10
Nov

Live Review: Rammstein 11-08-2011

Rammstein Live in Zagreb 2011

It’s not every day I get to write an article like this, so it gives me much pleasure to be the one to bring it to you. Fresh off the start of their Made in Germany 1995-2011 tour, I give you a review of Rammstein‘s latest tour offering.

What’s it like? Actually, here’s the thing: if you’re planning on seeing them on this tour, I’d say the best option is not to read this or any other reviews or watch any clips, because you’ll be spoiling much of the show. In case you don’t care, well, by all means make the jump!

Rammstein Live in Zagreb 2011

First off, the tour stop I was lucky enough to drop by was the one in Zagreb on November 8. They’ve visited Zagreb last year on the second leg of the European LIFAD tour, which I’ve missed, so the opportunity to catch them again in such a short time period was pretty great.

I checked in my hostel pretty late, after a long and unpleasant trip (special thanks goes out to the dick on customs control who kept us on the Croatian border an extra hour for some reason), I took a nap, then went out, took a few drinks, and found myself in front of the Zagreb Arena. Having come there alone, I didn’t really want to waste any time or had a way to waste it anyway, so I came in about 15 minutes prior to the Deathstars set.

Now, I don’t know if any Deathstars fans are reading this, so not to be offensive, but their set bored me to put it mildly. Probably because of my lack of interest, I didn’t really get into it, so I just observed their set and noticed something that kind of bugged me — the band uses a tape… I think — I’d love an explanation anyway. I understand it’s probably common practice to use it as backup, plus I understand they have to play the electronic parts off the tape anyway, but they should at least try to be more careful, I mean, I noticed the bass player taking a break to drink water while the song was still playing, and also at few times there were ghost high pitched vocals (which are usually done by the bass player).

I didn’t grab any pictures of them, because, hey, I didn’t give a shit and completely forgot to do it.

Their set finished around 15 or 20 minutes before 9 pm, and then the stage was being set up for Rammstein. Guess what, at exactly 9 pm (talk about German precision) the lights go out and the show starts.

And boy, does it start. This would be the part I’ll give you the final warning to not spoil the show for yourself if you plan on going.

Intro + Sonne

I can’t use a word other than “surreal” when a huge ass fucking bridge above mine and everyone else’s head starts dropping down from the ceiling. Coupled with the light show and the sound effects, it gives you a feeling of being in a sci-fi movie. The bridge connects to the stage on one end, and a small platform on the other, right where the fanpit ends and the rest of the floor begins. The band makes the entrance on the floor, goes over to the platform, which then rises, and they cross over the fanpit to the stage. Bridge goes back up, and the epic intro is done. And it was epic alright.

The show begins with Sonne, which gets the crowd pumped immediately. They keep the tempo with Amerika and Keine Lust, all the while you get to see some pretty nasty pyro effects. Asche zu Asche follows, and it gets appropriately hot during Feuer Frei. The band spends around 2000 liters of benzin during these shows, so you figure out what it looks like. Or look at the photo below.

Rammstein Live in Zagreb 2011

The show continues with probably my favorite Rammstein song ever, Mutter. Basically, what follows suits the theme of the tour quite good: besides the tour promoting a greatest hits album, and the setlist being comprised of mostly their biggest hits (as if they ever had anything that wasn’t a hit), much of the show also feels like a compilation of their tour highlights, going as far back as taking elements from the time of the Sehnsucht Tour and mashing it up with newer stuff and introducing some completely new elements.

During Mein Teil, you get to see the well known “Till cooking Flake” scene. During Du Hast, the band wears the masks from the music video. When they play Haifisch, Flake enters his raft and goes over to the fan pit, obviously another nod to the old Rammstein shows, before Ollie took that role from him.

After Haifisch, there is sort of a mini break during which Richard appears on the platfrom they made the entrance on. He plays the keyboard and goes over the routine seen on earlier tours, interacting with the audience by making them yell out the sounds he’s making on the keyboard. At one point, the bridge drops down again, and you get to see Christoph in drag, taking the rest of the band on a leash across the bridge, Mein Teil style.

Rammstein Live in Zagreb 2011

When they meet on the platform it becomes a second, smaller stage. Quite effective because it really makes an already interesting show even more dynamic. They start playing Buck Dich, and at this moment the much controversial bit happens, with Till taking out a fake penis out of his pants, going doggy-style on butt-naked Flake, then shooting his load all over the audience. Honestly, I never thought I would actually get to see this, other than on the videos from the Sehnsucht era tours (according to Wikipedia, the song hasn’t been performed live since 2002). They play Mann Gegen Mann next, and then the third and final song on the small stage, Pussy.

Intro + Bück dich

To say that Pussy is in my opinion is the worst Rammstein single ever is an understatement. Yet, it works pretty great in a live setting. Much of this is also thanks to the stage arrangement — the band crosses the bridge back to the main stage during the song, where a giant penis is waiting for Till to spray foam over the audience (element from the LIFAD tour if memory serves me right). I mean, I always wanted to get soaked by Till’s huge dick, so this was a dream cum true (worst pun delivery yet on this site, I believe). This is also one point I find needed to be made — during the entire show, the stage evolves and changes, props get set up, but everything’s seamless in execution, and the music stays consistent as well, regardless of them switching stages during one of them.

The first encore follows, with Mein Herz Brennt, Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flamen Sehen, and concluding with Ohne Dich.

Rammstein Live in Zagreb 2011

Crowd goes ape shit, and the second encore follows, with Engel (and the well known and awesome flaming angel wings) and Ich Will concluding the show.

Final thoughts: if you have any chance whatsoever of seeing this show: do it. Some people accuse Rammstein of being style over substance, mostly because of their actual live show being more dominant in effects to music, to which I say: bullshit. These guys are entertainers, and probably the finest ones in hard rock, simply because they know exactly what they’re doing, both in studio and on stage. Even if you’re a casual fan, go see them, you’ll have a good time enjoying the visuals, and if you’re a proper fan (fanboy?), you’ll also enjoy hearing all the songs live. Just to accent that last bit: yes, the fireworks and the effects and the mumbo jumbo are all nice, but something many people forget mentioning when reviewing their shows: the music is what brought you there in the first place. And you know what? It’s as amazing as all the effects.

Setlist:

Sonne
Amerika
Keine Lust
Asche zu Asche
Feuer Frei
Mutter
Mein Teil
Du Riechst So Gut
Links 2-3-4
Du Hast
Haifisch

Small stage:

Buck Dich
Mann Gegen Mann
Pussy (during which they return to main stage)

First encore:

Mein Herz Brennt
Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen
Ohne Dich

Second encore:

Engel
Ich Will

Photo credit: Matej Grgić for tportal.hr and Dose of Metal. More of my horrible photos can be seen here.
Video credit: respected YouTube uploaders.

 


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