Tenacious D at The Wiltern

Lisa Waugh

This is a band that makes you want to punch Jenny Craig in the nuts. If these guys can bring their mega sized talent to the stage, then Karl Lagerfeld needs to shut his hole forever about Adele plus she’s having a baby so “Take that waistlines of musical genius!”

They rocked like their Moms were in prison

Do I sound drunk? I might still be. I had no intention of drinking more than one gin and soda before the show, bar prices being what they are. But I had never seen a show at The Wiltern just after a dude got shivved at a Tenacious D concert the night before in Vegas.

The line for the show was backed up around the block due to the pretty thorough patdown/groping fest by security upon entry. But you could tell all these black clad husky fans were happy to be getting some action. I know I was.

See what?

You also know that Jack Black and Kyle Gass were secretly stoked that their Vegas show garnered infamy usually assigned to Guns N Roses or Metallica. Getting stabbed at a House of Blues in Vegas during a Tenacious D show is like saying you got shanked at Blue Man Group. It’s just weird.

Twatterer Michael Soltero observed: “Really, I would think the only fight at their show would be a food fight.”

Cheap shot, Soltero. Cheap shot.

Or maybe things are usually like this at The Wiltern.

Doors at 7. Show actually started around like 9:30. I don’t count the shitty opening band that really needs to stop right now, have a long talk with Jesus and the ghost of Johnny Cash before joining a nunnery. The Sights, from Detroit, or as I will call them from now on: Machine Gun Blasted Tinny Tribute to Queen with Punctuations of Nervous Leg Disease rankled the crowd and made me gassy. The guy behind me yelled, “You suck!” to a smattering of applause. I think they more lyric vomited than sucked.


It was like they were trying to play their entire album all at the same time. Ladies, calm down and stop over performing and over shopping. The guys coming out after you are wearing Hanes sleeping shorts. The nerd herd that is your audience is checking their iPhones to see if the Chinese badminton team is dating anyone, hence, you only seeing the top of their heads.

After the break and numerous drinks from the upstairs bar, we settled in for what New Balance has called, “The hottest fucking rock band we’ve ever shoed or cheated on our wives with.” Not really.

Unfurling their giant inflatable cock/phoenix, Gass and Black pounced upon the stage in their full on Target glory – comfortable, absorbable – and grabbed the Just Fresh From ComicCon crowd by their Sandman t-shirts and rocked their faces off.

The D’s new album Rize of the Fenix, out last May, has been met with warmth and giggles by fans and they were all too happy to face rock to the title tune. The deliciously gelatinous duo pulled out Kielbasa, Pinball Wizard, Tribute, Roadie and Fuck Her Gently for the encore, you know… for the kids.

And then the engorged phoenix ejaculated confetti onto the faces of an exhausted weepy crowd, giving the venue a Dr. Demento kind of icky yet clever happy ending. And it was done. We dragged ourselves to the street, had a bit of a fight and then drove home to Egypt/The Westside.

I touch Lemmy with this finger

I loved this hometown show shining the god light on the most comfortable comedy musical warlords of our generation, besides Shelley Duvall.

Notes: The venue is a lovely old theatre (see the bottom of this article for history and trivia) and parking isn’t too bad. Wait out the line in the bar, 37Sixty, and then breeze in around 9ish, skip the opening bland (intentional spelling).

There was a particularly funny video marking the launch of the new album featuring Val Kilmer, Josh Groban and Dave Grohl. You can see it here.

Setlist (incomplete, possibly incorrect – I was drunk):

Rize of the Fenix
Low Hangin’ Fruit
Deth Starr
Dude (I Totally Miss You)
Kyle Quit The Band
The Metal
Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)
The Who Medley
Double Team
Band Intros and Solos

Encore: (Jack & Kyle only)
Cosmic shame
Fuck Her Gently


The Wiltern History and Trivia:

The Wiltern Theatre opened in 1931 and is named to the National Register of Historic Places. The  box office is located at 3780 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, California. The venue was named after the two major streets (Wilshire Boulevard and Western Ave.) that cross at the intersection the building faces.

So glad they haven’t named this lovely old girl something like The Chobani Theatre

The theatre has a standing room only capacity of 2,300 or seated arrangements for a more intimate 1850. It was originally built for Vaudeville Theater and now plays host to a variety of the hottest traveling performers and bands.

There are family shows on the weekends. And Marilyn Manson, Fred Willard and Carol Channing do a gospel brunch on Sundays. Not really.

It is rumored that Tony Curtis’ naked ghost runs through the theater when Tom Waits plays here. Curtis has been witnessed standing next to Waits on stage, wagging his schvantz at the front row. I totally just made that up.

It was really Tom Petty.