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Rammstein: Live at the O2, Dublin - 27/02/2012
Rammstein in general
Member Name: suziedre
Rammstein in general
Advantages: Great songs, amazing pyrotechnics, spectacular live show
Disadvantages: Would some people be offended?
Last night I was lucky enough to see Rammstein play a gig down in Dublin. They have been on my 'concerts I must see' list for a few years. Everyone raves about how amazing they are as a live act, and I was not disappointed.
For those who don't know, Rammstein are a German industrial metal band who were formed in Berlin in 1994. They have released 6 albums to date, and have sold over 15 million records worldwide. This is quite an achievement considering that the vast majority of their output is sung in their native tongue. The band has 6 members - Till Lindemann (vocals), Richard Z. Kruspe (guitar), Paul H. Landers (guitar), Oliver "Ollie" Riedel (bass), Christoph "Doom" Schneider (drums) and Christian "Flake" Lorenz (keyboards). Their line-up has remained unchanged since they formed.
The band are well known for putting on spectacular live shows. Their current 'Made in Germany' tour is no exception. They walked onto the main stage via a large bridge that spanned across the crowd, marching with flags to the tune of a foreboding-sounding instrumental track. The main stage had an industrial, factory kind of look.
Once onstage, they launched into Sonne, one of the main singles from their 2001 Mutter album, which is one of their best known. Their vocalist Till is a qualified pyrotechnician, and indeed the pyro used was like nothing I have ever seen at a gig. Flames blasted from the stage floor in time with the music - we were 3 rows from the back on the balcony seats and we could feel the heat from the flames, so I have no idea how boiling the people who were closer must have felt!
Other musical highlights included the song Rammstein and a great selection of songs from Mutter (eg. Ich will and Mein Herz brennt); and also from the albums Sehnsucht (eg. Du Hast and Engel) and Reise, Reise (eg. Amerika and Keine Lust). It's fair to say that there is not much diversity when it comes to Rammstein's music; they very much seem to have a formula and don't seem to have changed their style of music over the years - but I really could not care less. They are brilliant. Du Hast in particular is probably the band's best known song, and it was somewhat... 'odd' to stand in an arena with thousands of people, arms aloft, chanting along in German!
The band also had a smaller stage at the back of the arena - about halfway through, they crossed the bridge to get to this stage to play a few songs. Oh, I should add they crossed the bridge on their hands and knees, chained up, with Flake whipping them. We couldn't see the small stage because we were up on the balcony and therefore the smaller stage was beneath us. This means we did not get to see the typical performance the band put on for the song Buck Dich. This performance consists of keyboardist Flake bending over, and pretending to be sodomised by Till... who has a prosthetic penis which squirts liquid out all over the crowd. Subtle? Not so much - you don't go to a Rammstein gig for subtlety! The band got in trouble for this in the US in 1999 I believe, which led Till and Flake to spend a night in prison.
Flake also crowd-surfed in a dinghy during the gig, and during the song Mein Teil, sat inside a huge cooking pot while Till shot flames at him. This aspect shows the band's wicked sense of humour, as Mein Teil is a song about Armin Meiwes, 'the Rotenburg Cannibal'.
Remember I mentioned the prosthetic penis? Well, this was upstaged during the song Pussy (which is famed for having a VERY sexually explicit video) when Till sat astride a huge mechanical penis which shot out white foam. So not only were the people at the front roasted alive, they also got to take part in a massive foam party. Would some people be offended by this? I guess so - but then those types of people probably wouldn't be at a German metal concert. It's all in good fun; very tongue in cheek.
The final song was Engel, which saw Till wear a huge pair of angel's wings which were on fire. It looked stunning, and it was the perfect end to an absolutely mind-blowing gig.
Being a metal band, Rammstein's music is not for everyone; however I would say this was not merely a concert - it was theatre, and you would not need to know any songs to be thoroughly entertained by this band's performance. It was ridiculously loud, fun, and the band hardly paused for breath between songs before launching into the next stompingly awesome track. Mutter and Ohne Dich were the only slower tracks played.
I am hoping that Rammstein tour the UK/Ireland again very soon, because I don't think I could see them live only once. They are too loud, too insane, too good.
Summary: German metal and pyro... how much better could it get?!