At OnMilwaukee.com, we are stoked to be able to deliver reviews before anyone else in the city. We check out the show, then we go home and write the review immediately following.
For the first time in a decade of reviewing shows, however, I wish I had more time to contemplate what the hell just happened on stage.
I saw Henry Rollins tonight perform a three-hour spoken word performance at Turner Hall Ballroom. I have never seen anything like it. The 51-year-old Rollins, who looked as tattooed and buff as ever in his black T-shirt and black pants, spoke non-stop, without taking so much as a single sip of liquid, and told intelligent, political and entertaining story after story.
"I'm a 33 playing at 78," he warned.
Rollins, who once fronted '80 punk band Black Flag and later The Rollins Band, is also a writer, comedian, publisher, actor and radio DJ.
He started his spoken word performance tonight by saying, "Thank you for taking half of your weekend and giving it to me" and delivered dozens of stories that flowed gracefully, one from the next, about such a wide variety of topics it's impossible to understand in retrospect how it all fit together. And yet it did.
Turner Hall was packed with fans and yet during the lengthy show only one time did someone yell out something at Rollins. People were mesmerized. Plus, the sound was really good.
For the first 15 minutes of the show, Rollins spoke about Abraham Lincoln, "rugged individualism" and Americans' lifestyle choices. He basically said so many Americans are afraid of overseas dangers and yet are killing themselves.
"We are snuffing out the American candle with corn chips and inactivitiy," he said.
Rollins went on to speak about Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old Florida boy who was killed for "looking suspicious" by a man who, at this point, remains free. Rollins sees this as an important reflection of present-day America and a prediction of the country's future.
"However this gets worked out will be the report …Read more...