Rammstein @ Rogers Arena – May 13th 2012

What: Rammstein
When: May 13, 2012
Where: Rogers Arena
Status: 5 out of 5

Two decades in the making, however, in some aspects a little too late. Understandably so considering that Rammstein’s break out single Du Hast, at the height of the industrial genre, has passed. A single alone wasn’t enough to truck over a legendary pyro show in the metal scene, therefore, Vancouver and most of North America were apologetically ignored until now.

This tour is in support of the “Made In Germany” greatest hits, enough fan favourite material to call for a full tour even though 4 of the singles made a North American impact.

Compared to the Tacoma Dome show a year earlier in which die-hard Rammstein fans made the pilgrimage, the fan base was more casual. They were metal fans that appreciated the music, however, they were there for the spectacle and less about the music.

Unlike the Tacoma Dome show which was met with strong audience sing alongs even though 95% of the audience didn’t understand the lyrics, the Vancouver show had the weakest sing alongs, even during Du Hast.

The Tacoma Dome show made the band smile in disbelief. At one point after Pussy, Til had a tear in his eye. In Vancouver, however, they were just content with the audience reaction. So what happened to the die-hard feeling of having the best metal industrial band from Germany make their way to Vancouver?

The music was hard, however, the mosh pit was light. There were some thrashing and shoving, however, noting as hard-core as a Maiden show. People were too busy taking in the spectacle of the show as they realized that they were in the presence of something rare in terms of stage production. People didn’t want to waste their energy on being an idiot. From some of the hosts at Rogers Arena, it was actually the most well-behaved metal crowd.

Annoyed at the lack of enthusiasm from those around me for the actual music, I moved around a lot on the floor soaking in the moments from different angles. An easy accomplishment considering that the floor wasn’t as packed as it should’ve been.

The balcony seats were empty. Those whom purchased were later upgraded to the plaza section to give the illusion of fullness. $150 is a lot for a metal fans to invest out of their pockets and even those whom wanted to go, couldn’t afford it. Once you were in the show, you realized the costs were in conjunction with the production.

Rammstein are my childhood metal heroes. I don’t get star struck as often as I should, however, when they walked down the stairs into the audience, literally inches away from me, I froze. Caked with theatrical make-up, I still saw my idols behind the eyes. My heart was beating fast as they marched to the stage in character. When Richard walked by, my first real metal crush in high school, I wet my panties.

The show was very calculated and the gaffer tape only visible under black light was an indication of the precise calculations that the band had to be in to ensure safety. There was little room for improvisation. Even the set list and the lighting were calculated to the exact second.

The personal highlight for me was when they made their way to the B-stage, stripped of all the pyro and show. This gave me a sense of what Rammstein would’ve been like as a club band. It also bridged the gap from theatrics to a more intimate setting to remind the fans that there is a band behind the show.

The show was more or less the same as what I had seen at the Tacoma Dome, however, since this is a semi full North American tour, there were a few antics that were downgraded to a more PG 13 level to ensure political compliance. I knew this going into the show. After all, it was Canada that charged Madonna back in the day during the Truth or Dare tour. Historically speaking, Rammstein’s lyrics and stage antics make Marilyn Manson look like a puppy dog. Thankfully the lyrics were in a language that most were unfamiliar with as the translations would disturb parents.

Photos © Jamie Taylor

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