Henry Rollins – The Barrymore, Madison WI. – 04/17/2022

I got a pair of tickets to Henry Rollins months ago and have been patiently waiting. I saw Rollins back in 2012 and was stoked to see him again. Here is my post from that show.


This time around I got seats in the front row of the balcony.

The vibe of a show you have assigned seats for is way different from General Admission and arriving well before doors open and then sprinting to the stage and waiting for hours for the show to start.

Shawn and I arrived close to the time the doors opened and leisurely made our way to the end of the line.

We got inside and rather than rushing to our seats, we checked out the merch table (signed books, shirts and a tour poster signed by Henry and the artist), then we strolled over and got a beer and then sauntered to our seats in the Barrymore balcony. The seats were good and we drank our beers and settled in. About 10 minutes before the show was scheduled to start, I even went to get us another round. This would never happen if I was clutching the rail at the front of the stage at a general admission show.

I scouted for show posters, alas there were none except for the one I spotted on the way in on the vestibule doors. I figured someone would snag that on the way out, but I mentally noted to check after the show. I grabbed our beers and got back to the seats and within a few minutes… Henry walked out. Precisely at 8.

Technically we were pretty far back, but there isn’t a lot of action to be missed at a Rollins show. There is no running around and stage antics. Henry strides out and commands the stage. Nothing there with him but the mic stand, monitors and the mic wrapped around his hand.

He proceeded to do his thing for almost 2 1/2 hours straight. Incredible.

The audience was quiet and respectful, applauding and laughing and cheering at all the right places. It was stories and social commentary and politics and all with the Henry charm. He also detailed his run in with a stalker at his “compound”. It was blur and the 2 1/2 hours was over in a blink of an eye. I took only 3 pictures the whole show. Henry wears all black and is brutally lighted and photos are horrible, but I had a better camera on my phone this time.

I also used my phone to record the audio of the show. It’s listenable though not soundboard style. If you were there it might be a nice memento.

When the show was over and the crowd filed out I angled for the exit door that had the poster and to my surprise it was still there! I gently pried one corner of tape off and took it down in a swift covert move. I rolled it up and it now it lives with me.

The show was great and I would not hesitate to see Henry any time he comes to town. The sense of compassion and intelligence and wisdom that he brings is always welcome.

Thanks Hank ! Come back soon.

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1 Comment

  1. Loved seeing the photos Mike. I am going to read the post now.  Not to boast about the shows that I saw in the past. But I did see Henry when he was singing with Black Flag. I actually saw them twice at the same venue which was The Channel in Boston.  I saw them in 1984 and 85 if I remember right. One of the shows was all ages.  Have a great week Mike. You saw some great shows yourself~


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