I’ve been wanting to see Henry Rollins live for a long while, especially due to the good things my mate Colin has to say about his material, so when I realised I wasn’t tied up on the night of his gig, I got Fliss to grab me a ticket.
From what I had gathered beforehand, he either tells lots of short, loosely related stories, or longer ones where he goes off on tangents along the way. The gig turned out to be of the latter variety, mostly revolving around a trip he took on the Siberian Express.
What was spectacular was the pace and clarity of Rollins’ delivery. The man did not stop for a drink of any kind in the two hours or so that he was on stage, yet the gravelly grunts and roars that punctuate each enthralling tale seemed to suggest he’d be better off taking a sip of water every now and then.
I have to say that I was captivated, both by the yarns and by the sheer presence of the man. To say Henry Rollins is a comedian would be doing the man a disservice; he’s more like an unstoppable juggernaut of incisive wit and sharp observation that has the audience caught in the headlights. His political stance is all too familiar, showing a contempt for George Bush and a desire to live life to the fullest in equal measure, leading to a performance that resonates with raw energy to such an extent that it’s empowering.
In short, I’m glad I finally caught the man live. If there’s any chance I can do it again, I’ll jump at it.