Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Tenacious D weekend

With my company's product growing closer to launch, I was busier than ever the first full week of December. When Saturday finally came, it was a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of writing and testing code. This weekend was especially anticipated because it was set to be a Tenacious D weekend.

I don't consider myself a fan of the D but not because I don't like their music. In fact, I think it's great stuff but I've just never taken the time to listen to much more than what my friends have recommended. The first time I heard about their new song "Pick of Destiny" was on Sirius Alt Nation, which has been playing it seemingly non-stop for the past month in anticipation of the movie by the same title. When my friend Beth said she was getting tickets for their upcoming concert show at the GMU Patriot Center, I made sure to get my name in. She took it even further by organizing an outing on Saturday to go see the movie.

Despite being nearly 40 minutes late to the theater, I walked in right when the film started thanks to a series of delays on the part of the projectionist. I went into the movie with no expectations whatsoever and came out with a much greater understanding of what the D is about. The rock opera, for lack of a better term, is a fictional retelling of how Jack Black and Kyle Gass met, formed the band and eventually did battle with Satan. It had its share of laughs and featured cameos by the likes of Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins and several others.

The next night we continued our Tenacious D experience. First stop was Beth's new place in Alexandria which she shared with a roommate. This roommate has a fridge literally stocked to the brim with beer and a stand-up arcade machine with every awesome game on it from 1980 to the early 1990s. We whittled away the time drinking and playing video games from our childhood.

At about 7pm, we headed on over to the Patriot Center and got there just in time for the start of the opening act. It was Neil Hamburger, a somewhat well-known comic who goes for laughs in a roundabout way. Essentially, he told really bad jokes while loudly clearing his throat between each telling. This one was a real gem:
Why did the Taliban burn 200 copies of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album? Well, because their music sucked.
Ha ha! I consider myself a Pink Floyd fan and even I thought that was funny. Maybe it was the beer. Oh well, he wasn't on stage much more than 20 minutes and then the real act began.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass appeared with a couch behind them, acting for all the world as if they were in their living room. They played a few sets until quite accidentally, they were electrocuted and woke up to found themselves in the pits of hell. Once there, they decided to make the best of their situation and gather the most awesome band members they could. They went with the Antichrist, Charlie Chaplin and Colonel Sanders, all of whom were available and willing to play with them. Together they rocked the house, did battle with Satan and made prolific use of the F word. In a sense, the concert was a live version of their movie, albeit with less special effects.

Their encore performance included songs off their previous CD plus some covers of songs from The Who. In fact, the very last song they played was "Listening to you" off the Tommy album. Perhaps these musical geniuses were paying homage to the masterpiece that gave birth to the rock opera genre. Whatever their motives, it was an incredible concert that has left an indelible imprint on me.

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