Written by: Mike Mifflin
Amazing. One of the many words that can describe the experience of going to a Rammstein concert. Yesterday I went to the All-State Arena in Rosemont Illinois for my first Rammstein concert. I had been waiting 8 years to see Rammstein live since hearing Du Hast in my 6th grade language studies class. 8 years of worrying if I would ever see them live. The moment they announced an United States tour I knew I was going. The concert was on a Tuesday during my finals week, but I didn’t care. I called my dad up to talk to him and the first thing my father, chief financial officer of a major company says to me? “If you’re going, get me a ticket too”. So there we were on May 10th, 2011, getting ready for Rammstein. It was an experience that will never be forgotten.
We first got to the arena around 4 after some time burning at the mall and sat around for 2 hours talking to people and having some drinks. They didn’t start letting people in until about 6:30 pm. Once we got in, we took our seats and walked around the arena. I was overwhelmed just by this experience of being there. When my dad had first called me to tell me back in February that he had secured the tickets, I broke down crying because I was so happy to get to finally go. At 8pm, the lights went out and a chant of RAMMSTEIN RAMMSTEIN RAMMSTEIN started echoing. Then Combichrist came out and it got a little quiet. Not many people knew who these guys were. Not bad at all, not my style of music I like but definitely interesting. They played for about 40 minutes then ended by destroying their set. An ok way to start off the night, but everyone knew what they really wanted.
It came a half hour later. The lights shut off, the music started slowly and everyone just exploded in once moment of joy. Rammlied was the show opener and was perfect. Talk about a stage presence. I instantly had the stomach drop feeling because after 8 years of waiting, I was finally there. It was like a dream world, the same dream being dreamed by the audience. Right after came Bückstabu and wow it was amazing to see Till growl and scream like that. It was gritty and had heads banging and bodies flying. Waidmanns Heil came next and flowed like the River Jordan down our throats. STERBEN cried the audience with Till, who knew he had us in the palm of his hand. Next came Keine Lust which was a great throwback to the old days. Then Rammstein reached into its bag of tricks and brought us Weisses Fleisch which greatly surprised and pleased me. Seeing Flake dance during the solo was great live and made everyone laugh, an uncommon event at a Rammstein concert. What comes next do you wonder? Bang bang.
Feuer Frei screamed into our ears like banshees. The flame masks were scorching hot and amazing to see actually work live. But shh… Willkommen in der Dunkelheit! Wiener Blut came out next and was amazing. The baby dolls exploded at the end just explained Rammstein in a moment. Not giving a care to the social norms but doing what they wanted. Frühling in Paris came next and was a nice sight to see such a soft song played with such emotion. Ich tuh dir weh came next and was definitely a fan favorite of the night. On a side note, when Till stands on the pillar to pour the fire onto Flake in the tub, he is latched in by his foot to a snow boot type thing on the platform that a stage hand puts him in. Always wondered that and it was great to see a little behind the scene action going. After the song, Flake came out and jigged back to his post on the stage and after a brief moment started playing Rammstein’s first song that was a single, Du Riechst So Gut.
Near the end of the song Till said in English “You smell so good” and the place just exploded. Hearing a verse that is normally sung in German sung in English to appeal to the audience just set people’s heads a fire. Speaking of fire, the next song was Benzin. Near the end of the song a stage hand came up to replicate a fan and Till promptly lit him on fire. The audience was taken aback for a moment then realized it was all part of the act and just enjoyed it so much more. It was nice to see a song taken from Rosenrot, but I would love to see Mann Gegan Mann played sometime. Links 2-3-4 came on and took me back many years. It was hardcore and had the people jumping. Then it happened.
The familiar sound of the song people across the world know Rammstein for. Du Hast started to play and the All-State Arena shook to its core. The crowd sung the opening lines together then Till took it from there. We got to sing later and Du Hast was the song of the night in our hearts. Then Pussy started to play and the crowd was covered in white foam. Rammstein toned it down and pretended to go away while chants of their legend rang out. It was successful.
They came back on stage for an encore which started with Sonne. During this song I looked at my dad and was shocked at what I saw. He was head banging. My dad, a 53 year old CFO who earlier was talking about how he saw The Who was head banging to my favorite band. Amazing. Sonne turned into Haifisch and I knew what was coming next. I quickly handed my phone to my dad and told him to record and take pictures. I ran down from my seat and got into the general admission area where the people were standing. Don’t know how I didn’t get caught, but didn’t care. Haifisch rang out and then Flake took is spot on the boat, rowing across the sea of fans. At one point he got near me and I stuck out my hand towards him and he looked me dead in the eyes and shook it. Greatest moment ever besides just being at this concert. I came back while Flake returned to his post and told my dad as he handed me back my phone and he said “never going to wash that hand huh”?
Ich Will rang out next which brought a feeling to my stomach because I knew the concert was almost over, but I was going to enjoy every last second of it. After about a 5 minute break. Engel started to end the show. Till, in his angel wings, sang amazingly and brought the show to a close. While the band was giving its thanks, Till said “ thank you, and please join us right now in a special moment. Today is Mr. Schneider’s birthday”. We the people promptly sung him Happy Birthday, a moment I felt was special as we had just been sung to the last 2 hours, now it was our turn to sing back. They left the stage with a bow and it was all over.
An emotional mind blowing experience would not even begin to sum up the concert. It was everything I had thought of and loved. If you have a chance to see Rammstein, do it. It is worth whatever money you spend on it and can be loved by all. 8 years of waiting was well worth it for me to appreciate and love this band that is my reason that I study German at college and have been studying all my life. Thank you Rammstein. Danke Schön.
For Affenknecht Mike MifflinRammstein in Chicago 10th May 2011 review,