Henry Rollins @ The Centre

Misconceptions. That was one of the many things I thought about after seeing Henry Rollins at The Centre on Tuesday night. I know a few things about Rollins. I know he’s a musician, a writer, an occasional actor and an angry man. I thought I had it figured out and really, I sort of blame myself for my own misconceptions walking into Rollins’ current spoken word tour. My knowledge is limited to a few movies, a book (though I realize he’s written many the only one I’ve read is See a Grown Man Cry, Now Watch Him Die which I read in high school) and this angry song:

I wasn’t particularly surprised to find that Rollins is charismatic. He took the stage right at 8PM and started with a story, one of many, about an artist friend of his who is addicted to drugs. From there he waxed poetic on everything from politics to travel and even masturbation (in not so many words). He was funny, insightful and endlessly entertaining. He talked non-stop for two hours and forty five minutes, not stopping once to even take a drink of water.

Rollins is a man with many things to say and his performance was more of an intimate chat. His charisma draws you in and almost immediately, he turned the huge auditorium into an small room as if he was talking to a couple of close friends rather than a few hundred people. There aren’t a lot of people in the word that can manage that feat but Rollins does so quickly; it’s natural, second nature and it makes you want to pay that much more attention.

I laughed so hard my side hurt. I shook my head in disgust at some of his poignant observations and I walked away mesmerized that the man I once though of as “the angry man” appears to be a genuinely kind individual with a keen eye and keener mind. I was impressed and urge you, if Rollins is stopping near you, do yourself a favour and go. You’ll be glad you did.

And as is becoming tradition, here's a blurry picture of Henry Rollins on stage. At some point, I will figure out how to take a good picture without the flash on my cellphone camera going off.

Henry Rollins


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