Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen (Germany)
It was meanwhile ten years ago that the last album of Rammstein had been release. Already to that time the hubbub was immense but then after the release when the album was threatened by censorship. After the first concentration camp teaser video the outcry was immense even beforehand and the interest into the new album was a hard act to follow.
Simply called “Rammstein” it formed the base for the new tour which was a first for the band. For the first time in their meanwhile 25 years lasting history they will be going onto a stadium tour for which the tickets were already sold-out within 4 hours despite additional dates. The opening was formed by the Veltins Arena at Gelsenkirchen to which at two evenings more than 55.000 visitors each were pilgrimaged. Even though there were long queues everywhere one could get into the arena quite quick and sorted where a gigantic stage was waiting. That somehow remembered of Fritz Langs’ Metropolis as right in the center stood a huge tower with a moveable screen surrounded by steel constructions with a vast number of lights at industrial design. Were former Rammstein stages already huge is this one gigantic, wow! But initially one had to wait.
Shortly before 19:00 the Schalke 04 stadium announcer Dirk Oberschulte-Beckmann entered the small side stage right in the middle of the audience to announce the world premiere of the new video to the song “Ausländer”. The video started worldwide at 19:00 and was shown two times in a row on the big video cube. Now, it lasted only very few minutes until exactly at 19:30 the French ladies-duo Jatekok entered the side stage to play the album “Klavier” on two pianos. Despite several encouragements of Adélaide Panaget and Nairi Badal and all efforts the audience did not catch fire and the opener was more or less ignored as inevitable evil. After nearly 45 minutes Rammstein as piano version there was polite applause when the two ladies said goodbye to all.
Meanwhile the roof of the stadium was opened and luckily during the concert except some drips it stayed dry (during the day there were some downpours with thunderstorms). That was also mandatory because quite quick one got to know why. At 20:30 fanfares from tape announced finally the main act of the evening: Rammstein. With a huge explosion and to the sounds of “Was ich Liebe” of the latest album one after the other entered the stage, just in the order of entry into the song. First drummer Christoph Schneider, then keyboarder Christian “Flake“ Lorenz and guitarist Richard Kruspe, rhythm guitarist Paul Landers and finally singer Till Lindemann. The Germany colors black-red-gold were dominating the clothes of the artists, so, Schneider and Kruspe were dressed in black and red, Flake was wearing a suit plated with golden metal plates that reflected the lights extremely, Landers a red metallic outfit and additionally colored his face in red metallic and Lindemann a golden coat with a golden uniform below and additionally golden colored face.
The setlist was quite mixed but of course the new album was dominating. After the opener of the new album which was accompanied by black smoke (now everyone knew why the roof was open) there were classics played with “Links 2-3-4” only to return directly with “Sex” and “Tattoo” to the new album. The pyros and show effects were meanwhile quite contained so that the announcement “Less pyro, more music” was really implemented. During „Mein Herz Brennt“ which was not played as piano version like on the former tour but with the classical metal sound there was only the usual “burning heart” of Mr. Lindemann and additionally an incredibly loud singing and celebrating audience. The first real Rammstein moment was reached during “Puppe” when Lindemann entered the stage with a gigantic buggy with a baby in it that very suitable to the insane refrain started burning. This very impressive song was supported by Tills sick nagging when he screamed “Und dann reiß ich der Puppe den Kopf ab!” accompanied by a screaming baby on the screen in the background. When it came to the first song lifted from the new album “Deutschland” in the beginning all left the stage. Only Kruspe came back wearing sunglasses and a white plush coat and started on the lift platform on the tower with the remix version of “Deutschland”. To that after a short time all the other musicians except singer Lindemann came back wearing overalls with LED lights. By these LED lights they looked like stick men and performed a dance that optically came really well across and made the whole act to a great reminiscence to the Düsseldorf electro legend Kraftwerk. Seamlessly, it segued into the guitar version of „Deutschland“.
During “Mein Teil” there was in the beginning the usual butcher/boiler performance of Flake and Lindemann but suitable to the large stage there was an improvement. Besides the usual flame throwers in the end there was a cannon remembering of an archie rolled onto the stage and Flake was completely dressed into a steelworker gear. What was following was really impressive as Flake was engulfed into a huge fire ball by the cannon. Kudos! Also, during “Sonne” the arrow shot by Lindemann activated a pyro answer that was this time one size larger which was really spectacular. At the end of the powerful ballad „Ohne Dich“ the band left the stage for the first time to return to the encore together with the support act Jatekok on the side stage where they gave the song “Engel” only supported by the two pianos as an acoustic version. The way back to the main stage most of the guys covered by rubber boats boating across the audience. On that some more songs were played until with „Pussy” the first encore was finished. For that song the usual foam cannon was enlarged considering playing in a stadium just to tar and feather the people in one way through, in other words to fire foam at them and directly afterwards thin paper chips. The culmination was formed by “Rammstein“. Till had a rack on his back out of which peacock like a pinwheel shot out. Additionally, on stage were fired that gigantic flames that you really felt an immense wave of heat in the first rows which I have never experienced in that intensity on a concert before. Simply: Wicked! After the band gave thanks to the audience for the great evening they rode with the elevator to the top of the tower just to disappear there suddenly with a big detonation.
This was meanwhile my 5th Rammstein concert but that defeated all the ones before by far. Although I have to say that the new album does not yet fully appeal to me and also the audience was reacting significantly mild during songs of it. Instead of that the arena was trembling during old crackers like “Sehnsucht”, “Sonne” or also during pearls that were not played for ages live like “Heirate Mich” (2001) or “Rammstein” (2005). The slogan “More music, less pyro” that was announced beforehand quite often was true as overall at much less songs there were pyros fired than before but if it was used it was either reserved just like during “Mein Herz Brennt” or way more opulent like during “Rammstein”. Also, musically there were quite often some variations by just not playing the songs down very accurate but introducing small subtle squiggles and decorations. Summarizing one can simply say: Just incredible what Rammstein delivered and that in each shape or form. No matter if it was the stage, the songs or the special effects. Additionally, there was the playing time as Rammstein did not play less than 2 hours and 15 minutes. Who has the possibility to get a ticket via Fansale for the remaining concerts can consider oneself happy. And in case that this is not successful: The current tour is planned for three years and after the first round at Europe they will for sure after some time return for some more concerts.
As I did not want to get into discussions at the security checks and did not want to risk to be not able to get my camera with me this time I exceptionally went without it and took pictures only with my mobile phone. Due to that I beg your pardon for the unusual bad quality of the pictures but better was unfortunately not possible.
- Was Ich Liebe
- Links 2-3-4
- Zeig Dich
- Mein Herz Brennt
- Heirate Mich
- Deutschland (Remix by Richard Kruspe)
- Mein Teil
- Du Hast
- Ohne Dich
- Engel (with Jatekok on side stage as accoustic version)
- Du Riechst So Gut
- Ich Will
Homepage of the German band Rammstein.
Homepage of the Veltins Arena at Schalke at Gelsenkirchen (Germany).