Live Review: the kyle gass band, staxx brothers
May 19 • wild buffalo
As one member of the Tenacious D duo, Kyle Gass normally plays the second fiddle to the more charismatic Jack Black, but not tonight. Gass and his cohorts in The Kyle Gass Band (KGB) – including amazing guitar work from both John Konesky and Mike Bray – rocked the socks off the small but fired up Monday night crowd.
The band came out rocking a cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak” and the intensity didn’t stop until the lights turned on. Blasting through songs on the group’s self-titled album including “Bro Ho,” “Tremendous” and “Manchild,” Gass adored the fans and was grateful for all the love he received.
“It’s only the second song of the set and you have crushed every city so far!” Gass exclaimed. “Why the f#!k haven’t we been to Bellingham before?”
The lyrics of the songs entertained, but it was the music that really shined. The majority of The KGB backs Tenacious D while on tour, and it shows as the band is road-tested and arena-minded. Bray handles most of the vocal work and doesn’t shy away from a guitar solo, but it’s Konesky who really impressed. His guitar solos screamed, offering a late 70s/early 80s rock vibe that really carried the entire show. Adding a cherry on top, the two crushed a couple of dueling solos that made me wonder if I was watching The KGB or an early 80s metal band in their prime.
Along with the amazing guitar work, Gass also shined on a less common instrument you’d normally hear in a rock band: the recorder. Gass shredded the wind instrument and the crowd went crazy during his various solos. I guarantee people haven’t cheered that much at a show featuring a woodwind instrument since Jethro Tull. Adding to the vibe, Wild Buffalo’s own Roger Mills joined the band on stage to jam with his trusty flute on a cover of Sugarloaf’s “Green Eyed Lady,” wowing both the crowd and the band as Gass called him “Ron F@#king Burgundy” and contemplated bringing him on tour.
Gass truly knows how to put on a show, as smoke and props were used throughout, giving the audience their money’s worth. The final song, “Gypsy Scroll” had the band members wearing druid robes and opening an ancient box containing a magical scroll. It closed the show with a mystic vibe that fit well with the 70s/80s rock show the audience had just witnessed.
After being chanted back to the stage, The KGB roared through another Thin Lizzy cover, “The Boys Are Back In Town.” Gass was so hyped on the crowd he proclaimed, “Shit, we’re going to play every song we know.”
The band then become a classic rock cover band charging through their tweaked versions of Boston’s “Rock and Roll,” “All Right Now” by Free, a medley including “Walk on the Wild Side” by Lou Reed, “I Wanna Kiss You All Over” by Exile and a hilarious version of “Pony” by Ginuwine. But the band wasn’t done as they closed the show with a screaming cover of “Vehicle” by Ides of March that included various guitar and recorder solos.
“I’m glad there [are] still people out there that want to rock,” exclaimed Gass during his impressive rock-filled set. I’m sure the eager and excited fans exiting into the night couldn’t have agreed more.