What does Rammstein mean to you? For some it is freedom through music, a true release. For me it is nostalgia. When I think of Rammstein, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘Du Hast’ from their second album ‘Sehnsucht’, released in 1997. I was just a young buck back then, still in high school. I can vividly remember on several occasions cranking this anthemic song on repeat. It really sticks with you. On top of that it reminds me of the people I listened to it with. My friends gathered in a room, figuring out the translation of the lyrics. For this, that song is even more special.
When I was given the opportunity to check out Rammstein in the flesh at Rogers Arena, I jumped at it. I don’t even have them on my playlists, but that memory bubble in my brain lit up and brought me back. Within seconds I remembered how much I loved them. It caused me to get on the computer and start searching out some of their newer songs. I sat there and absorbed the music. I was quickly reminded how much they rock.
As I sat waiting for the band to take the stage, I looked around the arena and saw the eclectic mix that Rammstein brings together. You can’t say that they only have metal-head followers. That venue was jammed with a great melange from all walks of life. This actually surprised me.
The lights dimmed, and from the crowd a single torch bearing member of the band, appeared in the stands. He began to march slowly to a droning beat, as the rest of the group slowly stepped behind him. The entire line-up of Rammstein was marching towards the centre of the crowd. Each on carrying either a flag or a torch. It filled the space with this eerie anticipation.
When they made it to the centre of the general admission crowd, I noticed that a metal walkway had been lowered from the rafters and sat about 10 feet above the audience. It provided that artists with a path to the main stage. As they stood there I wondered how they would get up to the walkway. That is when the mini stage they stood on began to rise. It lifted them to the catwalk and they marched on.
Once at the main stage they wasted no time and started the night off with ‘Sonne’, from their third album ‘Mutter’. They also wasted no time in breaking out the pyrotechnics. The entire song was littered with explosions and fireballs. I watched as the general admission floor mob was electrified by he output of the German born industrial metallers.
Each song in the set was a story. It was highlighted by the pyro mastery, and strengthened by lead singer’s [Till Lindermann] dramatic performance. Throughout the night, their were far too many over the top moments to list them all. So I will cover the most memorable.
Till dressed as a blood coated butcher and cooked Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenz in a giant stew pot, with a flame thrower.
Till sported a giant set of metal angels wings, that spouted 20 foot flames from the tip
Till, Paul Landers (guitarist), and Richard Z. Kruspe (guitarist) placed flame thrower masks on their heads and shot 20 foot flames from their mouths.
At least 20 times during the performance, their were fireworks. Not just a little fountain in the middle of the stage, but huge colorful[and loud} fireworks.
The night played out perfectly. Even though I haven’t been following the group avidly for years, I still recognized a lot of the songs. The set list was well orchestrated:
Rammstein Set List Sonne Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen? Keine Lust Sehnsucht Asche zu Asche Feuer frei! Mutter Mein Teil Du riechst so gut Links 2-3-4 Du hast Haifisch
B-Stage Bück dich (preceded by “Bück dich” remix … more) Mann gegen Mann Ohne dich
Encore: Mein Herz brennt Amerika Ich will
Encore 2: Engel Pussy
The boys in Rammstein brought the house down. I am sure if the show had continued any longer, they would have literally brought it down with a few extra explosions. They are masters of what they do. If you ever get a chance to check them out, you need to take it. Fuck AC/DC’s prop-filled live show, and fuck Muse’s over the top performances; Rammstein takes the cake as the best stage show. To Till, Richard, Paul, Ollie, Doom and Flake, thank you for the amazing memories. You brought me back to something I used to love, and sparked the flame once again. Now to go dig up my old Rammstein vinyl and spin it for a bit.