The world seems to be on the brink these days. Trump may become the next president of the United States and other peroxide blonde men are rallying the masses. Lemmy and Bowie passed away and there’s some people who actually believe the world is a flat disk again. Luckily, Henry Rollins is here to pierce the bullshit with words like daggers and razorsharp humor on a thursday night in the Effenaar in Eindhoven.
The spoken word shows of Henry Rollins are a phenomenon on their own. Not many rock’n’roll personalities compare to Rollins on a roll on the stage with a microphone and the audience. After and during his time as frontman of S.O.A. and the legendary Black Flag, the singer started developing his solo-act. After the end of Rollins Band, years later, he ended up with a show that could last for hours and it’s pretty much what Rollins is known for these days. Many have tried to follow his tracks on this, such as Danko Jones, Jello Biafra and even Billy Milano, but there’s only one Henry Rollins.
When Rollins gets started, his act is like a two hour train ride, not much will be able to stop it. He discusses life and what he has to say about the state of the world as it is right now. After putting out some outlines for his story, he gets started on subjects like America, herd mentality, the individual and his passion for music obviously. He touches upon the topic of Trump very briefly, which is surprising if you consider his endless rants on the topic of president George W. Bush. We move on to the next topic at high speed and soon everyone’s nailed to their seats.
Beautiful anecdotes follow about David Bowie, also known as ‘The Bow’ and the intense love for the music of the man. When Henry speaks about ‘Hunky Dory’ with passion, I think everyone must have felt that for a moment. Ofcourse Motorheads Lemmy follows as well, stories relayed with love and humor for the man. Henry is getting a bit more personal in many of his stories and tells a lot about his experiences and adventures. Not just the funny bits, but also things that matter, like his eco-holiday in Ecuador. A story about sexing enguins on a mountain of poop is compared to Amsterdam, which is always a succes in Eindhoven (and is an adequate description of the Dutch capital).
For two hours, the aging alternative icon knows how to enchant the audience with funny, hard and amazing stories, often told without nuance, direct and forceful. You can agree with his views or not. If you don’t, you probably were not at the show in the first place, but the beauty is that you leave the show refreshed and filled with new views on the world. That may be the most beautiful thing an artist can offer to you.
Thanks ever so much for the pictures to Brendy Wijdeven