Henry Rollins Band at Theater Of Living Arts in Philadelphia, PA 6-16-03

I would have gone to any benefit gig Rollins did for the West Memphis Three, but the added incentive of The Rollins Band busting out a set of Black Flag songs was great. Jim Lundy and I headed out to this show. I remember being pretty amped up for this one. A lot of friends went and there were many old timers there too. A friend kept pointing out members of old New Jersey and Philadelphia bands, which was cool.

I have no idea who opened up. We got into the gig right as the band that was opening wrapped up. The way it went was that Keith Morris came out with the Rollins Band and they did a bunch of early Black Flag songs. It was hard not to freak out and go off when Nervous Breakdown began, but I chilled out and waited for the main part of the set. My Black Flag loyalties are definitely more towards the later stuff, so I let the old timers and dudes who obviously had not been to a show in 15 years (but were there BACK IN THE DAY…one yelled OLD SCHOOL a few times lol…those people are the worst) have their fun.

Keith did about 10 songs with the band and then there was a two or three minute intermission. Suddenly the band started playing again, Rollins came flying out from the side of the stage, and they blasted into Rise Above. I went straight to the front as the crowd surged forth in a series of “Rise Above! Rise Above!” They played probably 25 to 30 songs, mostly pretty obvious ones. Dancing was weird because you had to deal with some push pit turds and some “wander around aimlessly like it is 1981” types. Still, the band was great, if a little slow at times, and Rollins was way into it, giving out the mic a lot and keeping bouncers away. Awesome.

All in all a good night for an incredible cause.