With the recent release of their greatest hits album ‘Made In Germany 1995-2011’ and many rumours floating around claiming this tour to be one of Rammstein‘s last before they bid farewell, it’s fair to say the hype surrounding their possible last visit to the UK is high. At the Manchester date of the tour it’s no different, and the sold out show is a testament to our country’s love for the German metal outfit.
Openers and sole support act Deathstars (**) are too imported over here, and the Swedish outfit are a little hit-and-miss this evening. Walking onstage to the sound of air sirens wearing a palette of clothing that doesn’t really steer away from black, the gothic metalheads are sadly pretty boring from start to finish. The lyrics to the chorus of ‘The Mark Of The Gun’ are almost laughable, spelling out the word ‘dead’ like “D is for… E is for…” etc. The similarity to frontman Whiplash‘s ‘clean’ vocals and that of the voice of Duff Man from The Simpsons doesn’t really help either.
No matter how much of an extravaganza Deathstars could have potentially pulled off, it would’ve been wiped clear from the face of the Earth anyway in comparison to the masterpiece Rammstein (*****) pulled out. Entering from the stairway at the side of the arena and through the crowd, baring a flame torch and flags, walking onto a custom stage in the center of the entire arena. All eyes are on the German sextet before the walk from the center stage across a lowered bridge, linking to the main stage. Once on there, the band all stand still facing the crowd whilst Ollie Riedel lit two beacons either side of the stage with the flamed torch. After kicking into set opener ‘Sonne’, flames and fireworks in every context of both words is what unfolded there after.
Literally, every song within the band’s set held some form of pyrotechnic, ranging from your standard geyser bursts of flame, flamethrower masks, huge flamethrowers, microphone stands wreathed in flames and more. A shower of sparks even falls from the sky onto Till Lindemann during ‘Mutter’, and bursts of flame erupt from the ground around him in a full circle during ‘Mein Land’ and all the while the crowd are in the palm of their hands. They do bring some extras that aren’t flame based, such as keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz going out onto the crowd on a large rubber dingy.
The band do return back to their second stage in the middle of the arena, but not without making a spectacle. Drummer Christoph “Doom” Schneider comes dressed as a woman, with the other members on leashes and in bondage gear, walking on all fours over to the stage where the band play a few more songs before returning back to the main stage for the grand finale. And, what says goodbye better than Till Lindemann operating a large mechanical foam cannon painted like a penis across the first few dozens of rows in the crowd?
If this really is a farewell tour in diguise, then the music world will be losing one of the best live bands currently on the circuit. If you can see these guys before it’s too late, you’ll be watching one of the best shows of your life. Promise.
Written by Zach Redrup