They came with fire, brimstone, explosions and blood; to lay waste to a sold out crowd in Ireland’s largest indoor arena. For their first ever Irish show, Rammstein came to conquer and that is exactly what they did. Not for a long time has a ‘gig’ generated so much excitement and hype amongst an audience. Maybe the almost eight month wait been its announcement and the actual event helped, but more so it is Rammstein’s long standing and well-earned reputation for delivering one of the most spectacular live shows on the road today.
Standing outside the O2 on a warm Monday night, it’s almost impossible not to notice the very diverse crowd. Everyone’s here from skinheads in black bomber jackets, green combats and jackboots, long haired metal fans, punks, emo’s, indie kids and even hundreds of trendies – all aged between 10 and 60. It seems Rammstein’s appeal crosses all music genres, or maybe it’s a case of sever curiosity.
The night kicks off with the less than impressive Deathstars. Basically a mesh of Marilyn Manson and poor industrial metal. You can see their point, but as singer Andreas Bernadotte struts up and down the stage for 30 minutes, fist raised and army hat firmly perched, you can’t help but notice the fact they have one song and they insist on making a whole show out of it. You wouldn’t mind if the song was actually decent, but there’s very little here to get too excited about. Still, it can’t be easy supporting tonight’s headliners and they manage to complete their set without driving too many away. Now for the big guns!
With Deathstar’s banners and such removed, the stage falls into darkness and as the house lights go off and the screams rise; the PA erupts with industrial sync sounds and the ceiling of the O2 becomes the focal point as a giant gangway begins to lower above the crowd. Smoke blasts from all sides as lights flicker around it. When it’s finally lowered above the crowd’s heads, the band appears at the back of the arena and rise up to the gangways steps on a smaller platform stage. One by one they walk towards the main stage holding torches and flags, the Irish flag gaining the most excitement from the audience. They spread out, lighting giant Olympic stadium style fires on each side. As the intro music cuts out, the band instantly pound into ‘Sonne’, easily their most known hit in this country. Along with the massive lighting display, the song is accompanied by a massive pyro display. The flames àre so hot the heat hits the back of the crowd and sees hundreds of fans pour in from the front, all of them drenched in sweat. This is going to be fun..
‘Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen’ follows hard and the band are well in control. More flames for this, but this time they go off around the drums and just in front of singer Till Lindemann who, as always is unfazed by the wall of death going off around him. ‘Keine Lust’ (Towers of smoke), ‘Sehnsucht’ (pots of smoke/fire at the front of the stage) and ‘Asche Zu Asche’ all follow, each delivering their own unique theatrical display and an ever changing lighting rig and stage backdrops. The heat goes up immensely for their brusing hit, ‘Feuer Frei’ With Till, Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers all donning flame thrower masks and that send to towers of flame into the air during the chorus. For ‘Mutter’ the stage goes green and the band rely on the songs own excellent charm to satisfy the crowd, until the end when Till stands arms stretchered as a shower of sparks falls from the ceiling. ‘Mein Teil’ won this writers highlight of the night, as Keyboardist Christian Lorenz is wheeled out in a giant cooking pot by Till, and placed stage right as the band kick into the song. Towards the end, Till discards his machete microphone and grabs an nearby flame thrower and proceeds to douse the pot with flames…with Christian still inside. Failing to cook Christina, Till swaps the flame thrower for an even larger one and again engulfs the pot in flames, promoting the singed keyboardist to pop out with red sparks exploding from the back of his suit.
‘Du Riechst So Gut’ (giant twirling sparks) and ‘Links 2 3 4’ (stomping death!) follow before the machine heavy ‘Du Hast’ causes mass eruption from the crowd and further spills towards the back as 12 flame throwers mounted to the lighting rig and stage fire back at each other. How the band don’t drop with the heat or even bat an eyelid is beyond comprehension. It’s an amazing spectacle to say the least though. The band finish the main show with ‘Haifisch’ which sees Christian take the literal plunge and travel out into the crowd in a row boat – I shit you not! Taking a sail over everyone’s heads, the fairly mental keyboardist gets up close and personal with fans, before returning to the stage for the band’s exit. Thanking the audience, Till and the lads disappear under the stage.
Yeah, they’re not done yet. Leaving the crowd with a very rare interaction – not a hope. Rammstein return! Decked out in chains, leather, whips (general Berlin nightlife attire), the band crawl across the re-lowered gangway, whipped all the way as they make their way towards the miniature stage at the back before pounding into ‘Buch Dich’, ‘Mann Gegen Mann’ and ‘Ohne Dich’. After which they walk back to the main stage and continue with ‘Mein Herz Brennt’ (fire cane & fan) which sees a giant industrial style fan lowered from the roof centred under the four incredible round lights that alone make the stage show worth seeing. With the fan lit up, ‘Amerika’ follows and the stage proceeds to fire confetti all around the venue with towers of smoke whooshing it around. The sing along ‘Ich Will’ brings things near close with towers of sparks exploding everywhere. The band finish and walk off one by one.
With hundreds leaving to catch trains and such, the band return for one final visual onslaught. The sparsely melancholic ‘Engel’ is first and sees Till decked out with wings that open during the performance before fire sparks at the top of each wing, eventually spouting flame thrower style fire into the air. I swear I’m not making this up, wings of fire! And the band bring the night to a rather less serious close, performing ‘Pussy’ (“You’ve got a pussy, I’ve got a dick so what’s the problem”) which sees Till straddles a giant phallus on wheels, rides it up and down the stage spraying the crowd with mountains of….white liquid foam. Amazing finish to an amazing night.
Whether or not Rammstein were expecting it, the sold out crowd was a shock to several people. No-body this writer has spoken to thought they’d manage it in Dublin for their first gig, but they did (if seating wasn’t sold-out I don’t care – standing is where it’s at). With people hailing this show as one the best they’ve ever seen, it will hopefully entice the band to return to these shores in the not too distant future so all our friends can see for themselves what we’re talking about.
Setlist (thanks to Dextrimental @ Metalsetlists.com
Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen
Asche Zu Asche
Du Riechst So Gut
Links 2 3 4
Mann Gegen Mann
Mein Herz Brennt