Henry Rollins brings spoken word tour to Wilkes-Barre’s Kirby Center Nov. 6
WILKES-BARRE — Henry Rollins staked his place in music history when he joined Black Flag in 1981 — he has since left music behind, but the microphone didn’t become a stranger.
Along with radio shows and his own podcast, Rollins still performs spoken word sets to crowds around the world, and on Nov. 2 he’ll take stage in Wilkes-Barre. The F.M. Kirby Center For the Performing Arts engagement is part of an international tour, with dates scheduled through the beginning of 2017. The world doesn’t stop while Rollins is on tour — whether it’s his own personal experiences or the events that impact all, his topics are ever-evolving.
“As new information comes in, I find ways to integrate it into what I already have on, if it is appropriate. Nothing can be forced, but it never comes to that,” Rollins said. “If you are ‘keeping it real’ as they say, you will find yourself in the right spot. I do my best to think things through for days, weeks, months before I bring them to the stage. It’s a lot of work, but an audience deserves nothing less than your best.”
The former hardcore band frontman may not be on stage shirtless, belting lyrics at the top of his lungs, but that doesn’t mean spoken word isn’t physically and mentally taxing. Rollins said he offers his best every night thanks to a strict touring regime, including diet, fitness and restorative sleep. Audiences should expect “travel stories, editorializing and witty repartee,” all delivered from a speaker with decades of experience. Rollins’ first spoken word material was released only a few years after he joined Black Flag, and it’s his format of choice to this day.
“I always thought speaking was the most direct way to get an idea across,” Rollins said. “It’s more immediate than writing and you don’t have to wait for the chorus to be over to get to what you were saying before. As an older person, I am able to bring more to the stage from all the laps around the world I have taken, so as I go, it is more and more, the perfect medium for me.”
Rollins said he gets through long stretches of touring by having an objective. For him, that objective is to fulfill professional promises to both the people who book him and those who pay to see him. Whether they know him from Black Flag, Rollins Band, the radio shows he hosts or the TV and film projects he stars in, there’s only one Henry Rollins, and for one night only he’ll be the one voice on stage at F.M. Kirby Center.
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts
IF YOU GO
Who: Musician, author, actor and spoken word performer Henry Rollins
What: A spoken word engagement held in the Kirby Center’s Chandelier Lobby
When: 8 p.m. Nov. 6. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Where: F.M. Kirby Center, 71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre
How Much: $30 in advance, $35 at the door. To purchase tickets visit KirbyCenter.org, call the Kirby Center box office at 570-826-1100 or stop by in-person during regular business hours