Those German industro-perves, Rammstein, were back in the UK last week for British leg of their European tour. Amit Sharma went on down and got his freak on.
The well-drilled, heavy metal machine that is Rammstein is one that has truly earned its stripes when it comes to performing. From the moment guitarists Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers smash their way through the stage wall, it’s pretty clear tonight we are in for one rollercoaster ride, with as many R’s rolled as Germanically possible.
Till Lindemann soon emerges looking possessed with some sort of fluorescent fire light in his mouth, and belts out the melodic intro to opener ‘Rammlied’ before the guitars kick in – bludgeoning everyone into a frenzy. The band seem as mean as ever, focusing on their world class heavy metal theatrics with not a word nor smile for the thousands that have flocked for them.
Watch the trailer for Rammstein’s 2009/2010 tour
Wembley Arena wasn’t designed as a music venue, and subsequently the acoustics err on the shit side of things – often making the band you are watching sound more like a pissed-up bear growling in a tunnel – but tonight’s sound is surprisingly razor sharp and crystal clear. The Arena stage also meant that Rammstein could bring their full pyro show – treating the punters to a constant display of explosions and fire from all directions to compliment their grandiose choruses. Every song featured a new visual element being introduced from the facemask flamethrowers of ‘Feuer Frei’ to the exploding baby dolls with laser eyes of ‘Wiener Blut’.
Performing tongue-in-cheek single, ‘Pussy’ live was always going to be funny – as if fisting the air surrounded by other inebriated men whilst screaming ‘”I Have A Dick-er’ isn’t weird enough as it is – and tonight it does not disappoint. Nothing could have prepared me for witnessing a pink cement machine ejaculating foam into the masses while the band pounded out the song. Genius.
Special mention must go to keyboardist Christian Lorenz, who found time in the breakdown of ‘Haifisch’ to make his now-tradition foray out over the crowd on his trusty rubber dinghy. While “Flake” is usually taunted – if not pseudo-sodomised – by Lindemann, tonight we see him dragged into a bath tub that gets rained on with firecrackers and pyrotechnic magma, before emerging unscathed in a new shiny mirror suit. After surviving such an ordeal, poor Flake is then rewarded by having to perform the rest of the set on a treadmill.
Watch Flake boating across the Wembley crowd:
Flake’s not the only one to experience Till’s wrath: a “stage invader” (ahem) is set on fire with a petrol pump during Benzin, and runs around the stage engulfed in flames. The nutter even fires out flame darts over the crowd which land on a target by the sound desk.
As indicated in Thrash Hits’ recent interview, tonight’s set focused considerably on newer material, with only a few choice cuts from Sehnsucht and Mutter making the setlist. ‘Keine Lust’, ‘Ich Will’ and of course ‘Du Hast’ were definite highlights, though the lack of tracks like ‘Mein Teil’ or ‘Amerika’ were all the more sorely missed off the setlist. It would be fair to say that the visual element did take over by the end of the show, which climaxed with Lindemann donning a pair of fire breathing wings for ‘Engel’, but this wouldn’t really have been possible if the music was substandard. Sonically, Rammstein were as tight as ever, pulverizing the crowd with their consistently mechanical rhythms and meaty riffs – you can’t help but wonder how much further they’ll be able to push this show for their first outdoor UK Festival at Sonisphere this Summer.
Rammstein @ London Wembley Arena setlist:
Frühling in Paris
Ich tu dir weh
Liebe ist für alle da