Thank god I set out 2 hours early. All I had to do en-route is fill up with petrol, even though the little pointer wasn’t quite into the last sector on the dial. Traffic to the M60 was fine but getting near the Trafford Centre every lane ground to a halt. 40 mile an hour speed limits and cars just crawling along. And this was just an hour before showtime. I did contemplate getting off the motorway but that wouldn’t have been the wisest of moves as I don’t really know the area all that well. There didn’t seem to be any road works, I just saw a few cars on the hard-shoulder with a police car and that was about it.
Unlike The Academy shows that I’ve been to at least The Lowry has reserved seating, so you don’t have to queue outside for half an hour and then sit waiting for an hour before Henry comes on. I was pleased to see that row B was the front row. The row A seats must have been removed. Even I had to check the row letter twice.
Looking around before the show I noticed two microphones, at stage left and right, on stands pointing out to the audience. This did make me think that Henry could sell the MP3’s of each show on his web-site for a few bucks a pop. Possibly, if the show was being recorded, it would be included on a future CD release. With audio recording equipment being fairly cheep, they already have the microphones/mixing desk, I can’t see why all the shows couldn’t be recorded.
At just past 7:30pm the house lights go down and the stage lights come up and Henry walks out on stage. It’s been nearly 2 years since I last saw him and he hasn’t changed a bit. The same grey trousers, black t-shirt and blue/white Vans shoes. The only difference being that his hair did look a shade lighter, but that may have been the stage lights.
Henry started saying that he’d just found out that Salford wasn’t Manchester… then his mic cut out. He complained a little that his ‘road-crew’ had 2 hours this afternoon to get it working but he just ploughed on. I could hear what he was saying, being at the front, but I guess the folks at the back of the circle had a little difficulty. The sound cut in then out then the roadie yelled to Henry to grab the spare. Once that was switched over everything was fine. Even Henry said, while this was going on, that it can’t be the mic because it a Shure. I think that bending the cable just past the plug to wrap the cable twice around his hand can’t do it much good. I can see why he started doing it. Singing with Black Flag if someone jumped on stage and pulled the cable the microphone would just fly out of his hand.
Once that technical glitch was over Henry just kept talking, barely stopping for a gulp of water: Obama, working on Sons of Anarchy, making the commencement speech at Sonoma State University, Saudi Arabia in a car with a Prince and later at the palace, his girlfriend (who also has grey hair), the Bhopal disaster, slums in India, China and giving essential hygiene advice to the ladies of Bangkok. There were countless other topics covered during the two and three quarter hours that he was on stage.
Henry is always worth going to see, this was my 5th time, but tonight didn’t seem to be all that funny. Not that you go to a Rollins show to have your sides split, the show is still billed as a Spoken Word and not as an evening of Stand-Up Comedy. Possibly it was because his travels to Bhopal, Saudi Arabia and India were more of an education for the audience instead of entertainment.
One thing that I have noticed is that he never mentions traveling to South America. It always seems to destinations in the northern hemisphere that he visits. Maybe South America is too close to home and not enough of a culture shock.
As always a great evening out seeing Mr. Curve!