Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Tenacious D.
Bill Graham Civic, San Francisco
November 20, 2006

Please don't use this image and attempt to counterfeit a backstage pass. It won't work.. Besides, backstage is BORING. The strippers, the cocaine, the champagne, the midget jello wrestling... YAWN.

Anywho, this show was sold out and tickets were going for up to $100 each on the Information Superhighway, but you could have scored one out front for $50... 9,000 people seeing Tenacious D. in an arena? The power of celebrity motion picture movie stardom at work IMO.. I liked High Fidelity and The School of Rock too, man.

I think it's safe to say this was the most "Metal" non-Metal show I've ever been to... When was the last time you saw "Dio" emblazoned on a stage backdrop? Exactly. You can't argue with Jack and Kyle's Metal aesthetic. No, you can't.. and Tour Manager Doug says they legitimately bow at the altar of Old Metal and that's good enough for me.

Tenacious D.'s stage was total Dio circa 1983-86 but, to be honest, at times it was like watching a live action trailer for The Pick Of Destiny (which opened in 2 days). The show was a bit long on the skits and gags, but that's why they call it ACTING! Then again, Jack and Kyle were a band before either of them were on the silver screen.

You know, Kyle is a local boy (Walnut Creek OG); I wonder if he was at the Metallica - New Years Eve '85 show in this very same building? Hmm... How would I find that out.

A highlight for me was when Jack asked the crowd if they'd heard about Dio rejoining Sabbath. I laughed, but almost everyone around me seemed to be toking on pipes and joints and ignored the query. It's been awhile since I've been at a show with as much Mary Jane, which is probably why the majority of the crowd laughed at any prop or costume onstage while subtler things went unappreciated. A guy in a mushroom costume = HAHAHAHAHAHA. A guitar made out of a toilet seat = HAHAHAHAHAHA. Dio rejoining Sabbath = [cue crickets]

Unfortunately, there were no mechanical dragons and no swords were wielded onstage. Mark my words, edged weapons are gonna make a comeback as concert stage props. In the words of Dio: "Look out!"

However, THE most Metal thing happened after the show. On the way back to the car we discovered that the parking lot (the outdoor one at the corner of Larkin / Golden Gate) had CLOSED and was locked up for the night! WTF?!!

We obviously weren't the only ones who hadn't seen the posted closing time because there were maybe 2 dozen other cars locked behind the chain link fence. A sign said any cars left in the lot after hours would remain there until the next day; in other words "You are shit outta luck".

(Note: I would like to state (so I don't come across like a complete idiot in this) that I have parked in this same lot for concerts at the Civic in the past and there was no such "hours of operation" previously.)

What follows is an example of why the youth of today kicks the ass of an old fart like me: A group of kids standing next to us were in the same predicament. While I started to panic, one of the kids barely hesitated and scaled the 20 foot chain link fence, climbed down the other side, and unhinged and pulled open a pedestrian gate into the lot. He then propped it open with a piece of wood he found and was cool enough to let us know he'd gotten the gate open. The Kidz!

However, while we now had a way into the lot, I was still dubious about getting our cars out since the driveway gate at the other end was still closed and locked. What follows is an example of why The Mob rules.

At the other end of the parking lot, a mob of people pried and pushed open the main gate. Someone knew how the gate's rolling mechanism worked and a metal sign was taken off the chain link fence and thrown over a sensor so the gate would stay open. The breakout was accomplished. THE MOB RULES!

Raven / Metallica '83 tour shirts = 1. If you bought one of every Tenacious D. merch item you would have paid around $350. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. THANKS to Tour Manager Doug for the +1 into his All Access world again... Cue 'Holy Diver'.

"Holy Diver, you're the star of the masquerade.."