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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Stand-Up > Henry Rollins - Talking From The Box/Goes To London (stand-up comedy concert set/DVD-Video)

Henry Rollins – Talking from the Box/Goes to London set


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Concerts: B



Though he is still primarily known as the lead singer for bands like Black Flag and his own Rollins Band, Henry Rollins is also a book author and stand-up comedian… of sorts.  He is storytelling with some humor, so this is not a set of jokes and one-liners, but he does want his audience to think and be provoked.  The two concerts in this double set are from the early 1990s.


Rollins is very outspoken, but these are not poetry readings or explicit political rants.  Instead, these are very non-BS stand-up talks about life that offer much self-deprecating humor.  These are adult, mature looks at life with no holds barred, no punches pulled, and attitude where necessary.  However, even when they get a bit heady about their subject matter (entering the NC-17 zone), he rarely goes off track.


He is also remarkably anti-authoritarian and honest about his past.  Talking for the Box was taped May 28th, 1992 and covers his experiences during the L.A. riots of the time.  There are also reflections about personal pain, his bizarre tenure at a pet shop, and friendship.  Henry Rollins Goes to London has some slight overlap with the previous program and was taped February 14 & 16, 1993.  His observations about England and Australia distinguish this one, as well as the story about his friend Big John.  The first program runs over an hour, while the second is nearly two.


Both are shot in full frame analog videotape, with Box in NTSC and London in PAL, but the PAL is actually not quite as clear and is also more tampered with by adding various shades of color here and there.  Both are also in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, which is usually clear enough to hear Rollins, but nothing special.  Extras include the same stills, biography, and discography on both DVDs, which is not much.  That was surprising, considering how much more this set could have offered.


The best thing about both concerts is the respect Rollins has for his audience.  Add how much the man has to say, and this makes for a fine set that is as entertaining as it is thought provoking.  Henry Rollins has guts and agree with him or not, he is a true artistic force to be reckoned with.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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