A delightfully scripted musical theater with Tenacious D at Ahoy

Jack Black and Kyle Gass: guitarists and singers of the self-proclaimed greatest band in the world: Tenacious D. The D for fans. There is no new album, but that doesn’t stop the living cartoon characters JB and KG from touring the world once again under the banner of The Spicey Meatball Tour. Music enthusiast Remco Faasen usually prefers to listen to black metal, but he has a soft spot for the comedic rock duo and, just like in 2020, found himself at the front row, this time at Rotterdam’s Ahoy. Lonneke Prins took the photos.

Before the chubby musical actors make their appearance, Steel Beans takes the stage as the opening act: a complete band with only one band member: Jeremy DeBardi. He sings, plays guitar, drums, and has a keyboard within reach. The songs he performs are mostly rocking but lack a substantial depth. No matter how many instruments one can play simultaneously, they still have a maximum of two arms, and if you use them to drum and play guitar at the same time, it’s logical that what you produce is on the lean side. Additionally, DeBardi is not a great singer. And while the musician is dressed in a cute golden leotard, his act is not excessively humorous, so Steel Beans doesn’t quite make the cut either. Oh, and at one point, DeBardi asks who is uncircumcised and then requests security to remove those who raise their hands. Hilarious.

Tenacious D appears on stage earlier than expected, but Ahoy is ready for them. The opener Kickapoo is sung along by the masses, and effortlessly, we continue with Low Hangin’ Fruit and Rize of the Fenix before we meet Biff: the roadie supposedly in charge of the pyro tonight, who immediately messes up his first assignment. Musically, we proceed with a magnificent rendition of the extremely catchy Wonder Boy, while Tribute
(with an extended intro) is greeted with loud cheers. It’s a pity that Biff “ruins” his assignment by shooting off too much fireworks at the wrong moment on stage. Remarkably, the pure enthusiasm emanating from the stage, particularly from the backing band, is palpable.

After the new Video Games, chains start rattling: The Metal is back and thunders onto the stage. Following some threatening movements towards JB and KG, the band and the audience join forces to perform the eponymous song celebrating the invincibility of the greatest music genre ever, and The Metal even throws in some impressive dance moves. Jack Black packs away his toy saxophone and “plays” Sax-a-Boom, only to be surprised by Kyle Gass and his much larger “Max-a-Boom,” with which he delivers the solo of the ’70s jazz classic Baker Street. Then, swiftly moving on to Roadie, but Black is not satisfied with the performance and gets into an argument with his bandmate afterwards, who subsequently walks off but not before pulling down his pants to give everyone a glimpse of his 62-year-old behind. Fortunately, he returns in time to play his part in Dude (I Totally Miss You). The blood brothers reconcile with an affectionate embrace after completing the song.

Fortunately, because Wicked Games must be played: the Tenacious D version of the ever so sweet song by Chris Isaak. The screens display the hilarious video of the song. However, it seems to be too much for guitarist John Konesky who… becomes possessed? By Satan? In any case, he is still able to kick off Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown). Thankfully, JB and KG join in and defeat the King of the Underworld, who looms large behind drummer Scott Seiver. Double Team is filled with solo moments for all the musicians, including Jack Black who plays a portion of The White StripesSeven Nation Army. It’s pure fun, and for a moment, we see a rock band jamming without all the scripted theatrics.

After a short break, Master Exploder is welcomed like an old friend and performed splendidly. The Spicy Meatball Song gets “ruined” by Biff, once again failing at his job. The massively sung-along Fuck Her Gently concludes a delightful performance, although the ultimate highlight is reserved for Biff, who finally succeeds in setting off all the pyro at the right moment. With big smiles on their faces, everyone then makes their way out of Ahoy.

Date and location

14 juni 2023, Ahoy, Rotterdam


Lonneke Prins (Lonneke Prins Photography website en Facebook)