Rammstein @ Birmingham LG Arena – 25th February 2012


Germany’s loudest and possibly most dangerous export hit Birmingham tonight to lay waste to the LG Arena. That’s right, Rammstein are in the building lets just hope the West Midlands Fire Service has been informed as things are about to get very, very hot!


*Warning*-This review contains spoilers!

You can always count on the German’s to have excellent time keeping skills and at exactly 8.30pm the house lights go down and the eager eyes of the crowd were pointed at the stage for the imminent arrival of the 12 legged beast that is Rammstein. This was no usual stage entrance though, a spotlight was aimed on the side of the arena and as the intro music started up the band emerged from a cloud of smoke, led by a solitary flame they made their way through the crowd to a platform in the middle of the arena floor as if they were being led to their own execution. It was then that a huge walkway slowly descended from the roof with billowing smoke linking the main stage to the platform. Bassist, Oliver Riedel dressed as an executioner led his band mates in a slow march over the amazed crowds heads to take their places on the stage for the countdown into the first song ‘Sonne’.


The stage is set up like a huge industrial warehouse and it’s clear that no expense has been spared. The flames that burst from the stage during ‘Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen?’ can be felt back where I’m sitting and probably led to a few singed eyebrows for those that braved the front row. Between the microphones magically appearing on stage, flaming microphone stands, the explosions and ‘Flake’ who is dressed up in a mirror suit and on a treadmill between his keyboards it’s hard to know where to look as Rammstein do their best to assault all the senses. During the huge hit ‘Feuer Frei’ the muscle bound Till Lindemann appears from the stage with a flame thrower attached to his face as he literally spits fire.


‘Mein Teil’ sees whipping boy Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenz wheeled out in a huge pot by the butcher Lindemann. The song references a true cannibal story and Till with his bloody apron and microphone fashioned like a knife proceeds to set fire to his fellow band member with a very sizeable flamethrower. It doesn’t quite do the job though as an even bigger one is brought out much to the amusement of the crowd who cry mercilessly for more fire. As much as it is about the effects you can’t deny how good Rammstein’s songs actually are and regardless of the fact that they are in German the crowd sing along to every word to ‘Links’ and ‘Du Hast’. The band is seriously tight even with the distraction from all the pyrotechnics and Till goes from powerful growls to whispered vocals effortlessly.


‘Haifisch’ sees ‘Flake’ ride over the crowd in a rubber dinghy; he was visibly shocked though when he got an unexpected passenger as member of the crowd pulled himself into the boat! I’m sure that was a definite highlight of the show for that cheeky guy! There’s no stopping Rammstein though and as the main stage lights go down a spotlight falls onto the second stage to reveal guitarist Richard Z Kruspe who entertains the crowd with a bit of industrial dance music as the walkway is once again lowered. The next 20 minutes or so consist of some of the weirdest things I’ve seen at a show and it’s all very surreal. Drummer Christoph ‘Doom’ Schneider who is now dressed up in drag with a blonde wig leads the rest of the band who are on all on fours and dressed in bondage across the walkway using a riding crop to control them. The 6 members take to the tiny stage and head into the controversial ‘Buck Dich’, controversial for the fact that the huge Till pretends to rape the skinny ‘Flake’ with a dildo and then goes onto spray the crowd. It’s insane but bloody brilliant.


Rammstein don’t do things by halves and there are 2 encores tonight, the first is ‘Mein Hers Brennt’ followed by the huge hit ‘Amerika’ which gets one of the best crowd responses of the evening as fists and horns are thrown into the air. There are no flames for this one, instead ‘Flake’ uses a zimmer-frame to blast confetti onto the crowd followed by the entire stage erupting with the stuff and showering the crowd in red, white and blue.


The final encore is spectacular; Till Lindemann appears from beneath the stage with a huge and awe inspiring set of metallic wings that spread majestically behind him as he sings ‘Engel’. This is not something that you see everyday and as the wings burst into flame it’s a beautiful sight that will definitely be etched in my memory and that of the rest of the crowd. The frankly ridiculous ‘Pussy’ closes the evening and as Till rides a giant cannon shaped like a penis spraying the crowd with foam it gives me chance to reflect on what’s been a truly amazing evening. It’s no wonder Rammstein have been voted one of the best live acts on the planet after bearing witness to the last 2 hours of this show. The care and attention to detail that goes into putting together a stage show like this is honourable and even without all the crazy pyrotechnics the songs still speak for themselves. If you haven’t seen Rammstein before then I urge that you do your best to do so, you will not come away disappointed.


Review – Hannah Sebestjanowicz
Photos – Steve Gerrard

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