Tenacious D at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago, IL

Tenacious D brought Post-Apocalypto to life on the first of two sold-out nights at The Riviera Theatre in Chicago.

If there’s one thing Jack Black knows how to do, it’s entertain. Add Kyle Gass into the mix and Tenacious D bring you a night of comedic story-telling mixed in with some genuine rock n roll. Post-Apocalypto was released earlier this year after the pair were inspired by Trump’s presidential campaign, and was supported by a series of animated short films on YouTube. This current stage show sees them bring everything together by performing songs from the album interspersed with the animated clips which are projected onto a screen which covers the whole of the stage. 

One thing is for sure, if you’ve never seen one of their shows before, it is certainly not for the easily offended. It was clear to see that the packed out Riviera Theatre shared the same sense of humor as the comedic pair and lapped up every crude joke that came their way. As snippets of the short films were projected onto the screen, the Theatre was filled with raucous laughter.

With the first half of the show being dedicated to their run through of Post-Apocalypto, the second part of the show saw the screen covering the stage be removed, as they delved into their “Greatest Hits” section. It’s crazy to think these guys have been putting out music for more than 20 years now, but open up your eyes and it’s clear to see it was destiny!  Each night, as they perform these songs from yesteryear, their performance of “Double Team” takes on a new twist depending on which city they are performing in. In honor of the Chicago performance, Black snuck in a snippet of Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now,” which is a nice nod to the city.

Whilst the comedy element is a huge part of these shows, and their act as a whole, it doesn’t take away from the fact that you’re seeing a stage full of very talented musicians. Kyle Gass gets to demonstrate his intricate yet effortless guitar skills, while Black shows that he can sing just as well live as he does on the recorded album. 

Particular mention must also go to guitarist John Konesky, who also had a starring role as Satan during “Beelzeboss”  which saw him battle against the duo during an attempt to drag them to Hell. Drummer Scott Seiver has some of the biggest boots to fill, with Dave Grohl having performed again on this album. However, it has to be said Seiver more than stepped up to the role as he, along with John Spiker, provided a solid foundation and more upon which the band could rock out all night. 

It must be an incredible feeling for any band when they hear the audience singing their songs back to them. The Chicago audience proved they were in great voice as they wholeheartedly sang along to the lewd lyrics at the tops of their voices, almost to the point of drowning out the band. “Tribute” was one such song which had everyone in fine voice. It may have been a Tuesday night, but it felt like a Friday party night as the crowd chanted about their love for “The D.”

If you are not easily offended, have a slightly perverse sense of humor and want to see something different and out of the norm, along with strong musicianship, then this is definitely the show for you. Check out the tour dates quickly as many shows are already sold-out. The tour continues on until New Year’s Eve where it wraps up in Las Vegas. One thing’s for sure, that’s one unique way of seeing out 2018.

TENACIOUS D
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About Kirstine Walton 168 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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