Monday night and I find myself heading over to Auckland’s North Shore instead of my familiar trip home which is the opposite direction from my place of work. Tonight Henry Rollins was in town bringing in his particular brand of insightfulness, humour and reflection. Knowing I would have some time to kill I made sure to stop into Burgerfuel Takapuna and help myself to a decent sized burger and a coke to help wash away some of the pre show time. Burger wasn’t bad, but I found that particular franchise branch not as good as my local one. Just not as friendly or something? Nonetheless the burger did its job and I was hungry no more!

After a short stroll around Takapuna I made my way to the Bruce Mason Centre. Rollins hit stage at 8pm. True to past times I have seen the man speak it was basically on from the moment he hit the stage. Just a marathon of observations seen through the eyes of an American who likes to live life to its fullest. There were no breaks. No pauses for sips of water. There was plenty of anecdotal stories shared though. Thoughts that covered the gamut of everything from acting in TV shows, through to Racism and homophobia being properly relegated to a thing of everything that came before the 21st Century.

Henry Rollins has a beautiful way with words. Many a laugh was had with the observations he has gained from being in the unique position of living on the outer edge of media and pop culture. One of the funnier ones was his recollection of the shame that went with being a travelling American while George Bush was now in office. A man who butchered the English language on a daily basis. He explained that he loved the fact that the USA now has a President whose middle name is Hussein. Who is intellectually capable and then some of handling the job. A guy who has memorised the Webster’s dictionary and speaks in perfect 12 point Helvetica.

Delivery is everything. Henry always has the audience in the palm of his hands. Even if you have no idea on what the mans history was, you would walk away impressed with his ability to string words together for just under three hours and hold your attention. As he remarked. The audience at his shows are his social media. He doesn’t need Facebook, as long as he has an audience waiting and a city to travel to. It truly make you feel like you aren’t living life to its fullest potential when you hear about what this guy does, just so he isn’t caught in the position of doing nothing.

It was an awesome night. Henry was on stage for such a long time, that my eyes were fried from the over head lights by the time he was ready to call it a night. He thanked us for our patience with his ramblings and then in his own words he “gave us our asses back”. With that he was off the stage and no doubt readying himself to leave and conquer another city on one of his excruciatingly long world tours.

Thanks Henry. It was impressive, earnest, fun and educational as always.

Thanks for reading
Marc