Henry Rollins speaks Friday at Pantages


Henry Rollins would likely have preferred to pen his own promotional release for this "election time talking tour." He's a man who's rarely wanting for words on any topic, and never on the topic of himself. But since the musclebound punk icon is likely toning up on his hotel Bowflex in preparation of tonight's speaking engagement at Pantages, I'll field this duty on his behalf.

Rollins' life after punk shouldn't have surprised anyone who followed his time in Black Flag and Rollins Band. He's nothing if not a frenzied, intensely passionate performer, and for the last decade, he has made a counter-culture dynamo of himself, authoring a few books and appearing as a commentator and critic on the appropriately titled "Henry's Film Corner," which was quickly replaced by "The Henry Rollins Show." He's gone coast to coast as a rant artist, embarking on a loud-mouthed, highly caffeinated speech act that's a whirlwind to watch. Though it often bears an uncomfortable, and often unfunny, resemblance to stand-up comedy, Rollins has succeeded in taking the aggro approach of his inner punk megalodon and transposing it upon the unlikely world of slam poetry and spoken word.

His straight-edge anecdotes, his musings on politics, his physical bulk-- he's a figure so easily lampooned that he seems at last to have fully bought into his own caricature. And that certainly has its appeals. It's not that he's not smart or occasionally amusing. But one wonders if the 19 year old Rollins would have forked out $25.00 to see John Lydon ramble for a few hours at a posh downtown theater. It is, if nothing, an unlikely present from an unusual past.

Friday, October 24. Pantages Theater. 7:00 PM. $25.00. All Ages.