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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Tenacious D’s Festival Supreme Rocks The Shrine

Tori Lowery |
October 28, 2014 | 8:40 p.m. PDT


Bo Burnham on the Gargoyle Stage. (Tori Lowery/Neon Tommy)
Bo Burnham on the Gargoyle Stage. (Tori Lowery/Neon Tommy)

As everyone at the Shrine last Saturday night would agree (as well as everyone within a five mile radius), this year’s Festival Supreme kept it rocking all throughout the night. With a constant stream of comedians, including Nick Kroll and Drunk History, and a solid lineup of bands, with Cheech & Chong, The State, and The Aquabats, to name a few, the day brewed and bubbled in anticipation for Jack Black and Kyle Gass’ performance as Tenacious D

The festival took place at the Shrine Auditorium, located just north of the USC campus, and spilled out into the adjacent parking lot. Two stages outside, the Gargoyle Stage and the Franken-Stage, traded off every thirty minutes beginning at two in the afternoon 'til late into the night, filling the chilled LA night air with comedy and music respectively. Inside, two more stages, The Circus of Death and the Phantom Stage, allowed spectators to explore a world of absurdity or take a seat in the auditorium and laugh nonstop with the day’s eight-hour lineup of standup comedy. 

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After the sun went down, Bo Burnham took the Gargoyle stage, followed by Fred Armisen, and then the cast from Workaholics, disguised as rapping wizards. By the end of the night, nearly everyone in attendance was crowded outside to see Tenacious D rock the stage with their acoustic guitars and cherub and devil costumes. As an added bonus, "Weird Al” Yankovic made a surprise appearance on the accordion for Gass and Black's song “Rock is Dead.”

Across the lot, on the Franken-Stage, artists like Peaches, Eagles of Death Metal, The Dan Band, The ProtoMen and DJ Lance Rock kept the party jamming with a mixture of heavy metal, electronic and rock.

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Inside the Shrine, the Circus of Death entertained audience members with a trolley ride that took passengers through the insane and frightening. There was also a close, intimate stage that hosted everything from musicians to magicians. 

Comedy Bang! Bang! with Scott Aukerman (L), Zach Galifianakis (ML), Adam Scott (MR), & Lauren Lapkus (FR). (Tori Lowery/Neon Tommy)
Comedy Bang! Bang! with Scott Aukerman (L), Zach Galifianakis (ML), Adam Scott (MR), & Lauren Lapkus (FR). (Tori Lowery/Neon Tommy)

The auditorium, aka The Phantom Stage, provided a relaxed environment with theater seating and constantly rotating seating arrangements, meaning endless possibilities to grab a front row seat for comedians like Scott Aukerman with Comedy Bang! Bang!, Eric Andre, TJ Miller, and Margaret Cho. 

Since every act lasted only around 25-35 minutes and numerous performances overlapped, it proved difficult to see everything on the list. The crowd, many dressed up in the spirit of Halloween, resembled swarming ants hustling from stage to stage to catch glimpses of performers they loved and wanted to see.

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All four stages, though, were in very close proximity, so it was easy to bounce from stage to stage. The area was spacious, lines for food were never time-consuming, and there was miraculously never any swimming through dense seas of people. And after a few hours of walking up an appetite, there were food trucks with hot bread pudding, a full service bar, and multiple pizza stands with some of the greasiest, most delicious pizza one may ever experience. 

Overall, Festival Supreme was top notch this year with a prime layout, delicious jalapeño pepperoni pizza, and, most importantly, a fantastic lineup. Jack Black and Kyle Gass outdid themselves.

As a neighbor to the Shrine and witness to the inescapable noise that usually plagues the surrounding area, beginning in the early hours of the day and continuing until late at night, it is clear now that if you cannot beat the noise, join it, as this was one festival not to miss. 

Contact Contributor Tori Lowery here.



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