Just a Tribute to the Greatest Band in the World

Just a Tribute to the Greatest Band in the World

Tenacious D defeats the devil and wins over the Atlanta crowd at Shaky Knees.

David R. Cohen

David R. Cohen is the former Associate Editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is originally from Marietta, GA and studied Journalism at the University of Tennessee.

Tenacious D performs for the large crowd at Shaky Knees on Sunday, May 6.
Tenacious D performs for the large crowd at Shaky Knees on Sunday, May 6.

In the closing hours of Atlanta’s 2018 Shaky Knees Music Festival, thousands of fans gathered to see the group many call “the greatest band in the world. Period.”

Co-fronted by Jewish-American actor and musician Jack Black and collaborator Kyle Gass, Tenacious D had not graced the stage in Atlanta since a 2002 performance at the Tabernacle. Fans greeted the duo with chants of “D! D! D! D! D!” for a set beginning 15 minutes before the scheduled show time Sunday, May 6.

The comedic rockers didn’t disappoint, blowing through “Kielbasa,” the opening track from their 2001 debut album, and launching straight into “Kickapoo,” the opening track from their 2006 album, “The Pick of Destiny.”

Throughout the rollicking performance, Black and Gass, who both brandished bushy gray beards, crossed guitar necks, bared their teeth and melted the audiences’ faces in the way only they can. The set was part pop-metal, part goofy comedy and all entertainment.

At one point, Black and Gass got into an argument, prompting Gass to briefly quit the band. He was lured back onstage by a powerful performance of “Dude, I Totally Miss You” by Black, aided by Tenacious D’s stellar backing band of guitarist John Konesky, bassist John Spiker and drummer Scott Seiver.

Black also dropped some surprising news on the Atlanta crowd when he announced that there will be a follow-up to the band’s 2006 film, “The Pick of Destiny.”

“Part 2’s coming out in October,” he told the crowd midway through the one-hour set. “I don’t know where you’ll be able to see it, but we have decided that it’s happening, and it’s coming out.”

Time will tell whether Black was serious or was hamming it up for the Shaky Knees crowd.

The D wrapped up the set on the last day of the three-day festival with a number of classic tunes, including “Dio,” “The Road” and crowd favorite “Tribute.”

By the time Black and Gass got to “The Metal,” a few broken strings led to some stalling in the form of Black complimenting the crowd.

“Y’all are looking good out there, probably a little too good. Must be that bike path you have here,” he said, likely referring to the nearby BeltLine.

Black pulled out his vintage sax-a-boom for a funky solo, to the great delight of the crowd, followed by “Roadie,” a song for all the roadies out there.

It was then that Black and Gass realized something wasn’t quite right: Guitarist Konesky had been possessed. So the duo engaged the devil in a rock-off, which happened to be the tune “Beelzeboss” from “The Pick of Destiny.”

Upon emerging victorious, the band closed out the performance with a “song for the ladies, sung to the fellas,” about being gentle in the bedroom, the title of which cannot be printed in a family newspaper.

Concert Calendar

Sunday, May 13
Cohen Brothers brunch. Local guitar-mandolin bluegrass duo the Cohen Brothers Band (David and Elie Cohen) performs a Mother’s Day brunch set at the Pullman in Kirkwood, 1992 Hosea L Williams Drive, Kirkwood, at 12:30 p.m. Free; www.facebook.com/events/150450198999593.
Pussywillows. Atlanta-based indie-acoustic power duo Carly Gibson and Hannah Zale perform a full band set for Mother’s Day at 8 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. Zale performed at the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival in 2015 and 2018. Tickets are $8 to $12; eddiesattic.com.

Thursday, May 17
David Bromberg. The multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter performs at 8 p.m. at Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. Bromberg, 72, is known for his unique fingerpicking style. He has performed and recorded with many famous musicians, including Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan. Tickets are $37 to $45; eddiesattic.com.
Food Truck Thursday. Weather postponed the Marcus JCC’s Yom HaAtzmaut celebration at Liane Levetan Park at Brook Run, 4770 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, from April to 5 p.m. today. The event features Weber School band performances, Davis Decibelles and Magical Melodies, the Weber School chorus and the J Dance Company. Free; www.facebook.com/events/210930659662591.

Tuesday, May 22
Adam Klein. The Athens-based singer-songwriter performs at 7 p.m. at Smith’s Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave., Midtown. Fans of Americana will enjoy Klein’s happy blend of rustic country folk music. You may remember his performance at the 2016 Atlanta Kosher BBQ Competition. Tickets are $10 in advance or $13 at the door; www.smithsoldebar.com.

Thursday, May 31
Celebration of Amy Winehouse. Soul singers Brooke Fauver, Kourtney Jackson, Keisha Jackson and Paula Champion are among the featured artists celebrating the late chart-topping Jewish songstress at 8 p.m. at Venkman’s, 740 Ralph McGill Blvd., Old Fourth Ward. Tickets are $10 to $25; venkmans.com.

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