Rammstein & Deathstars
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle 29 February 2012
Everyone (almost), knows Rammstein, from their albums , DVD's and various amassed YouTube video's, not to mention all the adverse publicity, and the ongoing, (and frankly very boring) are they Neo Nazi's debate. So we know what to expect, right, well no actually, absolutely nothing prepares you for the joy, the tingle and the buzz of a live performance .
Whatever it is, that is so compelling about Rammstein, is different for everyone, having waited for eight months for this gig, I was as excited as the rest, and for sure, they did not disappoint.
Anyway first up, was the Swedish band Deathstars, well what can I say they reminded me of so many different performers, but failed to deliver their own unique performance, they were for me at times, reminiscent of Kraftwerk, who are said to be an early influence of Rammstein. Supporting Rammstein is no easy job, and everyone was waiting for the main act.
As darkness descended the excitement was palpable, eyes darted everywhere in anticipation of what was to come and it came from above, as a large industrial metal bridge descended, stretching the length of the arena. It was across this bridge that the band members process, bearing flaming torches, (with the English flag at the forefront) to take the stage. Then in the light of two burning Olympic flames, the music rises , and Sonne reaches our ears, together with massive bursts of flame, that have the audience at the front reeling and gasping for breath .
'Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen' signals an eruption of more flames, the power and force is awesome, more flames erupt, around the drums and in front of Till Lindemann. He is a theatrical master of the first order, menacing the audience with cold hard stares and an awesome physical presence.
'Keine Lust', 'Sensucht', then 'Asche zu Asche', all delight the audience, assaulting their senses, eliciting gasps and cries of wonder at ascending smoke and pots of fire. The sets are wonderful, industrial and atmospheric.
The heat intensifies!!!, as Lindemann, Kruspe and Landers, don flame thrower masks and send streams of deathly flames skywards to a chorus of "Bang, Bang, Feuer Frei (Fire at Will)".
Then 'Mutter' is delivered with such passion by Till Lindemann, it is a haunting and melancholic song, and it emphasizes the versatility of his voice, it is beautiful and powerful.
'Mein Tell' see's Christian Lorenz in a cooking pot stage right, where he remains as Till dressed in a bloodied apron and chef's hat and wielding a machete, swaggers and sings. As the song ends Till dissatisfied with his machete, arms himself with a flame thrower and the pot is doused in flame, a larger flame thrower ensures that flames abound, and a singed and sparky Christian emerges from the pot looking worse for wear.
'Du Reichst So Gut' and 'Links 2,3,4' further enthrall the crowd, accompanied by huge twirling sparks, then the pounding, anthemic 'Du Hast' see's everyone jumping up and down, punching the air and shouting "NEIN!", then reeling as the 12 flame throwers, that were mounted to the stage and lighting rig erupt. What an amazing sight that was, (incredibly difficult to take it all in though).
The last song of the main set 'Haifisch' has Christian, (again up for anything) sailing out over the crowd in a rowing boat / dinghy, then back to the stage, for what was seemingly the end of the show, but no!!!.
The band return, leather clad and bound in chains, crawling on all fours, back across the gangway, whipped by a cruel tormentor and then they take the second stage for thundering renditions of ' Buch Dich', 'Mann Gegen Mann' and 'Ohne Dich', as they return to the main stage, the intro to ' Mein Herz Brennt' see's a huge industrial type fan lowered from the roof and four spectacular searchlights. This is atmospheric and totally awesome. As 'Amerika' follows, the crowd was showered with shiny confetti, which whirled around with the smoke, then everyone sang along to 'Ich Will', to the accompaniment of shooting, exploding sparks.
Many think it's all over and start to leave, but Rammstein are not yet finished!!, and return for 'Engel'. This is such an evocative song and full of longing. Till wears his wings of fire with style as he stands arms outstretched, flames erupt, first from the tips, then from all along the mighty wing span.
The night ends with a magnificent rendition of 'Pussy', during which Till sits proudly astride a giant pink cannon, or phallus, call it what you will, he traverses the stage from side to side, spraying the crowd with a seemingly endless stream of foamy bubbles. What a night, a truly amazing performance from Rammstein bringing to their audience 19 magnificent songs, they continue to defy their critics and delight their fans, and I can't wait to do it all over again.
Review & Photo's by Alison Bear