Written by: Allister Langridge
I sit behind my screen at work, still fully engulfed by the aftermath of emotion that my greatest and most loved band, Rammstein, has left with me. Writing a review seems utterly futile as a means of trying to convey the feeling and experience, as I don’t believe you can describe it with words and I’m not exactly a writer. I force myself to write though, since somehow I want them to know how much I like them, and how good they are to us.
Six friends spread around the Western-Cape of South Africa came together early morning of February the 9th 2011. Leave had to be arranged at work so we had the day free in order to be early at the doors and that everything could go smoothly for the big day when we would see our band that we still could not believe was coming to SA. Everything was meticulously planned and we got to the arena 5 hours prior to the start of the show. With mixed feelings of being extremely excited and the still unreal belief that Rammstein was very close, we waited at the entrance doors to the stage whilst exchanging knowing glances and smiles with friends and fellow fans.
The show started with the beginning of Rammlied building up in the background, two curtains coming down with explosions. The first a dark curtain unveiling the second which was a massive German flag also covering the whole stage. The crowd liked this, we loved this! The show then exploded into life with the German flag coming down and six German men revealed moving/headbanging/playing to the rhythm of the heavy beat, six men that I have never seen in person but whom I felt I knew personally so well. The wait was over and we were all smiles, screaming, yelling and experiencing our skulls being shell-shocked with the aura of their stage. I knew we were in for an amazing insane show, but this was more than that, it was more than ideas or expectations could produce. Something you will never be able to comprehend, not on the best HD TV or explained by the best of writers. No, you will have to see them for yourself if you are lucky enough.
The songs that followed was a mix of old and new. Most having their own props, lighting, explosions and bulging-fire sequences. I was standing right in front by Till and the heat waves were just amazing. There is enough flammable material on a Rammstein stage to burn up a whole city. I think it was in Sonne (such a beautiful song) that the heat was so intense I had to duck even though I tried to brave the burn, I burned with Rammstein! And of course Feuer Frei with the fire-breathing(Lycopodium) masks were just epic to see.
We were very very happy that Rammstein brought 90% of their production with to South Africa, the Mein Teil props with Flake in the burning pot, Benzin with the fire-spewing petrol pump and Till setting light to an unlucky “fan” that jumped on stage. A bow that shot burning pyro’s to the back of stage which was returned to the front with more or less the same and then an explosion of falling flame(it seemed) from the top of the stage. How they do all these stunts baffled me at the time. Then of course we also had more than enough flame throwers and balls of flame shooting from the stage all over.
I think it is safe to say that the Cape Town crowd did not disappoint! The band members had smiles on their faces on more than one occasion and Till also interacted with the fully revved-up crowd, giving us a thumbs up for our participation. Such a class act deserves nothing less. A two-thumbs up salute was also returned by Paul for our one friends. Dare I say Oliver looked at me and smiled seeing my full make-up face and the stage blood smeared over it and running down my chest?
So much flames, so big. Heat waves and explosions that scared some, but gave most and myself definitely a sharp giggle or laugh that can only be described as evil in pleasure and entertainment. Where do people do such things!!
The feeling is truly overwhelming, we are still very much emotional even a couple of days after the show. The pre-show feelings of happiness that was felt at the core of my soul was replaced with respect, awe and a feeling of displacement in this life – how can I find any other form of entertainment that could come close to Rammstein. After such a high where do we go now? The price to pay and time sat in-queue for a front row spot was such a small sacrifice to make. Myself and loyal fans would fly across continents to see them again. All we can hope and pray for is that Rammstein will continue their good work and that one day we will see the legend play live again. Next time I think we will do Berlin – just can’t imagine how insane that show will be. I want Till, Richard, Paul, Oliver, Christian and Christopher to read this. Would they?
For Affenknecht Allister LangridgeRammstein in Cape Town South Africa, 12 Feb 2011,