O2 Arena, London
24th February 2012
By Leo Kindred
Rammstein. Ordinarily, if you’ve ever seen, heard, or felt either the metaphorical or literal fiery heat of their sound and shows then you’ll know the one word is enough as an explanation.
However, writing a review means I go through the motions of letting you know just how awesome a theatrical extravaganza the German fire brigade brought to these shores this time around.
So make ready!
The beginning of the night in the vast O2 arena, a venue more often hosting the likes of Take That and Kylie Minogue, starts with trademark dramatic style. A bridge linking a platform in the middle of the floor to the stage descends over the crowd. The band appear in procession from the side and make their way through a cleared path in the crowd, bearing a flaming torch and two flags, one English, one with the band’s logo.
From there they ascend on the platform, cross the bridge over the gawking fans and start straight into ‘Sonne’. Cue the flames.
Epic intro turns into an epic set as ‘Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flamen Sehen’ sees fire blast up around singer Till Lindemann, ‘Sehnsucht’ boasts synchronised explosions, and ‘Asche Zu Asche’ has the guitarists’ microphones consumed by fire in time honoured fashion.
The sheer ooh-ahh factor is one thing, there’s not much to dislike about the face-mounted flame-throwers during ‘Feuer Frei’, but the songs are crowd pleasing metal anthems, ‘Du Hast’ and ‘Links 2-3-4’ hitting the spots with ease.
The entertainment provided by seeing keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz get in a dinghy and crowd surf during ‘Haifisch’ should also not be underestimated.
What adds a surprise twist though, if all this isn’t enough, is when in trademark bizarre sex-pest style, they recross the bridge crawling at the end of a leash of one of their colleagues, before playing from the secondary platform in the middle of the crowd. This adds an intimate touch to ‘Büch Dich’, as if a concealed dildo, enabling Lindemann to simulate sodomy on the hapless Flake before spraying fake jizz all over the crowd, wasn’t intimate enough.
The homo-erotic themed ‘Mann Gegen Mann’ suitably follows, and then the majestic ‘Ohne Dich’ creates a magical vibe; in the midst of the crowd at close quarters it’s something special, a bit like Rammstein have just rocked up and started busking.
An encore of ‘Mein Herz Brennt’, ‘Ich Will’ and ‘Amerika’ delights, and then ‘Engel’ sees Lindemann bedecked with giant, flame-throwing, metallic wings as yet another awe-inspiring spectacle.
As a finale we are treated to the sordid sex hymn of ‘Pussy’, as well as the sight of a fully-grown man singing “I can’t get laid in Germany!” from behind a phallic cannon, mounted on a track at the front of the stage discharging a fluffy white substance into the audience.
As I said. Rammstein.