Rize of the Fenix

Tenacious D 2013 ‘Old School Acoustic Style’ tour live in Melbourne

ImageThe D is back!

Tossing aside the backing band for the “Old School Acoustic Style” tour, the set for the night consisted of Jack Black, Kyle Gass, their two acoustic guitars, a roadie, a sasquatch and a couple of other cameos. It was Tenacious D stripped down to the bone, which may have been a relief to some fans as this was a return to their roots back before they even had an album out. The intimacy of this approach was reflected with the show taking place in a theatre. No standing, no moshing, no headbanging, but I was fortunate to purchase tickets in the second row!

The only way to truly start this tour off is the title track of the new album Rize of the Fenix, to once again remind us that The D is back with a vengeance. It bummed me out a little (but not too much) that they played the shortened radio version. I was pleased that they played quite a few songs off the new record, because as some of you may know I think it’s awesome!

The comedy rock duo’s playing sounds as accomplished as ever; Jack Black’s vocals are still intact and Kyle’s soloing on his acoustic guitar is fast and fluid. Every acoustic arrangement was flawless, but of course the acoustic style meant that some of the songs on The Pick of Destiny soundtrack, such as “The Metal”, will never the light of the day on this tour.

Fans of The D don’t just come for the music, but also for the comedy. I’m not going to talk about it too much because you’d be better off seeing it yourself, but if it wasn’t the on-stage antics it was the little things like Kyle playing a recorder or Jack insulting members of the crowd.

Highlights include “Cosmic Shame”, where Black contends that some people have to give up their dreams and do the boring jobs too; “Roadie”, my favourite song of 2012; “Tribute”, which speaks for itself; “Kickapoo”, because it’s a fantastic story; and the wonderful “Wonderboy”.

A personal highlight for me was after the band finished their final song, “Fuck Her Gently”, and during the standing ovation, Jack Black extended his index finger out to the front row, so I reached as far as I could with my finger and sure enough, the two fingers connected. This amazing moment in my life and I’ll only become a better person from here on.

Thanks Tenacious D, and I only hope I don’t have to wait another five or six years for another tour.

Rating: 4/5.

Setlist below, highlights in bold.

Rize of the Fenix

Low Hangin’ Fruit

Señorita

Dude (I Totally Miss You)

Kyle Quit the Band

Friendship

Kielbasa

History

Kickapoo

Saxaboom

Roadie

Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin cover)/Rock is Dead

The Ballad Of Hollywood Jack And The Rage Kage

To Be The Best

Cosmic Shame

Tribute

Double Team

Encore:

Baby

Flash (Queen cover)

Wonderboy

Fuck Her Gently

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Tenacious D – Rize of the Fenix

Image

Hi everyone! This is my first blog post – hope you enjoy it!

Tenacious D are a seriously awesome comedy rock band, consisting of Jack Black and Kyle Gass. Fans are used to waiting a long time for new material from The D. Their debut self-titled album came out in 2001 and was a hard hitting F-bomb filled delight, which became most famous for the song “Tribute”. Five years later, the band released The Pick of Destiny, a soundtrack album to the accompanying film of the same name that starred the band. Unfortunately, the movie was a box-office bomb, which is a shame but perhaps not surprising because it only appealed to Tenacious D fans. This year, the band is back with a vengeance with their third record, Rize of the Fenix.

I am pleased to announce that Rize of the Fenix will not disappoint fans, and will draw in new believers. The opening title track is…an absolutely perfect opening title track. It’s self referential in nature, and consists of three parts as the band describes its return and rise to power once again. This song will make any fan be glad that The D are back. The next track, “Low Hangin’ Fruit”, can be described as a delicious, innuendo-filled, classic Tenacious D track. It rocks hard, and one can even dance to it.

The next track is a skit, and there’s another skit a few more tracks in. Both skits are funny, but neither of them are as creative or as memorable as the skits on the first album. Many of the skits on that album were based on concepts such as “One Note Song” and “Inward Singing”. Of course it’s not the skits that matter, but the songs.

There are some more really good songs on Rize of the Fenix, such as my personal favourite, “Roadie”. “To Be The Best” is the best one-minute song I have ever heard, and is a fantastic nod to the 80’s. It reminded me of Joe Esposito’s “You’re the Best”. There are also some filler tracks, such as “Throw Down” and “They Fucked Our Asses”, which lack the creative spark of the other songs. The two bonus tracks aren’t anything special, though “Quantum Leap” is pretty catchy.

Overall, I highly recommend this album to everyone. Tenacious D fans will definitely love it. The album is better than The Pick of Destiny. While the skits are not as strong as the ones on the debut, the songs are just as good, if not better. If you have never gotten into Tenacious D and are unsure if you would like them, watch the music video below for “To Be The Best”. I think it will speak for itself, and I promise that if you like it, you are officially a Tenacious D fan.

I rate things out of 5, including halves. 0.5 is the lowest score. I give Rize of the Fenix 4/5. The bonus tracks did not impact the score. See the tracklist below, the ones in bold are my track picks.

1.

“Rize of the Fenix”  

5:53

2.

“Low Hangin’ Fruit”  

2:31

3.

“Classical Teacher” (Skit)

3:23

4.

“Señorita”

3:08

5.

“Deth Starr”

4:46

6.

“Roadie”  

2:58

7.

“Flutes & Trombones” (Skit)

1:28

8.

“The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Kage”  

5:05

9.

“Throw Down”

2:56

10.

“Rock Is Dead”

1:44

11.

“They Fucked Our Asses” (“They Chucked Our Basses” on the clean version)

1:08

12.

“To Be the Best”  

1:00

13.

“39”

Deluxe edition bonus tracks
14. “Quantum Leap” 3:50
15. “Rivers of Brown” 1:23

5:16