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POETIC ROLLINS `STEW’ SEASONED WITH RAGE AND WIT

SHARE POETIC ROLLINS `STEW’ SEASONED WITH RAGE AND WIT

Anger (an'ger) n. A feeling of displeasure resulting from injury, mistreatment, opposition, etc., and usually showing itself in a desire to fight back at the supposed cause of this feeling. See also Rollins, Henry.

And why shouldn't Henry Rollins, the muscular and tattooed leader of the Rollins Band be angry? After all, he's heard his best friend be murdered just a few feet away, and he's toiled in the music industry for years without recognition until this year.Fortunately for Rollins and the audience, his music, a - dare I say - poetic stew of metal, punk, funk, rap and jazz, is cathartic, and as mesmerizing as the man himself.

Making a stop in Salt Lake City, Rollins and his cohorts put on possibly the most magnetic performance you'll see and hear this year, even making me nearly forget this past week's nightmarish Stone Temple Pilots set.

Largely made up of songs from the "Weight" LP, Rollins' 75-minute performance included this year's semi-hit "Liar," a hilarious look at co-dependency, as well as more esoteric numbers that require further thinking, like "Disconnect," which, if given half a chance, could become an anthem for these troubled times.

However, Rollins hasn't completely walked away from his punk past, which included a detour in Black Flag, as witnessed by "Alien Blueprint." By the time the song was done, moshers and just casual spectators were exhausted.

If not for the sheer spectacle of seeing Rollins shamelessly mug and flex while delivering his terse verses in sing-sung or spoken style, bass guitarist Melvin Gibbs would have overshadowed the rest of the band.

Unlike former Rollins Band bassist Andrew Weiss, who spent too much time experimenting with his sound, Gibbs' bass work puts the "rock" back in Rollins' rock numbers - some of his bass lines go down to your bones.

On most nights, New York's Helmet would have stolen the show with their blunt "short-hair" metal, roughly the aural equivalent of being brained by a crowbar, but in a good way.

Showing some diversification since 1992's "Meantime," which was a bit on the repetitive side, Page Hamilton and his bandmates literally pummeled the crowd into a frenzy with material from this year's "Betty" CD.

Perhaps best in the quartet's set was a stunning suite of "Just Another Victim," "In the Meantime" and "Street Crab," as well as an head-splitting version of "Unsung."