Remember that club scene in XXX with Vin Diesel where the band is wearing those weird masks and breathing fire? Well, that scene was my Wednesday evening. Rammstein is all about the performance. Due to their intensive stage set up there was no opening act. That’s the official story at least. I reckon it’s just that no band had the guts to open for them. Part industrial metal, part performance artists Rammstein eats Justin Bieber for breakfast… and picks the remains from between their teeth with the edge of a lycopodium mask.
I had a lot of firsts at the Rammstein show. For instance, it was the first time my eyebrows were scorched by a fire-breathing German. It was also the first time that a band started on time. They are of course German but given their otherwise semi-crazed behaviour I thought it was rather thoughtful of them.
The stage was hidden behind a blue sheet. As with most shows there were a few false alarms created by random groups of people screaming hysterically. Then at exactly eight o’clock there was a burst of Rammlied and the blue sheet dropped to reveal the German flag, which also dropped and there they were: Rammstein. Lead singer Till Lindemann was wearing a red feather neck piece that made him look like a demented clown. Then he opened his mouth and I saw the light. No really, there was an actual light in his mouth!
The rest of the show picked up from there. Loads of pyrotechnics, lots of fire, the keyboard player being cooked in a pot with Linemann blowing fire around it, the keyboard player crowd-surfing in an inflatable boat, lycopodium masks, Lindemann dressed up as a butcher with a knife attached to the microphone, explosive fireworks flying over the audience and a lot of fire. A LOT of fire.
Interestingly enough the “moshing” was minimal in the Golden Circle area. Most were too concerned to capture this moment on their iPhones to push people around. No one wanted to miss a single second. I heard it was a completely different case in the general standing area, from which a few left the Arena limping and a little bruised.
And how to rate the show? Well I’m painfully aware that I’ve declared each of the last gigs I’ve been to as the Best Show Ever, so I waited a few days before writing this to see how I felt once the energy had died down. But it was the Best Rock Show Ever. It was an experience unlike any other. I can’t see how any rock show could ever top Rammstein, but I am sure going to have a fun time auditing every show I can get to, just to make sure.
By Jana van Heerden