I’ve been to Coachella and Lollapalooza and a Ukrainian “punk rock” performance that was just Bon Jovi with more spitting, but the most incredible musical experience of my life was a concert I attended in high school. This was the golden era of the emo kid. The opener was Jimmy Eat World; the headliner was Weezer circa The Green Album. But there were three bands at the concert, and the third one — the midliner? — was a band that has often been called the Greatest Band in the World by members of the band. I’m speaking, of course, of Tenacious D, a.k.a. The D, a.k.a. Tenacious Motherf—ing D Motherf—er, the joke-rock duo composed of Jack Black and Kyle Gass. I say joke rock, but at the D’s millennial peak, when the popular music scene was composed of goony boy bands and even goonier rap-rock mediocrities, there was something remarkably pure about the D’s we-will-rock-you intentions. (EW’s own Ken Tucker gave their debut album an A.)
The band has been mostly disbanded ever since their disappointing film Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny, which could’ve been the next Head but mostly settled for being the next Help. Now, however, the D are returning to teach the world how to rock. And not that fancy-pants French-Canadian “rock,” or the skinny-jeans mournful Brooklyn “rock.” Rock. In a new video, a fame-drunk Jack Black spends his days buying mansions, meditating with monks, and doing lots of drugs, which is already funnier than anything in Gulliver’s Travels. A broken-down Kyle approaches him. I won’t spoil what happens — though I will just point out that Val Kilmer gives his finest performance since Heat. Watch:
The band’s new album, Rize of the Fenix, hits on May 15, and you can buy tickets for their summer tour now.
Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich