins, outs and what-have-you’s of this momentous event. 

Sunday was a wet and rainy day in downtown Nashville. Fortunately, the clouds broke and the sun peeked out by the time music fans started filing into Nashville’s outdoor Ascend Amphitheater. The rain cooled off what would have otherwise been a hot and muggy Sunday evening, which was pleasant. But, as rain tends to do, it left the unfortunate side effect of wet grass and damp chairs, soggying the bottoms of the 6000+ fans in attendance. 

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Acoustic comedy country duo Wynchester opened the show. The acoustic guitar and vocalist pairing of Wynchester members Mike Bray and John Konesky were an ideal choice as opener. Aside from the obvious reason that they fit the bill of musical/comedy act, Wynchester has close ties to Tenacious D. Mike Bray also fronts Tenacious D member Kyle Bass’ side project The Kyle Gass Band, and John Konesky is the current electric guitarist for Tenacious D. 

Wynchester opens the night with their songs “The Gospel of Good Times” and ribald ditty” Two Man Job”. Their short set also included covers of Ronnie James Dio classic “Rainbow in the Dark” and The Commodores hit “Easy”. Their witty repartee between songs makes them instantly endearing. And with soulful vocals, tasty acoustic guitar shredding, lots of energy and fun lyrics, it’s easy to see why Wynchester picked up many new fans in Nashville. 

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American comedy rock duo Tenacious D with band in tow dons the stage to an exuberant crowd of long time and adoring fans. They open the show with a few songs from their recently released album “Post-Apocalypto”.  A massive backdrop displays cartoon artwork from their album. The artwork incorporates not-so-subtle images of male and female naughty bits exaggerated for comedic effect. Jumbotron screens on either side of the stage project cartoon clips, as well as live footage from the show. 

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Anyone familiar with frontman Jack Black’s movies can well guess what can be expected when seeing the D in concert. It’s akin to a comedy routine built around their music. For example, after a song, Jack pulls co-star Kyle aside, out of range of the microphone, and expresses what is clearly his extreme displeasure with Kyle’s performance. After which Kyle returns to the microphone and announces “I Quit!” and walks offstage. This is the perfect setup for Jack Black’s solo performance of Dude (I Totally Miss You), the power of which is enough to convince Kyle to rejoin the band and finish the performance. 

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Their stage performance accentuates the satirical nature of their lyrics, emphasizing clichés endemic to heavy metal bands and the entertainment industry in general. There’s also a healthy dose of songs with lyrics of the salacious variety to which the audience was eager to sing along to. Songs like Kielbasa, Double Team and Fuck Her Gently being sung by thousands of fans at an outdoor theater could be heard within several blocks of the venue. Overall it was an exciting event with one of today’s most entertaining bands.