15th July 2005, a night that will be remembered evermore for me. I have just experienced a true assault on the senses, never have I been more blown away by a gig than I just have been. Rammstein whilst I have enjoyed many of their songs are not up there on my big list of favourite bands but they have always managed to strike a cord within me, the epic style of their musical range, the image they portray and how a band can from out and out aggressive Industrial Metal to some of the most mellow and beautiful music I’ve ever heard.
Tonight however was all about the former, this was Hardcore Rammstein, promoting their latest album Reise, Reise.
The build up was long, there was no support act for this gig, I’m sure anyone would have a task living up to Rammstein as I’d later find out. A camera crew were set up in the middle of the arena and the place went dark for around 10 minutes with some very sinister dark guitar play to entice the crowd. Soon a light beamed onto the stage and the silhouettes of the band members could be seen through the curtain and the crowd went insane! Still they kept us in suspense and did not appear for a few minutes longer until the lights went into strobe and the curtain dropped to reveal the most unbelievable stage I’d ever seen. If anyone has seen recent Star Trek shows and knows of the Borg that is what this looked like!
The main stage floor was overshadowed by an enormous mechanical structure with flashing neon lights rippling through it, the drummer and the guitar players stood atop of this and finally the lead singer Till Lindemann appeared through an opening in the center of this mechanical behemoth and the gig was under way as they powered onto stage with the song Reise, Reise. The entire spectacle of what I was viewing was getting to me by this point and I had to be quite careful not to show my friends that I was nearly crying, it was such an overwhelming entrance!
I hoped that the welling up would pass quickly but sadly for me it didn’t. Till Lindemann began to clap his hands above his head and the crowd duely followed as the opening marching sound to Links 2, 3, 4 was played through the sound system. I was nearly blubbing there and then but soon got into the swing of things and began to enjoy the spectacle.
A couple of songs later I was really into it and my eyes had well and truly dried up but this point, and if they hadn’t they soon would have anyway….
That’s when Feuer Frei was unleashed! One of the lead songs from the movie xXx and a badass track regardless, but the show with it was incredible. To accompany the chorus the band donned Flame Thrower masks, pretty amazing stuff! As well as the flame throwers on their faces, the pyro from the stage floor was pretty immense; makes the start of WWE Raw look weak! Similar action followed for the song Mein Teil with Till attempting to cook the keyboard player in a giant cauldron with his flamethrower. When he escaped the cauldron they attempted to bomb him with fireworks from the arena ceiling.
More tracks followed but it was when they began to performance one of my favourite Rammstein songs that things really picked up again. Du Riechst So Gut, one of their very first singles and one that I did not expect to be performed was next up and I was really pleased the stage show matched the quality of the song. Till this time donned cybernetic arms which again contained flame throwers and also got his hands on a bow & arrow that fired some impressive fireworks!
Other worthy notes go to classics Du Hast, Sehnsucht and recent single Amerika! The crowd was really pumped for Amerika, I couldn’t make up my mind if they were singing the song with Angst or joy but it was an awesome atmosphere nonetheless, which resulted in three streams of confetti being jetted out of the stage floor and into the crowd, and into the arena air, Red, White and Blue.
They said their thanks to the crowd and then left, but were soon back for the encore performing familiar hits such as the beautiful Sonne, Ich Will and the Depeche Mode cover ‘Stripped’ to make a fitting end to a mind-blowing night.
An visually and audible gargantuan, I would highly recommend seeing
Rammstein Live to anyone who was remotely likes their music, you’ll fall in love with it. Despite singing all the songs (except Stripped) in German, their music transcends the language barrier and I think takes something truly special.
Rammstein, we salute you!