Written by: Diana Fye
Being a brand new fan and viewing taped footage of past Rammstein concerts on Youtube, I couldn’t fathom what it would be like to actually see them perform live. I’ve been to concerts before. County Music’s Alabama, Charlie Daniels, and Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers when I was in my teens. In the past few years I have attended the Freedom Alliance Concerts where I have seen Charlie Daniels, Lee Greenwood, Montgomery Gentry, Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael W. Smith, and Lynryd Skynryd, but I had never attended a heavy metal rock concert in my life. I wasn’t really sure as to what to expect. One thing I did know was Rammstein has a unique sound and, unlike many of the heavy metal bands I’m familiar with, I can hear and understand every word sung. I couldn’t wait for May 5th to arrive!
My adventure started by driving twelve hours from Florida to my brother and sister-in-law’s home in Virginia, outside of Washington, DC, then driving the remaining five hours to East Ruthersford, New Jersey. After freshening up at the hotel (I could see the Izod Center from my room on the top floor), my son and I drove to the Izod Center at 3:00 pm to get in line (doors opened at 7:00 pm). When we arrived, there was already a line of 200 fans for General Admission, I witnessed a wide variety of costume. From the younger fans dressed all in Gothic Style, platform boots (that I thought went out of style in the 70’s with Kiss), skin tight spandex and leather pants, one woman with her low cut shirt and push-up bra pushed up high in a very unnatural angle (who looked like she came from working a street corner – sorry, I call ‘em as I see them), to the German contingency who wore vintage Rammstein jackets and one member painted from head to toe like the German flag – I was the one who stood out in the crowd with my simple white cotton shirt and blue jeans.
The crowd was extremely polite and everyone spoke with each other (total strangers to most). The funniest group I encountered was the friends in their twenties who were already inebriated and passing around a bottle of Jack Daniels. They latched onto my son and I as the safe zone to hang out as we were standing at the front of the line for those of us who had assigned seating and where I had been speaking with Izod event staff during our wait. These “kids” were quite entertaining. They probably looked at their pictures the next day after sobering up and said “Who the Hell are these people posing with us?” In fact, I wonder if they even remember anything about the concert. One of the girls attempted to add me as a friend on facebook, but thankfully my page wouldn’t pull up (perhaps I misspelled my name for her…hmmm).
I was told so many times about “What a COOL mom you are driving all the way from Florida to bring your son to a Rammstein concert!” I finally had to say “Look, the guys of Rammstein are my age. I probably LOVE them more than my son likes them.”
Once the doors opened, the event staff ushered me through without even searching me. All they said was..”You’re fine, go on in” as they searched everyone else. Our seats were upper level, Row lucky 13, seats 1 and 2 directly off of Richard’s side of the stage. Unfortunately the light rigging blocked Flake from our view but otherwise the seats were good. I managed to get a lot of nice pictures and video. The down side was having to listen to Combichrist. Fortunately it was only for 20 minutes and the two drummers drowned out most of the singer’s screaming. As the CombiChrist crew tore down their set, we watched the testing of the lights and listened to the testing of instruments for Rammstein (well, we saw the flashing of the lights behind the curtains).
Then the house lights went down and the atmosphere became electrified! We couldn’t see Paul and Richard breaking through the barrier, but we did see Till cut through and kick out the portal. I was in heaven from that moment on. The play list was: Rammleid, Bückstabü, Waidmann’s Heil, Keine Lust, Wei?es Fleisch, Feuer Frei!, Wiener Blut, Frühling in Paris, Ich Tu Dir Weh, Du Riechst So Gut, Benzin, Links 2 3 4, Du Hast, Pussy, Sonne, Haifisch, Ich Will, and Engel.
During Haifisch’s crowd surfing, one fan pulled himself up into the raft with Flake who raised his hands as if to say “What the Hell!” I laughed as security yanked the fan out of the raft, and non-too gently. Unfortunately this action tipped the raft. Fortunately fans caught Flake as he fell out.
Viewing concert footage on the internet is one thing, actually seeing Rammstein and their pyrotechnics live is absolutely FREAKING AWESOME!! We felt the heat way up where we sat. I can only imagine what it was like front row floor.
I was so enraptured with the whole experience, from the powerful guitar rips, the amazing pyrotechnics, to hearing Till’s awesome voice live, I didn’t pay close enough attention to my camera. The first memory card filled up in the middle of taping Links 2 3 4. Damn!! Quick change of cards, snap a few pictures and…F*** my battery started getting low. I had to be a little more frugal as I wanted to make sure to capture Du Hast and Engel on video. Sure wish I had bought a back-up battery when I purchased the camera.
The evening went by far too quickly. The ultimate finale would have been getting an opportunity to meet Rammstein in person, but alas, there were no meet and greet opportunities in New Jersey (I couldn’t even convince an Izod event staff member to sneak me backstage – perhaps I didn’t try hard enough). I have to settle with the fabulous memories of the best experience in my life (Yes…I said the best experience in my life.)
From the friendly atmosphere and camaraderie of the fans to the heart pounding ecstasy resulting from the hard driving music, Rammstein proves why they are the greatest band in the world. Rammstein stands to prove that:
Liebe Ist Für Alle Da!
For Affenknecht Diana FyeRammstein North America Tour - New York, May 5, 2011, Izod Center review,