Larry and I headed into Philadelphia last night to catch Henry Rollins’ spoken word performance at the Unitarian Church. Must admit, I was a little surprised at how young the crowd was, most being in their mid-twenties, but, hey – if that’s what the kids are into, then I’m all for it. It’s been roughly a decade since I last caught a Rollins spoken word gig, and luckily, this one didn’t disappoint. He went full on, non-stop for three straight hours, barely pausing long enough to take a breath, which was a little taxing, since the church pews weren’t exactly comfortable and the building was a sweatbox ( but hey – stop me before I come off as a grumpy old man). He hasn’t lost much intensity over the years, but has definitely mellowed around the edges, a little less cynical and a little more forgiving, which I guess has come with age and experience. He talked mainly about his recent travels, including trips to Saudi Arabia, Timbuk 2 and China but also discussed his work on the TV show, Sons of Anarchy, his inner turmoil over being aroused by punk rock drag queens, Thanksgiving dinner with Will Shatner and going to see Bad Brains with Ian MacKaye. As a storyteller/lecturer, he’s always entertaining and insightful and worth checking out for sure – whether you dug what he did musically or not. Worth catching next time he rolls through your town.
And, on a side note, real talk – seeing the Rollins Band at the Troc around 1992 is still one of the most intense shows I’ve ever seen in my life. No joke.