Written by: Harley Brown
30th January set list:
- Waidmanns Heil
- Keine Lust
- Feuer Frei!
- Wiener Blut
- Links 2-3-4
- Ich tu dir weh
- Du Riechst So Gut
- Du Hast
- Ich Will
2011 was the landmark for my first ever Big Day Out. A friend of mine told me that my favourite band, Rammstein, would be there. And so, I went, and while I originally worried that $155 a ticket was too much for only an hour of play time, I soon realised it was worth every cent – the moment time ticked over at 7:30 in the evening and it was their time to play.
I was there from the beginning of the day, roughly 11am. I felt that I should make the most of my ticket, and I can honestly say – anything I found somewhat “impressive” before was blown out of the water the moment I saw Rammstein on stage.
The second the curtain fell, we were greeted by a massive German flag, before it revealed what wonders were hidden behind it. For this act, they chose the opening song to be “Rammlied,” which from the moment it started, encouraged the fans to begin their chanting and participation. It was enthralling to be caught up in the moment, as even the people who didn’t know who Rammstein were, were there, among the many loyal fans that had come to see them. Everyone was amazed; whether newcomers or adoring followers, by the flames and just pure energy that had appeared on our stage!
Rammstein are breath taking; there’s almost something glorious and beautiful about their shows, yet they remain with an air of intimidating masculinity to them, playing loudly, banging their fists and breathing fire along the way. They were there to be noticed, and the people gathered instantly! The sound quality was excellent – undeniably the best sound generated that night. Mixing was excellent, with every member maintained to not override the others. At one point, there was concern about Till’s voice as it seemed quite drowned out at times during the first few songs, but this was settled quickly. Every instrument could be heard, including the bass, I find it exciting to always watch their live shows to see more of Oli’s talent, considering it’s overshadowed at times on their albums. Even the drums were perfect, in time, and balanced with the other sounds. Truly an equal collaboration.
Every member of this band is crucial for it to function. Throughout the hour, I watched each member’s actions to see what I’ve been awaiting for months now, and I was not disappointed. Not at all!
Emotional powerhouse Till Lindemann proudly sings poetic lyrics while he is accompanied by his fellow band members, his dearest friends. Bassist Oliver Riedel and drummer Christoph Schneider provide the true power contained in all Rammstein songs. Oliver is a shy one, hidden on the stage from where I was, but, without a doubt, you could certainly hear him. Working together with Schneider, who works hard to exert such energetic drumming and perfect timing, the two got both the hearts of fans, and speakers, pumping.
Next were the guitarists, Richard Z. Kruspe and Paul Landers. The two guitarists always work together (or sometimes apart) to rhythmically make the songs varied. Considering the band states their work is ‘simple,’ there is still so much effort and detail put into it!
These two often stood side by side Till, where they participated in the majority of pyrotechnic stunts and choreography – all while managing to stay true to the song’s spirit! The most impressive of all being their performance, along with Till, during “Feuer Frei,” where the three basically breath fire through flamethrower-type masks – all while singing still, and the guitarists still strumming.
Last but not least comes the member that I believe really shapes the band musically and makes them distinct. Of course, by saying this, I’m referring to Christian “Flake” Lorenz – the most serious member off stage, and yet the most comical when performing, his enthusiasm and ability to entertain the audience is admirable. He and Till always have little conflicts on stage which make the show more than just about the music – but also about the theatre aspect of it all.
Flake is really a brave man for what he does, I believe. And without his musical input, I think there would be a lot missing to Rammstein, regardless of the other member’s talents. The keyboards add so much to the song; allowing it to still be powerful, but almost giving a second atmosphere to it. If you don’t see what I mean, try listening to something like “Sonne,” or “Ich tu dir weh.” In fact; you may even think that yourself about quite a few of their songs.
All this power and emotion is pieced together soon enough as they begin to play, and then you see it; the raw emotion, the strength, the togetherness – the true Rammstein.
And the crowd absolutely adores them, it’s amazing. The vibes given from both the band and crowd is empowering and spectacular, yet never overwhelming. Considering Lindemann appears to have trouble properly ‘connecting’ with his audience, he and the whole band makes a great effort to impress their fans, leaving them absolutely awestruck. Barely any other band there that day had such an explosive, supportive and lively response from their fans/watchers. Rammstein was one of the only bands, in fact, to attract such a large crowd of people that hadn’t heard their music before, and that says a lot.
The band takes their shows seriously; they put in a massive effort to do things well. They were, at first, secretive, being the only band all day to hide their stage with a massive black veil while bunches of people went to work preparing the props. And, amazingly enough, this is all you see of the assistants. Throughout their entire show, the members of Rammstein themselves got out the props. One of the most impressive things about the band was timing, every light, bang and spur of flames that occurred was perfect with Schneider’s frantic drumming or the riffs of the guitarists.
As for the set list, it was wonderful, though of course shorter than normal due to time constraints. While it mainly promoted their new album “Liebe ist für alle da,” there were still classics, all showing the audience Rammstein’s diversity and performing ability. Each song has its own individual choreography, from, for instance, dual head banging in “Keine Lust” and furious synchronized marching in “Links 2-3-4,” to the moment of memorable, ambient silence spent during “Sonne,” where all the members crouched down and remained silent for a single moment, the stage surrounded only by the eerie singing that emitted from Flake’s keyboard. These things have been seen before, and yet, they still keep things interesting after all these years, changing details slightly along the way. Every performance is slightly different from the last, and this is what the fans always look out for. Of course, this all led to bubble-cannon mayhem, followed by confetti glittering over the audience in the grand finale “Pussy,” before it was finally over.
I can tell you now; no live DVD can make you experience a true Rammstein performance. I felt them, even though I was stowed away behind the moshpit barriers, it was like I could reach out and touch them – I could barely believe they were there. But they definitely were, and they made themselves heard – with a bang!
They are downright confronting, assertive, and they leave you feeling as if you left something behind. You may feel sadness that the show is over, you may feel pure joy from the honour that you’ve had to see them on this night, you may be in awe, even teary eyed. I, for one felt like all these emotions had just merged together, I didn’t know what to think anymore.
An hour had passed so quickly, the entire time… I was lost; with teary eyes, numb knees and a raw throat, completely dazed from the heat of the pyrotechnics. But that was all worth it.
Every time someone had told me how amazing these men were live, I never expected to feel such emotion. Regardless of how intimidated they may make some viewers, they’re still so gentle, farewelling you all with a simple “we love you.”
It’s amazing how they contrast so much, truly amazing!
Rammstein live is certainly a mind-blowing experience, whether it leaves you invigorated, or completely emotional. Either way, they are absolutely mind-blowing.
For Affenknecht Harley BrownRammstein at Melbourne Big Day Out 2011,