It’s been a little over two years since Rammstein last came and conquered London – and setting an early benchmark for “Gig Of The Year” in the process. Tonight they are back at a bigger venue – with rumours of an even bigger stage show. Our man Amit Sharma thought he’d head down and see if they really could top that performance he caught last time round. Or at the very least, to see if he could get “spunked” on.
6 things we learned when Rammstein played in London:
1) We all know Rammstein love to make an entrance but tonight is something else. First a mysterious bridge lowers from the ceiling, in an abyss of steam and smoke, with flashes of strobe lighting. An alarm sounds and already we feel like we are stuck in a scene from one of the Alien movies – you know, that part where things inevitably start going a bit tits up. The band arrive wielding fiery torches and flags, proceed to walk through the crowd towards an island by the sound desk, which of course then rises to the steps of the aforementioned bridge. For almost ten minutes, we’re captivated by a torchlit procession by a band that haven’t even played a note yet. They don’t need to; they have our full attention.
Watch the Rammstein’s London entrance here:
2) This tour is in support of their recent Made In Germany: 1995-2011 Best-of compilation, so as you’d expected, the setlist is crammed with choice cuts from all six of the band’s studio albums. They manage to include all the hits like ‘Sonne’, ‘Du Hast’, ‘Keine Lust’ and ‘Haifisch’, as well as throw in a few surprises like ‘Du riechst So Gut’ and ‘Mein Herz Brennt’. Even if you have seen this band before, there is something new to experience here that truly encapsulates the history behind the Neue Deutsche Härte pioneers.
3) No Rammstein review would be complete without some basic list of the unashamed debauchery witnessed on stage. Christian “Flake” Lorenz is (as ever) subjected to torture throughout the night – performing parts of the set on a treadmill, hiding in a tank that is set ablaze and braving the crowds in his trusted rubber dinghy. Every song is treated to its own theatrical theme, most notably Till Lindemann’s performances as a demented butcher in ‘Mein Teil’ and an angel with cursed wings in ‘Engel’.
4) So what was that island at the beginning of the gig all about? Well halfway through the set, the bridge lowers again and the band are led on all fours by Frau Schneider (drummer Christoph Schneider’s scary dominatrix alter ego). Awaiting them is a downsized drum kit and a few guitars, allowing the German stadium industrialists to perform a mini set as a club band in the round on a tiny stage. We’ve seen Paul Stanley from KISS do something similar, but never an entire band. This is just bananas.
Watch Rammstein make their way to the round:
5) A lot of people will have discovered Rammstein through those infamous performances on the inaugural Family Values tour VHS (well it was 1998…). Among those performances was ‘Bück Dich’, where Lindemann simulated anal sex with keyboardist Flake using a large dildo that violently squirted jets of white liquid everywhere (an act which saw them arrested one night in Worcester, Massachusetts). Tonight the band surprise us by performing the song and its signature routine in the round, soaking the surrounding crowds in glorious spunk. It’s an emotional moment.
6) Last time Rammstein performed in London, they headlined Wembley Arena. This time round they played the O2 Arena, a venue almost 8,000 larger in capacity. While their record sales may be a different matter, in terms of live revenue (and spectacle) Rammstein can boast they’re in the big league alongside the likes of AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Metallica. People often ask who will take over as champions of the live circuit once the rock and metal dinosaurs decide to call it a day: performances like this prove Rammstein are leading the way.
Rammstein @ London O2 Arean setlist:
Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen
Asche zu Asche
Du Riechst So Gut
Mann Gegen Mann
Mein Herz Brennt