Henry Rollins – Good To See You – CPAC

The Cairns Performing Arts Centre was the perfect venue for an intimate evening with the man, the legend – Henry Rollins.

Henry burst onto the stage with military precision at precisely 8.00pm as scheduled and regaled the crowd with 2.5 hrs of stories and anecdotes from his well lived life, all delivered at break neck speed. Henry explained early on in the show that he speaks fast, so that he can fit in an extra 20 seconds of story per minute. He manages to do this without taking a sip of water or taking a break for the full 2.5 hours. He’s intense.

Now 62 years old, the subject of his own mortality came up more often than in the previous Rollins standup shows I had witnessed, and I got the feeling he has spent a lot of time contemplating this. I was surprised to see him repeat a particularly long story I had seen him do years ago at Brothers Leagues Club, but to be fair it was a good one, and he diverged onto other “sub” stories along the journey and weaved his way back to the main narrative in an entertaining way.

There was definitely a spark in Rollins when he spoke about music and how it had helped him through the dark times in his life. There were hoots from the audience every time he mentioned his old band Black Flag, or his pal Ian MacKaye’s bands Fugazi and Minor threat, or when he saw Bad Brains playing in a living room. You were left with the feeling that at least a part of him still feels the passion and wonderment for music that lit his fuse all those year’s ago.

Review and photo by Todd Macalpine