Henry Rollins himself, In Dallas, spoken word! Enough said!
Review By Haley Pittman
Nearly thirty years after Black Flag formed in 1981, Henry Rollins is still going strong, performing speaking shows around the country. Wednesday he took the stage at Lakewood Theater, and from the second he entered until he was finished, the entire crowd was entranced by our punk rock hero.
Henry began by expressing his fondness for visiting Texas, popping in a few Kay Bailey Hutchinson jokes to warm up the already over-enthusiastic audience. He then transitioned into political jokes in general, including side splitting impersonations of Bush versus Obama.
Throughout the night, the topics fluctuated between lighthearted comedy and serious world issues. Some of the more amusing subjects included an anecdote about introducing The Stooges to a 15 year old boy who had previously only listened to Sri Lankan death metal. He also joked about his experience in playing a white supremacist on Sons of Anarchy, saying, "and then I went back to my day job, you know, whiiiiite power!" as well as judging a drag competition on Rupaul's Drag Race and finding himself oddly attracted to a punk rock drag queen. He even made fun of his own inability to stop working, explaining that when someone tells him to step back and smell the roses, he must find a way to work rose smelling in the military-like itinerary of his life.
On the serious side of things, though, Henry took all the firsthand information he had gathered from traveling the world and shared it with us to try to educate those of us willing to do something about it all. Subjects ranged from Sharia Law to the ignorance of cynicism to the importance of quality education. A true patriot, he emphasized the positives of democracy in comparison to the places to which he has traveled, and made it clear that he believes that our ability to change our government for the better is a beautiful freedom. Perhaps one of the most mind bending concepts of the night was his idea that it is amazing that government can even exist when the perspectives of people in middle America compared to those of New Yorkers are exponentially different. How can a family living on a farm understand the need to control crime in America when they live nearly isolated on a plot of land?
But of course, the subject of music couldn't go untouched. Henry reminisced about growing up with Ian Mackaye and most of all: Bad Brains. He regaled us with a story of watching Bad Brains open for The Damned, and how he was utterly blown away by H.R. and immediately fell in love with the band. He then told of how H.R. began to lose his mind and how eventually the shows got to the point where he would hardly sing at all, then leave before there was a chance for an encore. Still, it was clear that Henry had the utmost respect for the band, and to a few others that he mentioned throughout the course of the night.
By the time he left the stage, it was hard to think clearly with so many thoughts provoked by his words, lingering for hours. So much information from such a highly influential character can really change a person's perspective. Inspired and educated, we all bombarded him with things to sign and words of praise behind the venue. As always, Henry was very polite about it all, engaging in conversations with his fans and expressing his appreciation for everyone's support and loyalty. We just can't help ourselves—Henry Rollins may be one of the most influential faces in punk still alive today.
Thanks to Abe, Haley, & Melissa for all the great stuff from this show!
There are Pictures! from After The show, and best of all an Interview(in case you didn't already see it)!