Tenacious D Rock Manchester’s Socks Off! – Ao Arena Manchester, United Kingdom on 8th May 2024






Comedy rock duo Tenacious D bring their Spicy Meatball Tour to a sold-out AO Arena in Manchester.

Strolling onto the stage to the intro to their Pick of Destiny movie, the pair receive a hero’s welcome. The crowd are in fine voice from the very opening line of “Kickapoo” – “a long ass fucking time ago in a town called Kickapoo” is the perfect start to this gloriously absurd evening.

Hollywood star Jack Black has a theatrical rock voice that more than holds up well live. In fact, it left me wondering whether he is an actor who occasionally plays music or a musician who occasionally acts?! In a serious band, he would be considered one of the finest vocalists around. Perhaps he should be anyway.

“Did anyone see The Pick of Destiny?” He asks before “Rize of the Phoenix”. “Well you didn’t see it in the cinema, no one did! It almost destroyed us!” The box office flop turned cult classic is certainly popular in this room, at least.

Chants of “D! D! D!” echo around the Arena in between every song as the fans are clearly loving every minute, none more so than during the loud singalongs to “Wonderboy” and the iconic “Tribute”.

A lot of bands try to be clever with their song titles but as Jack Black says “This song is about video games… it’s called “Video Games”, there are no hidden messages here!

A big metal robot joins them on stage during “The Metal”, a song about various genres trying to defeat Metal but metal always prevails! It parades around the stage, dry humping and dancing away.

Kyle Gass outshines Jack after Sax-a-Boom, playing Gerry Rafferty‘s “Baker Street” on a ridiculously oversized saxophone to huge cheers.



A running gag throughout the night is the failure of a roadie – dubbed Biffy Pyro – to provide the fire and pyrotechnics at the right time. The pantomime villain is however paid, erm, tribute to on “The Roadie”.

The duo spar and compete with each other all night, and Black sings “Dude (I Totally Miss You)” to bring Glass back after he “stormed off” after an “argument:. It really does feel like watching two best friends doing what they love.

What should be an emotional cover of Chris Isaak‘s “Wicked Game” is broken with laughter as the big screens show them running virtually naked on a beach!

During “Double Team”, Black sings a few lines from The Smiths  “How Soon Is Now?” in a nod to Manchester’s rich music heritage before they temporarily leave the stage.

“You want one more? How about two more? Three more? Final offer!” Turns out that wasn’t true, as we’re actually treated to a four-song encore. The Manchester audience would happily stay all night long.

“Dio”, “Master Exploder” and “The Spicy Meatball Song” bring the night to a close, before a final, epic, ludicrous singalong to “Fuck Her Gently” sends everyone home with a huge smile on their face, and the roadie finally does his job as a huge fire and pyro display gives this over the top rock hommage its fitting finale.

This was an extremely fun gig, ninety minutes of non-stop rocking and laughing that can only be provided by the one and only Tenacious D.




1/ Overture
(John King song) (by Andrew Gross and John King, from Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny’s opening credits)

2/ Kickapoo

3/ Low Hangin’ Fruit

4/ Rize of the Fenix

5/ Wonderboy

6/ Tribute

7/ Video Games

8/ The Metal

9/ Sax-a-Boom

10/ Baker Street
(Gerry Rafferty song) (Kyle’s “Max-a-Boom” solo)

11/ Roadie

12/ Dude (I Totally Miss You)

13/ Wicked Game
(Chris Isaak cover)

14/ Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)

15/ Double Team
(with Black performing a snippet of “How Soon Is Now?” by The Smiths)


16/ Dio

17/ Master Exploder

18/ The Spicy Meatball Song

19/ Fuck Her Gently