At the three-quarters full House of Blues on Thursday, Henry Rollins seemed to approach the show like a war-bound soldier. He perched his muscular body at the edge of the stage, methodically wrapped the microphone cord around his tattooed arm and hollered his lyrics of frustration, anger and judgment as a maelstrom of agitated mosh-pitters roiled at his feet.
“If you throw your ice at me, I’ll throw myself at you,” he told the crowd after being hit by a thrown cup of cubes. “And you can’t handle that,” he promised before launching the band into “Gone Inside the Zero,” one of the fiery tracks from Rollins Band’s upcoming new album “Nice,” its first for Sanctuary Music.
The band, led by the scorching lead work of guitarist Jim Wilson, played the kind of music that high school kids used to listen to before MTV made looks more important than licks. Inspired by AC/DC, Ted Nugent, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and Rush, new songs “Hello,” the death ode “Going Out Strange” and “Your Number Is One” rumbled through the club like a gust from the past.
“This kind of music isn’t all that fashionable anymore,” Rollins told the crowd of longhaired rockers and aging punks, which clearly didn’t care about such things. (Rollins Band performed on some dates of this summer’s youth-oriented Warped tour.)
The band paid further tribute to their forerunners with a pair of Thin Lizzy covers: “The Rocker” was played early in the 90-minute show, while “Are You Ready?,” which Rollins Band recorded for their 2000 album “Get Some Go Again” (DreamWorks), was offered during a five-song encore that also included the raging “I Go Day Glo.”