Rammstein Live Review from Nottingham's Capital FM Arena: The Made In Germany Tour March 2012
Having been a Cambridge resident for the last 18 months (approx), usually the gig venues of choice for the bigger tours are limited to trips to London to go to Wembley Arena or The O2. This time however, due to a combination of the onsale date co-inciding with last year's Sonisphere and the decision to surprise my brother in-law with a ticket for his Christmas present, we ended up with tickets to see the mighty Rammstein at Nottingham's Capital FM Arena for my first ever gig outside London or the home counties. Just a quick word on the aforementioned Capital FM Arena; It is a fantastic venue, definitely one of the nicest arena's I've seen to date. It doesn't look like there's a bad seat in the place and is a hell of a lot nicer than the somewhat antiquated Wembley Arena and is like a smaller version of The O2.
Before the Rammstein main event the warm up act for the evening were Deathstars. The Swedish metal band are almost a cross between Rammstein and Marilyn Manson both in style and performance (and the fact that singer Andreas "Whiplasher Bernadotte" Bergh has been wearing a Mansonesque hat for years) but I've never been a huge fan of them and this particular showing didn't do anything to change my mind. Their music is reasonable but the vocals kill it for me and I wasn't overly sad we missed some of their performance queuing for the restrooms.
Come 8:25pm and there's not an empty seat in the place as the lights went down (I've since been told the entire tour sold out, something which almost never happens in these times of austerity, especially for a metal band) for the best intro to a show I think I've ever seen. A gigantic bridge was lowered from the rafters to rest over the main part of the standing area going from a mini stage near the sound desk all the way to the stage proper at the front. A procession by the band members began literally in front of the entrance to our section two rows of seats below where we were sitting so we were literally right on top of it as the six members of Rammstein slow marched their way through and across the arena to the stage, before a gigantic olympic style torch was ignited on the side of the stage and the countdown was on for opener Sonne, a very popular choice.
Rammstein: The spectacular beginning of things to come
There were far too memorable occurences during the show for any write up to do it full justice in what was a two hour celebration of Rammstein's seventeen year career thus far. This was referred to as the "Made In Germany" tour (named after the recent Rammstein greatest hits album) and the bulk of the setlist was pulled from Made In Germany, with many welcome additions. Such a collection of fire and pyro has probably never been seen on a tour before, except perhaps from Michael Jackson in his glory days. The staging and general theatrics of the performance were quite brilliant; Be it Till Lindermann literally boiling keyboard player Cristian "Flake" Lorenz alive in a giant pot courtesy of a portable flamethrower, guitarists Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers having their guitars on fire whilst playing, flames shooting up all around Till whilst singing Feuer Frei giving the effect of a cage of flames, the wall of flame at the front of the stage during Asche Zu Asche or the band completely screwing up Halfisich and having to start over ("Von more time"), we were never more than a few minutes away from something very memorable happening - with or without a large dose of pyro being involved.
Whilst many would undoubtedly say they go to a Rammstein show to "see the show" rather than hear the songs, there's no denying they possess an array of absolutely belting industrial metal songs and the majority of their finest were on show on this evening. After the aforementioned brilliant Sonne opening there were a few slightly more surprising song choices with songs like Asche Zu Asche and Keine Lust getting an early airing (and Asche Zu Asche inciting a huge pit in the process). From the time Feuer Frei made an early appearance the show kicked off into high gear and never looked back, with favourites older and newer taking turns in kind.
Whilst the first half of the show had been brilliant, the sounding of marching and the arrival of Links 2 3 4 further increased the atmosphere inside the Capital FM Arena, and then again by going straight from Links into Du Hast. Even the usually stoned faced Lindermann looked extremely impressed at the volume which the gathering masses of Nottingham were singing the band's song back to them. Just when you thought you'd seen it all the bridge descended once again and drummer Christoph Schneider proceeded to walk the rest of the band sans guitarist Richard Kruspe across the bridge on dog leashes, while a couple of overenthusiastic fans decided to monkey bar along the underside of the bridge. One of them showed extremely good athleticism in managing to hang himself upside down and pull himself actually up onto the bridge just as Rammstein finished crossing it, before the fastest sprint I've ever seen from a security person saw the guy jump back down off the bridge back into the masses below.
Leashes off and we find the six members of Rammstein on a mini stage, complete with cut down drum kit and smaller keyboard, occupying a space that seems far too small for them but showing just as much enthusiasm and energy as on the stage 20x bigger at the other end of the venue. Those near to the small stage got a "surprise" during Buch Dich after Till revisited an old Rammstein trick and "whipped it out" to "jizz on the audience", covering many including my other brother in-law who was down in the standing with his friends. A rapid run through of Mann Gegen Mann was followed by a barely lit rendition of Ohne Dich, which brought the main part of the evening to a close as the band returned across the bridge and the lights went back down.
As encores go, we didn't have to wait too long for Rammstein's return. As encores go, they're not usually this awesome either. Mutter opening track Mein Hertz Brennt was delivered note perfect before an enormous singalong for Amerika, which we were all hoping for and never thought they'd play in a million years. If that wasn't enough, there was a thunderous rendition of Ich Will which incited the biggest circle pit of the night amid general chaos to bring to an end the first encore. But for those wondering, there was still more.
Upon the bands second return, Richard Kruspe took up a very familiar tune on the whistle and Till Lindermann emerged with his flaming angel wings for Engel, which was an awesome sight for all to behold. A Rammstein show wouldn't be a Rammstein show without their most tongue in cheek song to date, and thus it was that the night was finished off with Pussy, complete with Till riding the cock cannon (last seen at Sonisphere Knebworth 2010) and covering the first ten rows with a rediculous amount of foam. "Robin Hood, Thank you very fuckin much, we love you" were Till's parting words as the band departed for the final time with every single member of the audience to a man, woman or child on their feet applauding the brilliance of the two hours just gone by.
"I Have A Dicka..."
The full Rammstein Setlist Was:
- Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen
- Keine Lust
- Asche Zu Asche
- Feuer Frei
- Mein Teil
- Du Riechst So Gut
- Links 2 3 4
- Du Hast
- (changover to small stage)
- Buch Dich
- Mann Gegen Mann
- Ohne Dich
- Mein Herz Brennt
- Ich Will
Rammstein live is an experience like no other band and really must be seen. Words and even pictures cannot begin to do it any small amount of justice. This was another level above even their Sonisphere performance and one of the best gigs I've been to in nearly ten years of going to shows with at least a couple of hundred under my belt. Rammstein live is a must see for all fans of the metal persuasion, I hope for everyone's sake they return very soon.
"Robin Hood, Thank You So Vuckin Much"